Valve and HTC's collaboration on the Vive has turned out to be an early success, with the device earning praise for its advanced virtual reality technology. The first of the Vives are expected to ship later this year, although only in limited quantities. Before they sent out the first batch, however, Valve decided to quiz 2,008 potential customers on how they plan to use the HTC Vive.
Valve took to its SteamVR forum and promoted a SurveyMonkey.com questionnaire for its members to take. Based on the survey's content, it seems Valve was looking for answers on how consumers intended to incorporate the HTC Vive into their homes. Questions ranged from what room specifically users are anticipating having their VR systems located to whether or not the Vive will cause them to change rooms. The HTC device is a unique product that allows gamers to travel through virtual reality while actually moving about a room. Though impressive, that functionality depends on what users are willing to do to accommodate the Vive.
According to the survey, 32% of users are planning to store and operate their VR system in their room while a smaller 29% are giving it space in their living rooms. Generally, it seems that the HTC Vive would be most enjoyable in the open space a living room is more likely to provide than a bedroom. Interestingly, 14% of the survey takers expressed a motive to use VR right from the office. Only 7% suggested they would set aside a room specifically for the HTC Vive though ideally this setup would provide for the best experience. Developers for the new device are optimizing their content to work well in areas in a range from the size of a desk to a full-size room, but the HTC Vive best displays its talents when the user is able to walk around and really immerse themselves in the fantasy around them.
Valve's VR system requires a computer in order to power the headset, meaning the technicalities continued. When asked whether or not they would consider moving their computer to another room for the HTC Vive, a majority of 70% declined. A much smaller group of 15% said they would. Also, almost 43% intend to continue using their current computer for VR, while 34% and 20% said they would add hardware upgrades or purchase a new computer, respectively. It isn't clear how much the computer used for the Vive will affect its performance.
HTC and Valve seem to have a potential home run on their hands if they can figure out how to make the experience enjoyable for the masses. This survey presents the hard facts as they pertain to VR and making it possible for the HTC Vive to cater to all its different users will help determine how successful it is and whether VR is here for the long haul.