12 key segments for the Consumer Virtual Reality market

AKA, the Virtual Reality Radar Chart for Q1 2014.

We’ve been tracking the Virtual Reality market for a while now and 2014 is the year we’re going to start seeing consumer devices reach the market. Now of course, having the devices (the Virtual Reality headsets) is one thing, but you have to have applications, games and content in order to bring the essence of virtual reality to life.

To that end, we’ve taken the popular Virtual Worlds Radar chart and adapted it for the consumer Virtual Reality market. The Virtual Reality Radar Chart shows 12 key segments we believe will be popular as the device penetration grows. For each segment we’ve identified the year in which the first commercial activity will occur, i.e. when developers will launch their games. Then, we’ve indicated the key user age ranges that the games and apps will be targeting.

Shown below is one of the Radar slices, this one showing activity in three of the 12 segments, namely New Concept MMOs, Simulation games/apps and Casual Games.

vr radar thematic seg4 q1 14New Concept MMO/VW applications are multi-player, 3D immersive games specifically created to exploit the benefits of virtual reality. The older gaming market (15 years +) will see the first of these concepts come to market in 2014.

From here, new entrants to the market will age-down, meaning tween/teen games launch in 2015 and then kids in 2016.

Simulation games are typically first-person applications such as flying games, sandboxes and simulated worlds made more immersive via virtual reality. In 2014 we expect games coming to market catering for a wider age range of teens through to adults, with the kids market becoming active from 2015.

Casual / puzzle games are in essence simplistic applications in virtual reality allowing users to play basic games. By definition these will appeal less to hard-core gamers and more into the mainstream marketplace. Do not think that because these games have simple game mechanics (compared to for example VR MMOs) that they are dumbing down VR because casual games are massively popular. Older players will see commercial launches in 2014 with all other ages coming to launch in 2015. The key mechanic here is ensuring that these games fully leverage the attributes of virtual reality as opposed to just porting over browser-based mechanics. Platformers are also included in this segment.

vr radar seg4 q1 14In addition to identifying the key sectors, we’ve also adapted the Radar chart to show early stage companies developing games suitable for VR (and primarily the Oculus Rift).

These companies include Kickstarter and angel-funded start-ups, indie developers and larger houses.

The games included are a mix of prototypes, free to play demos and planned commercial launches. Here’s the same segment as above, this time showing the developers pioneering game development in the VR space.

We’ll be updating these charts quarterly, so get in touch if you’re working on a VR game or app that you’d like to be included in the Radar.

Looking to develop an Oculus Rift application? Contact us here.

Further information:

Order the high-res full version of Virtual Reality Radar Chart.

Order the State of the Market Report for Consumer Virtual Reality.

Slideshare presentation for the Virtual Reality Radar chart.

Sign-up for Virtual Reality News Weekly

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