If there was such a thing as a VR headset war akin to the console war, it looks like PlayStation VR would be winning it. For the first time, Sony has released sales numbers for their first foray into the VR hardware market, revealing that 915,000 PSVR headsets have been purchased as of February 19th.
In comparison, the top competitors to PSVR, the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive are estimated to have sold 243,000 and 420,000 units by the end of last year, respectively. Neither Oculus nor HTC have revealed their official sales numbers, with those figures coming from the SuperData Research firm.
In an interview with The New York Times, Andrew House, global chief executive of Sony Interactive Entertainment, said that he may have been a bit too cautious with production numbers of the PlayStation VR, which ended up being a scarce commodity in stores:
“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. You have to temper that with other voices inside the company, myself among them, saying let’s just be a little bit careful.”
House says Sony’s internal goal when PSVR launched in October was to sell one million units in six months, and with the revealed sales numbers so far and the demand that is continuing for the VR headset, it appears that Sony should have little trouble reaching that projection by the mid-April target date. The low stock in stores has been seen across the globe, including in Japan where the PSVR headset ended up being very popular and, as House says, has even caused lines to form outside stores when stock replenishes.
Virtual realty may not be a runaway hit or become ubiquitous with all gamers, but it is clearly covering some ground, especially where Sony’s hardware is concerned. That is likely due to the PSVR being linked to the PlayStation 4, which is one of the best selling consoles ever with 53.4 million consoles sold through to customers, with the expectation to hit the 60 million sold milestone this year.
Interestingly, House also said that with the release of Resident Evil 7 in January, which is a game that can be played completely with PSVR (and only on PSVR as a timed exclusive), the average amount of time players have spent with the PSVR has doubled. Clearly, there is the potential for VR to grow as more developers dedicate themselves to making experiences for VR, and with the large install base of PSVR, it could offer the financial incentive for some developers to do that.
PlayStation VR is available now.