According to analyst firm IHS Markit, Sony's virtual reality headset PlayStation VR could sell 1.4 million units and generate $134 million in VR entertainment spending this year.
With the PlayStation VR launch imminent, PS4 players will soon get their chance to be part of the virtual reality gaming revolution. The list of launch titles, which includes Batman: Arkham VR and RIGS Mechanized Combat League, is surely set to draw early adopters in, as will the huge wave of hype surrounding the upcoming Sony device. But just how successful will the virtual reality headset be?
According to the analysts at IHS Markit, the answer is very. The firm says that following the PlayStation VR's launch, gamers should expect the headset to be in short supply as Sony works to keep up with the high demand. Demand will be so high, in fact, that IHS predicts that 1.4 million PS VR headsets will be sold by the end of 2016. Apparently, PS VR will also generate $134 million in spending on VR entertainment.
Piers Harding-Rolls, the director of games analysis at IHS Technology explains, "Sony is well positioned to build an early lead in the high-end VR headset race because of its large addressable market of 53 million PS4s by the end of 2016." Harding-Rolls also adds that "with VR content and users strongly aligned with the games market, Sony already has in place many of the components necessary to deliver to this new VR entertainment segment at the expense of its competitors."
IHS also suggests that consumers will spend over $11 billion on virtual reality gaming over the next few years, including $7.9 billion on VR headsets and another $3.3 billion spent on VR entertainment by 2020. This huge potential for profit perhaps explains why Sony is already working on new models for PlayStation VR and why Oculus is working on a mid-tier virtual reality headset in order to rival Sony.
However, the companies may have their work cut out in order to live up to IHS' lofty estimations. According to an Oculus executive, VR is "coasting on novelty." It's unclear just how long VR will be able to ride that wave, but both Oculus and Sony will have to put their thinking caps on if they are to give the industry some longevity.
Moreover, newly announced budget virtual reality headset, Google Daydream, will also pose competition as gamers ditch high-end specs for a more affordable alternative. Neither Sony nor Oculus will want to compromise much on the specs of their hardware, so how they compete with Google (as well as each other) will be interesting to see.
PlayStation VR is set to launch on October 13, 2016.