IDC's research surveyed 1,643 users in five countries in the United States, Japan, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, including some specific details about the PlayStation VR, as the study was sponsored by Sony.
In terms of raw sales data, PlayStation VR is the most popular high-end VR helmet. One of the interesting things is that Sony users report a slightly better VR helmet experience than a typical VR helmet. The overall satisfaction of the PlayStation VR is 7.6, while the average satisfaction of other helmets is 7.3; the monthly usage time of the PlayStation VR helmet is 6.8 hours, while the monthly usage time of other helmets is 5.4 hours; the PlayStation VR helmet provides customer service or technical support. The demand is low, with only 23% of users requiring customer service or technical support, while the average demand for other VR helmets is 40%.
Although the PlayStation VR helmet has unique advantages in these aspects and games, its related data is not ideal. Nearly a quarter of all PlayStation VR helmet users need Sony help after purchase, and users spend less than 2 hours a week using VR. This is not a good situation from any standard.
The study does not include VR devices that rely on mobile devices, but includes stand-alone and wired VR helmets. Overall, respondents' satisfaction with high-end VR helmets was the same as that of respondents surveyed by another research group for smart watches: 7.5 out of 10 were satisfied.
This study provides some interesting details that show the difference between different types of VR users. In all five countries, VR helmets have an average usage time of 6.2 hours per month (at a lower level).
Despite user polarization: 12% of “hardcore” users say 16 hours or more per month, while 65% of users claim that they are less than 5 hours a month and are light users.
The game clearly dominates the use of all VR devices. In the last quarter of 2018, 72% of people played at least one game, but 55% watched a video from at least a VR device. IDC reports that in these five countries, no other VR use cases have an average penetration rate of more than 30%.
As Facebook pointed out, multi-user VR seems to be a major potential selling point for VR helmets, although there are differences across regions. In France, 62% of VR players prefer the multiplayer experience, compared with 58% in the US, 55% in Germany, 50% in Japan and 46% in the UK.
France is a leader in non-gaming VR applications. A quarter to one-third of French users surveyed have also tried VR creative apps, social apps, shopping or browsing apps, although this percentage is much lower in other countries.
IDC points out that less time and cycles of use per month are closely related to lower user satisfaction, and some people stop using VR helmets because of the lack of reasonably priced content or other factors.