Sony's newest piece of hardware, PlayStation VR, enjoys an extremely prosperous debut week in Japan, outselling every other console currently on the market.
PlayStation VR has topped the hardware sales chart in Japan after its first week of availability. The only system that could even come close to the headset was the PlayStation 4 itself, which was still 20,000 units behind the leader of the pack.
The headset managed to sell 51,644 units between October 10 and October 16, while the PlayStation 4 console sold 30,154 units. It's worth noting that PlayStation VR launched in Japan on October 13, meaning that it had less than a week to record these undeniably impressive sales figures.
With PlayStation VR on the market, there are now three compelling options for anyone looking to dive into virtual reality content — the other two being the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift. 2016 has seen VR go from a niche interest to something approaching the mainstream, and 2017 looks set to serve up another huge increase in popularity.
The fact that PlayStation VR is tied to a home console rather than the PC ecosystem seems to have had a profound impact on sales. The ease of set-up and cheaper cost of entry seems to have convinced many existing PlayStation 4 owners to pick up the headset, and prompted many more consumers to invest in the system and the headset at the same time.
This week, it was revealed that the HTC Vive has sold 140,000 units since its launch in April 2016, a figure reported by Forbes. That stat should put the Sony's achievement of over 50,000 units in three days into context — especially given that the Vive sales are worldwide, rather than limited to just one region.
It's too early to call PlayStation VR a success, because launch sales are always going to taper off in the weeks that follow. However, the headset's strong initial performance highlights the wisdom of cornering the market for console VR as early as possible.
Microsoft will surely be looking at these sales figures with great interest, and considering whether Project Scorpio should have a particular focus on VR support. However, even if Microsoft does have a last-minute change of heart in relation to VR on the Xbox One, it's clear that Sony has already claimed important ground with PlayStation VR.
The market for VR headsets has certainly become a lot more competitive now that Sony's offering is on the scene. There are still some lingering doubts about how big an impact this tech will have on the video game industry as a whole, but if it does take off, it's fair to say that Sony has a major head start over its direct competition.
PlayStation VR is available now.