The PlayStation VR was a risky prospect for Sony. As a relatively pricey (£350) add-on for the PS4, centred on technology that’s still a niche to the mainstream, it could have been an expensive blunder for the gaming company. Instead, it’s been a bigger success than Sony hoped.
Speaking to the New York Times, Sony Interactive Entertainment chief executive Andrew House revealed sales for the VR headset hit 915,000 on February 19.
That figure exceeds what already looked to be a warm reception for the PS4 peripheral. Earlier this month, analytics firm SuperData estimated the PSVR had shipped 750,000 unitssince launch.
In fact, the PSVR has been so popular, it even caught Sony off guard.
“It’s the classic case in any organisation – the guys who are on the front end in sales are getting very excited, very hyped up,” House said. “You have to temper that with other voices inside the company, myself among them, saying ‘let’s just be a little bit careful’.”
House added that he would be happy if a “single digit” percentage of PlayStation 4 owners adopted the PlayStation VR. Given the console has sold 53.4m units as of December 2016, even a five per cent adoption rate would translate into 2.67m headsets sold.
Sony aims to sell one million units globally by April, six months after the
headset originally launched. That target seems to be on track to be exceeded – if there’s stock.
“You literally have people lining up outside stores when they know stock is being replenished,” House said, describing shortages in Japan.
In an increasingly crowded virtual realitymarket, Sony’s effort is still in an overall second place to Samsung’s Gear VR, which has currently shifted in excess of 4.51m units worldwide. However, Gear is a more entry-level focused mobile VR experience, generally sold at much lower prices. Compared to high-end VR rivals HTC Vive and Oculus – which SuperData predicted had shipped 420k and 250k units respectively, Sony comes out on top.
However, Samsung could be aiming to extend its reach beyondmobile VR, with the reveal of Samsung Gear VR with Controller at MWC 2017. The wand-like controllers will allow the headset to offer more immersive games with deeper controls in future.