HTC: ‘Ready Player One’ Boosted Interest in VR in China

People who watched the Steven Spielberg movie “Ready Player One” had more desire to buy or upgrade a virtual reality headset than those who hadn’t seen it, HTC China president Alvin Wang Graylin said on Twitter Wednesday.

“@readyplayerone has significantly positive impact on intent for VR purchase in next 12 months,” he wrote.

Graylin presented his findings this past week during a talk on iQIYI, an online video platform based in Beijing that some call “The Chinese Netflix.” Based on a recent Chinese market survey, he added, casual VR users predominantly use the device to watch video, especially on mobile, while “premium” users on PC or all-in-one devices prefer to play video games.

Ready Player One,” which is based on the novel by author Ernest Cline, is a dystopian sci-fi tale about gamers competing for control of a virtual world. Jefferies equity analyst Mark Lipacis told Variety prior to its launch that since VR is heavily featured throughout the movie, “Ready Player One” could spark interest in the market.

“We believe that the movie will drive sales of VR headsets that require high-performance GPUs [graphics processing units] from chip-makers Nvidia and AMD,” he wrote in a research note. “‘Ready Player One’ has the potential to appeal to an electronics-game savvy audience that is motivated to have a more immersive experience.”

The film has earned more than $500 million since its release on March 29. An estimated $200 million came from China alone. The film took in around $61 million during its opening in the Chinese market, and it’s now the 10th-largest earner for Warner Bros. in that country.

It’s earned more than $120 million domestically.

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