Sony plans to increase production of the PlayStation VR headset, according to an interview with Immersive Technology Group Director Simon Benson. The headset has proven a success, in terms quickly selling out limited supply of VR headsets made available to the public at launch. However, PlayStation VR units have remained scarce since then and Sony’s shown little inclination towards increasing hardware production. That is, until now.
Benson says that Sony was “optimistic” about introducing VR onto the PlayStation platform. However, he noted that it’s “only when you launch” that reality sets in. Considering Sony’s issues with PlayStation VR stock at launch, it’s difficult to discern how optimistic the company truly was, or at least how that optimism was tempered with risk. And considering Benson says that launch confirmed the company’s optimism, that doesn’t really explain why it has taken so long for hardware production to increase.
Increased manufacturing of hardware is coming, though, says Benson. Note that Benson clearly says the increase is planned, however, rather than already put into motion:
“It is still very early days, but we have a better feel for the demand for VR gaming and so we are planning to increase production. This is a really positive sign for the future of VR gaming and I’m looking forward to seeing even more people getting their hands on their own PlayStation VR headset and entering this new world.”
For now, PlayStation VR headsets are beginning to grow more available. Retailers including Amazon, Best Buy and others are currently consistently holding stock of the headset. Perhaps that can be attributed to the relative lack of new game announcements for PlayStation VR since the headsets launch this past holiday season. But more cynical voices are of the belief that the launch surge of sales was a one-time event and it’s unclear whether the public is ready to truly adopt VR for gaming.
Whether the public is ready or not, it’s perhaps wise of Sony to play a bit of a waiting game. While Nintendo might be able to get away with increasing Switch manufacturing during the summer months, historically that’s been a bad decision. Sony may be targeting a surge of hardware for the holiday season, which may come with a new wave of VR releases. That way Sony can also work out some clever marketing pushes, like a bundle or price drop for the currently $400 headset.
Expect more information on the PlayStation VR headset and Sony’s plans for VR going forward during E3 and the marketing spree that surrounds the event. While VR skepticism is on the rise, it very much sounds like Sony has nothing but optimism about the medium’s future.
Source: MCV UK