Kids See Potential Beyond Gaming for Virtual Reality (Part 2)
This is the second half of our summary review of the Oculus Rift kids/tween user testing research. In part one we covered research areas including headset comfort, game perspective preference, favourite game genres and game ideation.
As a recap, the research objectives were as follows:
- Gaming Usage – how they reacted to wearing the Oculus Rift headsets, how they acclimatised to being in a virtual reality environment and their reactions to the games they played.
- Game Design and Ideation – how well they could come up with new ideas and genres for games suitable for VR.
- Branding – which companies they thought should sell virtual reality headsets.
- Pricing – how much they should the headsets should cost.
Here’s what else we explored…
We asked the kids how much they thought a headset like the Oculus Rift would cost. The average answer was £430 GBP / $720 USD.
Additionally, when we placed the Oculus Rift alongside a variety of other devices included a PS4, XBox One, a smart TV and an iPad, they ranked the headset as the most expensive. A boy aged 10 said ‘it’s the best out of all the others and it’s better than any other game‘.
Distribution and Branding
We gave all groups a large selection of company logos, ranging from game and software developers through to global technology manufacturers, toy companies and social networks. None of them were aware of the Facebook acquisition of Oculus VR.
We then asked them to select a company they thought was most likely to launch a VR headset as well as comment (if they wanted to) on other company logos. The top four they identified were:
- Microsoft: ‘Because they make games’. ‘A computer company. Because it runs on Microsoft’. ‘They make good games’. “They would be a good fit’, ‘Because they want to make more money’.
- Sony: ‘They make good quality games’. ‘They’re a big company’.
- Nintendo: ‘They make good games for kids’. ‘Because they do loads of games and they do building games and things and they do animal crossing’.
- Hasbro: ‘They could make one just for kids’, ‘They could make one for boys and one for girls’.
None of the kids were aware that Facebook had acquired Oculus VR. However, one older boy said that Facebook would be behind it because ‘it’s popular for loads of people’. But he followed this up by saying that ’it has no connection’. He concluded by saying that he didn’t think Facebook could do much with it.
Other groups said Facebook wouldn’t work and wouldn’t make sense. This was because they ‘aren’t a game maker’ and are more internet focussed than games. After being told Facebook owned it some respondents said they thought it was a bad move.
Conclusions and Summary Findings
- The kids were happy to wear the headsets. They were heavy in some games for the younger ones.
- They thought they could easily play VR games for up to an hour, or as long as they would typically play a console game.
- The most enjoyable games were based on real-world experiences and/or had easily understood game mechanics.
- They quickly recognised the importance of controllers and identified different uses/types of controllers.
- They thought that controllers with natural movement controls (like Playstation Move) would improve the level of immersion and gameplay.
- They quickly figured out which types of games would be suitable for VR. First person perspectives were deemed much better than third person or 2.5D.
Game Genres, Ideation and Education
- Minecraft and The Sims were front of mind for all the kids when considering suitable games in VR.
- Younger kids were happy just to look around whereas the older ones wanted to roam and freely explore.
- They also wanted the entire experience to be as immersive and ‘realistic’ as possible – looking down and seeing their body for example.
- Greater immersion/presence occurred in game with limited avatar movement.
- The play mechanics of build, create, share and play (in the context of theme parks) was deemed as a cool idea.
- All ages of kids were able to come up ideas for new styles of games and experiences in virtual reality.
- Without prompting, the kids (all ages) identified the value of using virtual reality in the classroom. ‘Exploration’ was identified as a key theme.
- They wanted the games to feel like experiences of different places and lives. They wanted to play with their friends too and showcase what they could make. This was a particular theme with older kids.
Product and Pricing
- The average assumed price of the headset was £430 GBP ($720 USD).
- They thought that the weight of the device needed improving as well as the graphics (we used the Oculus Rift DK1). They thought more games needed to be available before they would want to buy it.
- They identified (from a long list) Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo and Hasbro as the most likely companies to make a virtual reality headset.
- When prompted, they could not see the benefit of Facebook launching a virtual reality headset.
The full report can be ordered for free here.