Early reviews on Sony's PlayStation VR said that the headset, while not as powerful as the computer-powered Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, is a great way for PlayStation 4 owners to jump into virtual reality, especially as the PlayStation VR taps into the video game console's rich gaming library.
Some analysts have expected that Sony will sell over 1.4 million units of the PlayStation VR by the end of 2016. It seems that Sony was not able to achieve this goal but is beating its own expectations for the virtual reality headset.
PlayStation VR Sales Performance
In an interview with the New York Times, Sony Interactive Entertainment global chief executive Andrew House revealed that as of Feb. 19, around 915,000 units of the PlayStation VR have been sold. The period encompasses four months since the virtual reality headset was launched in October 2016.
This is the first time that the sales figures for the PlayStation VR were revealed, with House adding that the internal goal of Sony was to sell 1 million units of the virtual reality headset over the first six months of the device, which will be by the middle of April this year.
With 915,000 units of the PlayStation VR already sold after four months, Sony will likely beat its internal target of 1 million units by mid-April.
Virtual Reality Doubts Shattered
The revelation of the sales figures and target sales of the PlayStation VR comes as House admitted in the interview that he was skeptical on how quickly virtual reality technology would find its footing in the mass market. When Sony was deciding on how many units of the virtual reality headset would be made, House was among those who were pushing for fewer units.
It turned out that House, along with Sony, was very cautious with the initial manufacturing run for the PlayStation VR. There has been a supply shortage on the virtual reality headset, especially in Japan, where people are still lining up outside stores that are getting their stocks of the PlayStation VR replenished.
With Sony's doubts on virtual reality now shattered with the sales performance of the PlayStation VR, the company is now moving ahead with expanding production of the device. According to House, improvements in the supply of the PlayStation VR will be seen starting April, with the virtual reality headset to also start selling in Latin America by fall.
The Future Of The PlayStation VR
The early sales figures of the PlayStation VR show promise for the device, especially compared to the performance of its more powerful rivals. While HTC and Facebook-owned Oculus have not released official sales figures for their respective virtual reality headsets, research firm SuperData estimates 243,000 units of the Oculus Rift and 420,000 units of the HTC Vive sold by the end of 2016. Both these figures are lower than the four-month sales figures of the PlayStation VR.
House claimed that he would be "very happy" if a high single-digit percentage of all PlayStation 4 owners would purchase the PlayStation VR. It is said that over 53 million units of the PlayStation 4 had been sold by the start of January, and for Sony to attract more PlayStation 4 owners to buy the virtual reality headset, they would need to take certain actions.
For one thing, Sony should try to make future versions of the PlayStation VR cheaper, lighter, and wireless, analysts claim. In addition, content creators will need to place a bigger focus on developing PlayStation 4 games with PlayStation VR support in mind.