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Articles - April 3, 2019

The PSVR is Printing Money

Well, Sony is making a bunch of money these days.

And one of the pillars of their success happens to be the PSVR, which is not only outselling the competition but continues to post impressive numbers, quarter after quarter.

Of course, there’s a range of explanations for this, but first we’ll get to the numbers.

Gizmodo reports that Sony claims to have sold 4.2 million PSVR units since its launch.

That’s actual units moved at retail, not just shipped.

For some perspective, PSVR sold 463,000 units in Q4 2018 alone while the runner up from Oculus Rift moved some 300,000 units.

PlayStation social media chief Sid Shuman wrote of the sales success, “We’re also very excited to reveal that we have officially sold-through more than 4.2 million PS VR systems worldwide as of March 3, 2019…We’d like to thank our fans for the amazing support for helping us achieve the milestone.”

Part of the reason for the PSVR’s amazing success is the relative ease with which it can be used.

Other headsets often require expensive computer rigs or are prohibitively expensive themselves.

On top of that is the need for IP and unique video games.

Here Sony has a particular advantage over the competition because it has the PlayStation 4 console which naturally attracts developers.

As one of the largest profit centers for Sony, having the PSVR as yet another pillar of the segment is probably good news to the company’s investors.

But it is also good news for fans of VR as well.

For two reasons, namely: One, success at Sony is a rising tide floats all ships type of phenomenon and, two, it keeps the VR market attractive to others because someone is making money.

As to the first reason, if more developers make IP for the PSVR, then there is a greater likelihood that those games will make it to other headsets. Regarding the second reason, well, it’s kind of like the gold rush mentality: If one person is making money, others will attempt to do so as well.

Or, as Venture Beat explains: “PlayStation is also a globally recognized gaming brand with numerous developer partnerships. The publisher has leveraged those relationships to bring big-name VR experiences to the PSVR first. That includes hits like Tetris Effect and Resident Evil 7. And that’s on top of its first-party efforts like Farpoint and Astro Bot: Rescue Mission.”

What really has people excited about PSVR’s success is that it underpins reports that Sony is going all-in for the next-gen PlayStation when it comes to VR. If the current generation’s success is any indication of the company’s future plans, you can bet your bottom dollar that Sony will want to bring a sequel out – and soon.

So all those people who like to naysay VR and proclaim its imminent demise should probably give the folks over at Sony a call and see what’s up. After all, it’s like Sony and VR critics are living in two different worlds but only one person is cashing the checks from their efforts.

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