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With several high profile virtual reality (VR) devices such as the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR being released in 2016, market researchers Newzoo have looked into likely demand for the pricey tech devices.
Newzoo's online survey of almost 35,000 people found that 11 percent of consumers aged 10-65 across 12 western countries intended to buy a VR device. Consumers in Spain, Italy and the US expressed the greatest intention to buy a device.
"At Newzoo, we have been relatively silent when it comes to VR. This has to do with our expectation that the lion's share of VR revenues will be generated by hardware sales, spectator content, and live viewing formats," said Peter Warman, CEO Newzoo, in a press release.
"Game software revenues from VR will remain marginal for the near future and be absorbed into current PC, TV/console and mobile game revenues."
Newzoo's research also found a significant correlation between those intending to buy a VR device and fans of video game competitions -- or e-sports. Almost half (45 percent) of U.S. consumers who are planning to get VR are e-sports enthusiasts and a further 18 percent occasionally viewed e-sports.
"Considering such a clear link between e-sports and interest in VR, it's surprising to see so few of the manufacturers investing in the space," the report said. "This is even more surprising when you consider that these fans are tech savvy and willing to spend on memorable experiences."
The research also found that, while only 7 percent of consumers in Canada were interested in buying VR, they were prepared to spend the most on the tech, with 28 percent of this group having spent more than $600 on hardware in the past 12 months. In comparison, only 14 percent of Spanish consumers spent that much on gaming hardware.
Most of the VR devices are planned to come out later in the year. The PlayStation VR will be released in October costing $399, while the Oculus Rift will have a price-tag of $599 and the HTC Vive will be $799. However, there is a lot of debate amongst analysts about how widely the devices will be adopted by consumers.
"It's difficult to predict the real adoption rate of VR games and the value of the market," Andrew Kitson, senior telecommunications analyst at BMI Research, told CNBC via email.
"BMI do not forecast sales of individual games platforms (hardware or software), but we do anticipate VR being one of several key drivers of sales over the next three to four years."
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