Sony seems to be content with having no further investments in the portable gaming market, entirely focused on dominating our living rooms. Part of that effort is virtual reality, a market they currently dominate when it comes to sales, but the company isn’t quite comfortable with their cushy lead. Despite their position as market leader, Sony CEO Andrew House says others need to level the playing field.
In a conversation with Reuters, House confirmed that Sony’s gaming business is headed toward a $1.6 billion financial year through March. A significant chunk of those earnings involves the VR headset, which recently underwent a slight price reduction by including the PlayStation Camera in its bundle, but House recognizes that competition is better for the long term.
“With such a brand new category you want a variety of platforms all doing well to create that rising tide and create the audience,” he says. More competition is good for the consumer, giving them more options and forcing businesses to compete on price and content to make their individual offerings stand out. It’s also better for businesses too, in most situations, because it cultivates a market that lasts a lot longer and remains profitable during its life.
Sony could see a bit of competition from Microsoft’s upcoming line of Mixed Reality headsets from Acer, Lenovo, Dell, HP, and potentially Samsung, but we have no idea if these devices will be able to provide an experience that comes close to what PS VR, HTC Vive, or Oculus Rift provide. That being said, Vive and Rift are likely the competitors Sony hopes and/or expects will close the gap either with current VR headset iterations or new devices in the near future. The PS VR doesn't provide the complete experiences that the Vive and Rift are capable of reaching, but it benefits greatly from the simplicity of adding it to their install base of over 60 million PS4s. We’ll all just have to wait and see how things level out.