Sony executive Andrew House admits that he isn’t sure if Sony can produce enough PlayStation VR units to meet consumer demand during the headset’s launch.
During E3 2016, Sony announced that the long-awaited PlayStation VR headset would launch on October 13, 2016, with no less than fifty virtual reality titles in its launch day library. The news was met with an overwhelming positive reception, indicating that there is plenty of consumer interest in the PlayStation VR.
Though the excitement behind the platform is certainly a good thing for Sony, PlayStation executive Andrew House admitted that the the company’s mass production of headset may not be able to keep up with consumer demands, which may prompt amiibo-like supply shortages.
House explained the that it has been difficult for Sony to gauge consumer interest in the fledgling VR industry, which would explain why the company didn’t simply plan to pump out unit after unit from the get-go:
“We have growing confidence that we’ll be supply constrained with this product, but we’ll do our very best to meet demand. Virtual reality is a medium that’s in its infancy. With such a nascent, very new form of storytelling, it’s difficult to predict what user uptake is going to be.”
The device itself will retail for $400 USD, which is far less than both the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive. Gamers should note that the virtual reality headset also requires the PlayStation Camera accessory, which is why Sony also announced a $500 bundle which contains PlayStation VR, a PlayStation Camera, two PlayStation Move controllers, and the game PlayStation VR Worlds.
The affable price point could be game-changer for the VR industry, especially considering that there are upwards of 40 million PS4 owners around the globe, with each of them a potential VR gamer. In comparison, the numbers behind Oculus and Vive owners are much less, as those consumers need to have high-end PCs that can run the hardware-demanding software. If successful, Sony’s first foray into console-based virtual reality could truly bring the virtual reality concept to mainstream audiences, and justify the company’s gamble into the business.
House expects that the majority of PlayStation VR titles will retail for between $20-$40, though there will obviously be some outliers in the mix. During Sony’s E3 Press Conference, the company announced several high-profile games that would support the platform, ranging from the likes of Resident Evil 7 and Final Fantasy 15 to games like Batman: Arkham VR and the sci-fi first person shooter Farpoint.
To compete with Sony, Microsoft confirmed that the rumor-laden Project Scorpio console would be capable of playing VR titles, though the company shied away from revealing if they were indeed fully partnering with Oculus, or even producing their own headset.
Are you planning on getting a PlayStation VR when it becomes available?
The PlayStation VR is scheduled to launch on October 13, 2016.