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Slideshare presentation: Virtual Reality Games by Genre

In support of the recent article publishing our Q3 update of Virtual Reality Games by Genre, here’s the accompanying Slideshare presentation. Included in this update are Samsung Gear VR games along with Oculus Rift, Durovis Dive and Project Morpheus.

The full version of the VR Software Radar chart can be ordered for free here.

 

Further information:

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…

Pricing

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‘.

Screen Shot 2014-07-01 at 09.41.58

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. Continue reading →

Slideshare presentation: Kids Virtual Reality Research

Related post: Kids See Potential Beyond Gaming for Virtual Reality.

Here’s a Slideshare presentation containing summary findings from our recent kids user testing research with the Oculus Rift. A full high-res version can be ordered here.

 

 

Kids See Potential Beyond Gaming for Virtual Reality (Part 1)

In March we conducted what we believe to be the first ever qualitative user testing research with kids and tweens using the Oculus Rift. The research (in conjunction with Dubit) was a series of six one-hour play sessions with pairs of boys and girls aged seven to 12.

Research Objectives

We wanted to investigate the following:

  • 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.

Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 17.22.01

We’ve got a Slideshare presentation here or a free summary report of our findings can be ordered here. The first set of our high-level findings are as follows: Continue reading →

Crossing the Chasm – Virtual Reality Launch Strategies for Mass Adoption

This is an article about the First Time User Experience (FTUE) for virtual reality headset users, managing the expectation levels of these users and ultimately how companies developing virtual reality headsets and platforms need to carefully plan for mass consumer adoption in order to get it right first time.

The State of the Market

The Virtual Reality market is at a critical stage in its evolution. 2014 has been a very big year for VR with several companies (large and small) announcing upcoming VR headsets. Coupled to this, the number of games being developed for VR is now well over 100 with developers ranging from AAA studios right down to enthusiasts creating content at home. Closing the loop, we’re now also seeing the ecosystem include companies developing input systems for hand gestures and full body VR control.

But just because this sector is seeing multi-million dollar investments flowing in to it doesn’t necessarily mean this market will be successful. This is because there’s one person yet to be invited to this party – the consumer.

Adoption Curves and Hype Cycles

Let’s start by determining ‘where we’re at’ in terms of market development. Shown below is the Technology Adoption Curve and the Gartner Hype Cycle – two visualisation tools used to demonstrate the various stages of consumer take-up of new technologies. We have indicated (the red circle) where we believe the Consumer Virtual Reality market currently sits on both curves.

kzero technology adoption curve and hype cycle

Looking at the Gartner Hype Cycle first, here are the five lifecycle phases (sourced from Wikipedia): Continue reading →

The Evolution of Virtual Worlds, Part Three. User Generated Spaces

We’re already up to part three in our series exploring how virtual reality will drive the future direction of the virtual worlds sector. Part one laid out the foundations of the market and part two explored Social Virtual Reality. Also, here’s a Slideshare presentation. In this article we’re diving in (literally) to User Generated Spaces.

Starting with a definition:

User Generated Spaces are virtual environments created by individuals for their personal use and enjoyment, accessed and explored using virtual reality.

This is a sector that is already massive in the browser, driven greatly by UGC VWs such as Second Life, IMVU and Minecraft. Interestingly, UGC activities in virtual worlds is popular across all age ranges. Minecraft has a user sweetspot in the tween and early teen bracket, IMVU appeals to late teens and the average age of a Second Life resident is late thirties.

Platforms and applications that have UGC functionality as a core mechanic are very engaging places due to two key activities, namely Crafting and Sharing.

‘Creating stuff’ takes time. People take great pleasure in crafting objects and environments which leads to session lengths measured in hours as opposed to minutes. And the output (i.e. what they create) is limited only by imagination. A quick Google image search using ‘Second Life’ or ‘Minecraft’ demonstrates the breadth of creation in existing virtual worlds. This includes real-world buildings and places right through to re-creations of movie sets. Basically, UGC allows people to create things they’re already interested in, as well as imagineer. Continue reading →

The Evolution of Virtual Worlds, Part One.

This is the first in a series of four posts exploring how virtual reality will drive the future evolution and direction of virtual worlds towards Social Virtual Reality – what we’re calling ‘Virtual Worlds 3.0′.

It’s important to lay-out in the first instance how we got to today, moving through VW1.0 and 2.0. Using the definition of ‘a real-time multi-user virtual environment that can not be altered by the user’, VW1.0 was heavily driven by the KT&T (Kids, Tweens and Teen) market, with registered account growth from this segment reaching 1bn in 2013 and an active user base in excess of 250m account globally. (Note that we’re focussing more on social VWs rather than game-based MMORPGs and the like).

The graphic below (the KZero Universe chart) visualises the tween and teen segment of the virtual worlds marketplace.

kzero universe q2 2014 seg2

Many of these virtual worlds have amassed multi-million registered account bases by creating immersive environments based around activities such as socialisation, avatar dress-up, multi-player experiences questing and exploration. And, in many ways these virtual worlds have proved popular because they offere ‘visual social networking’ (via avatars) before the concept of mainstream social networking as we know it today. They offer users the ability to be in the same ‘place’ at the same time as other people, albeit with in most cases a 2.5D perspective, viewed via web-browser.

Screen Shot 2014-05-12 at 14.18.45In addition to existing IP branded platforms such as Playstation Home, Build-a-Bearville, Barbie World and Fusion Fall being popular, brand-new IPs such as Moshi Monsters, Club Penguin and Poptropica demonstrated the appetite for younger users to explore in and engage with virtual worlds.

Importantly, a key differentiator between this stage of the market (VW1.0) and the next, was the fact that users had no or little control over the environment – the virtual world could not be modified by them. In other words, User Generated Content (UGC) was not possible, which leads us to VW2.0.

We classify the second evolutionary stage of the virtual worlds market as VW 2.0, defined as a ‘A VW that allows the user to create/modify their environment’. By this of course we mean UGC….

Interestingly, some UGC-based virtual worlds actually existed before some of the more popular VW 1.0 platforms, with Second Life being the most prominent one. But, it was not until Minecraft became a global phenomenon that the concept of creating ‘virtual stuff’ hit the headlines and continues to do so. The advent of UGC worlds such as Minecraft, Roblox and Stardoll pushed global registered accounts up to 1.3bn and active users to 350m. Continue reading →

12 Key Sectors for Virtual Reality Applications. Q2 2014 KZero VR Radar.

Back in January we released our first ever Virtual Reality Radar Chart showing 12 key sectors for consumer VR. Three months on, there’s been a lot of activity in the space with both independent developers, Kickstarter-backed and more established studios releasing and announcing content for (mainly) Oculus Rift users. Here’s a segment of the updated Virtual Reality Radar for Q2 2014 showing Role Playing Games (RPG), Simulation/Exploration and First Person Shooters (FPS).

virtual reality radar q2 2014 seg4The RPG segment has seen the most activity in Q1 2014, particularly within the Horror genre.  Immersive and atmospheric experiences with scary storylines are highly suitable for virtual reality and we expect even more developers to enter this segment of the market.

Other games of note within the RPG segment include Asunder: Earthbound (a cinematic adventure game set in a fictional 1930′s universe aboard a passenger airplane) and Wander (a non-combat, non-competitive, collaborative multiplayer game for PS4 and PC with Oculus Rift support).

The Simulation and Exploration category is also seeing new entrants and ongoing activity. This category includes games based around underwater experiences, with Ocean Rift and World of Diving being great examples  along with upcoming releases such as Into the Deep Blue.

Two other experiences to mention in the Simulation and Exploration group are K&L Station (‘A Cinematic Hugo meets the 5th element’) and Riverside Residence from Arch Virtual, demonstrating how virtual reality can be used in the architectural market.

The last category in this segment is First Person Shooters (FPS). As shown above, this group has the lowest number of games in it at present, but is expected to be a key focus for Sony’s Project Morpheus. One of the demos shown by Sony at GDC, The Castle is an early prototype of this genre.

The high-res full version of the Virtual Reality Radar Chart can be ordered here. We’ve also put this presentation into Slideshare.

Within our Radar analysis we’ve also assessed growth areas across the 12 categories. Shown below is the segment for Social Worlds, User Generated Content (UGC) and Mirror Worlds.

virtual reality markets q2 2014 seg2Social Worlds are virtual reality applications allowing person to person interaction in real-time – a virtual world in virtual reality. This will be a key area of focus for Facebook following their $2bn acquisition of Oculus VR as well as other companies seeking to exploit the opportunities presented by Social Worlds. One prime contender in this space is High Fidelity, the start-up headed by Philip Rosedale (founder of Second Life). During 2015 we anticipate commercial launches targeting  adults, with KT&T (Kids, Tweens and Teens) having to wait until 2016.

User Generated Content VR applications is another exciting segment – imagine being able to build (and share) brand-new objects, buildings and worlds in a virtual reality environment. We expect 2015 to be a great year for UGC in VR and with Minecraft pulling out of a planned VR version (although you can still play Minecraft using Minecrift) there is a major opportunity for companies to enter this vertical.

The high-res full version of the Virtual Reality Radar Chart can be ordered here. We’ve also put this presentation into Slideshare.

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

Further information:

 

 

 

 

Forecast: 200k Virtual Reality Headset Units Sold By End of 2014. $60m Market Size.

Announcements made at GDC last week by Sony and Oculus have helped to firm-up the state of the consumer virtual reality market in 2014. For those of you who didn’t catch the GDC news…..

  • Oculus confirmed that the second iteration of the developer kit (DK2) will be shipping in June/July 2014.
  • Sony showcased Project Morpheus, their VR headset. However, this will not be shipping in 2014 and instead is rumoured to be available early 2015.

Back in January we released our State of the Market report and accompanying market sizing analysis. In this market sizing assessment we forecasted a total of 200k VR headset units sold in 2014, yielding a  market value of $60m (at an average sales price of $300). It looks like our forecast was pretty accurate for the following reasons:

  • Oculus has sold 75k DK1 units to date (with sales now suspended for this version). Of this 75k, circa 25k were sold in 2014 (we estimate).
  • We expect the vast majority of DK1 buyers to purchase DK2.
  • With interest in VR and Oculus continuing to grow through 2014, we forecast at least 100k new sales (from new buyers) in 2014 once DK2 is released. This is a prudent estimate.

Screen Shot 2014-03-23 at 16.32.27Our five year unit sales forecast is shown right. Post 2014, our forecast is based on the following assumptions:

  • In 2014 Oculus is the only company selling a virtual reality headset. So, our 2014 forecast numbers for the market is essentially a forecast for Oculus.
  • Sony enters the market Q1 2015 with a consumer version of Project Morpheus.
  • Oculus also launches their consumer version (CV1) in Q1 2015.
  • Microsoft and potentially three other major companies enter the market towards the end 2015. We anticipate Samsung, Apple, Google and LG to be in the mix here.
  • Other hardware start-ups launch consumer VR headsets throughout 2015  and 2016.
  • Hardcore gamers and Innovators drive initial sales (these are the people purchasing DK1 and 2).
  • Early adopters and light gamers boost sales supported by the Early Majority and the Teen market from 2015, ramping up from 2016 onwards.

Total unit sales in 2015 is forecasted at 5.7m, rising to 10.9m in 2016 with the VR market establishing itself as a serious contender in the global gaming and entertainment marketplaces. Over the full five year period of 2014 to 2018, we forecast total cumulative unit sales of 56.8m.

Our Slideshare presentation containing more detailed market forecasts for consumer virtual reality is shown below. For more insight into the Virtual Reality market you can order our State of the Market report for free here.

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