PlayStation VR Is Doing Better Than Expected, Sony Says

Image credit: Sony

PlayStation chief Andrew House told The New York Times late last week that PlayStation VR has sold 915,000 units as of February 19. That puts the device on a path to exceed the company's goal of one million sold in the first six months.

It's not difficult to meet expectations when they're set low, and Sony was clearly cautious when it came to making projections for the success of its new virtual reality technology. PSVR has been hard to find ever since it released last fall, with waves of pre-orders selling out quickly in the lead up to its release. In the months since it came out, getting the full bundle, including the headset, camera, and Move controllers, hasn't been easy.

"You literally have people lining up outside stores when they know stock is being replenished," House told the Times. That was the scene in at major retailers in Japan last month when stores had to create raffles to see who would purchase their available stock. This took the company by suprise, apparently. "We were expecting it to be a lot smaller than it has turned out to be," said House in the interview.

Image credit: Kaztsu

While Sony's biggest competitors in the virtual reality market, Facebook's Oculus and HTC's Vive, haven't released sales figures, The New York Times reports that the analysts at SuperData Research have estimated sales of 243,000 for the Oculus and 420,000 for the Vive. That would put PSVR ahead of both combined, which shouldn't be very surprising considering it's cheaper than both and can work using the PS4 instead of requiring a higher-end, stand-alone PC.

To put the PSVR sales numbers in perspective, PS4 sold over 5.3 million units in its first three months and before it had even been released in Japan. While the device has sold better than Sony predicted, it's unclear how much of that is because of higher than expected demand or simply because the company was never especially bullish on the new technology to begin with. PSVR notably lacked a meaningful presence at Sony's PlayStation Experience event last December, and the original torrent of games releasing for the hardware has slowed to a trickle.  

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Earlier this month, the head of PlayStation UK, Warwick Light, put forward a more optimistic view in an interview with GamesIndustry,

"Anyone that puts on a VR headset ... their minds start racing on what the possibilities are for this technology. As those experiences start to come online, it will create a stickiness for PlayStation VR."

Meanwhile, plenty of people who already own PSVR are looking for news that there will be more reasons to dust off their headset in the coming year. Resident 7 notably featured support for virtual reality to interesting effect, but it's the exception rather than the norm. And while Final Fantasy XV will eventually have virtual reality content, the game's director said earlier this month that it's still to early to say when that will be available.


    I want to get one for Summer Lesson and Miku, but apart from that I'm lukewarm on it.

      My partner bought me one for Christmas and I have really gotten genuine enjoyment out of it, but, and it is kind of a big but, PSVR needs games sooooooo badly. I understand games take time to develop... It's just without having more than really short experiences or games little more than tech demo's (RE7 being the exception so far, it was great in VR), the PSVR will stagnate and die.

      Edit: and be a waste of money....

      Last edited 27/02/17 5:52 pm

        Hmm, wondering whether the PS4 version of Elite Dangerous is going to support PSVR. Not sure I've heard anything about it, but that'd be a pretty good boon for the library.

          Would be a nice addition, in a similar space theme I do have EVE Valkyrie which is fairly good, it just lacks map variation and modes, two of three which are basically the same mode as well. Ties back in to the whole issue of replayability and game depth/length of experience, the same maps and modes get boring.

    One of the lucky early adopters of PSVR.
    It's been so many years since I got my first console (PSX) was it 1995? - PSVR has given me the same feeling of wonder and enjoyment that the PSX did all those years ago ( remember demo disc one? ahhhh) it's a very familiar nostalgic feeling, hard to put into words really.

    Last edited 27/02/17 7:46 pm

      My feeling of wonder is starting to wear thinner and thinner with it, I just need the games to offer something more. As of now, on rails shooters and really short puzzle experiences with little replay value are all there really is. What I want more than anything for PSVR is an open world RPG where I can be truly immersed in story and environment and go back to over and over..

        Not an open world RPG, but have you tried the new Psychonauts? I had a blast over the weekend.

        There just hasn't been enough time for anyone to make the open world RPG that everyone's been hoping for.

          I was checking psychonauts out but was hesitant to buy it, might give it a go now you've recommended it.

          have you given Resident evil 7 ago?
          I'm not a horror fan myself, but the game does show the true potential of what PSVR has to offer, excited for what's to come.

          Fairpoint is going to be sick!
          I know there are a few rpg's in the works too.

          Last edited 28/02/17 6:08 pm

            Same problem as you, I'm afraid. Looking forward to FarPoint.

      Yes, PSVR has given me waves of nostalgia. Gameboy, SNES, PSX all had it too. I remember playing Ridge Racer and wondering how a music CD could do these amazing 3D graphics. PSVR gives me the same feeling of how good the future of electronic entertainment is going to be. Don't get me started on Demo one, I spent hours controlling that T-Rex and Manta ray, I really miss the music visualizations that has come with every Playstation bar ps4.

      As for games Robinson was good, Eve is fun if you can stomach it. I absolutely love the Battlefront demo, and can't wait for more. I'm seeing lots of releases for the future and hope that developers take the risk for developing more "full" VR titles.

    Got the cash, but no compelling reason to drop it. It needs games that lift it above gimmick. And that could erupt from any of the platforms, so I'm biding my time.

      The games really are becoming an issue for me, most have little replay value once you've finished them the first time, I want to keep supporting this hardware by buying games for it but so few of them have genuinely been worth the dollars spent.

    I think they mean "did" better than expected.

    I'd love to see the sales figures since Christmas. I'd guess that they've completely flatlined, if you didn't buy one on hype and hope at launch then there's no reason you'd buy one now.

    Last edited 27/02/17 9:30 pm

      Unless you play someone else's PSVR system, and decide that you want one yourself. These things can have a knock-on effect, and it can be fairly significant. Of course, it won't be comparable to Christmas, but not many times of the year are.

      I work at JB hi Fi and we sell out very fast when we get some. We got 10 last week and sold the last one yesterday

    Yep, places are selling out of stock super quick.
    I can't even get stock for my own little store lol.

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