Fancy grabbing a VR headset? So do a lot of other people here in the UK.  According to UKIE, UK consumers spent over £100m on VR headsets for the first time, representing a 23.5% year-on-year rise. From their perspective, this was because both mobile and tethered console/PC headsets made their way into the mainstream; from mine, the Oculus sale earlier this year was very beneficial.

Other fun (but less relevant) stats include:

  • The UK games market has grown 12.4% in 2017 to a record £5.11bn
  • The digital games market has exceeded £1.5bn for the first time
  • The sale of physical boxed games has bucked recent trends to increase by 3.1%
  • UK mobile market revenues break the £1bn barrier

This is a grand story in itself – any story about the growth of VR is good to hear, though usually complemented with gloomy insights into how slow the pickup still is.

Canvas8 gave the peculiar insight that Gen Y experience hunters are fuelling VR growth in the UK, as they head to VR arcades. While that may be a factor, their hard evidence seems flimsy. The company stitched two insights together: that 53% of Gen Yers are interested in the tech according to YouGov; and the stats themselves.

Sure, Gen Y may be interested in the technology, though there is a difference between interest and ability to afford. That said, the popularity of VR arcades to provide experiences, for cheap, can provide any generation with new experiences. The new experiences are not necessarily restricted to a particular group.

Where VR will head is a mixed bag. Yes, the growth in the UK is low, but it is getting there and there are rumours that PlayStation are upgrading their VR tech while maintaining their great lead.

In any case, great to see the tech develop.

Tom Ffiske
Twitter@TomFfiske
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