Why it matters to you
The VR space is looking healthy, but more affordable headsets are the ones winning over consumers.
Sony’s PlayStation VR might be the weakest of the major headsets out on the market, but it’s by far the most popular. In an interview with the New York Times, President and Global CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment Andrew House revealed official sales numbers for PSVR, and it’s surprisingly high.
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As of Feb. 19 PSVR has sold a stellar 915,000 units after being on the market for just four months. Compared to data from SuperData Research, both Facebook’s Oculus Rift and Valve’s HTC Vive have 234,000 and 420,000 unit sales respectively by the end of 2016. Both headsets were released 6-7 months prior to PSVR.
House was particularly surprised, as he was pushing for Sony to manufacture fewer units before launch. “It’s the classic case in any organization — the guys who are on the front end in sales are getting very excited, very hyped up,” said House. “You have to temper that with other voices inside the company, myself among them, saying let’s just be a little bit careful.”
This is probably why some consumers have been having difficulty buying Sony’s virtual reality headset. “You literally have people lining up outside stores when they know stock is being replenished,” said House in regards to the situation in Japan.
Sony set a goal to sell one million PSVR’s by April, and considering it’s less than 100,000 units away in February, it will most likely reach it with ease. The company is also working on replenishing stock as quickly as possible.
Sony set itself apart in the VR space by making it relatively more affordable than Oculus or Vive. All consumers needed was a PlayStation 4, ranging from $300 to $400, and a PSVR with a few accessories for $500. Both Oculus and Vive start at $600 and $800 respectively and require beefy gaming PC’s to run. Granted, the latter headsets offer a higher quality VR experience.
With PSVR currently dominating the space, it will be interesting to see what both Facebook and Valve do to bring in new customers.