PlayStation VR Surpasses 1 Million Units Sold

Sony hoped to achieved its goal of cracking the one-million marker by mid-April.

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Sony has sold more than one million PlayStation VR devices, according to an announcement the company made today (via The Verge). PSVR debuted last October and had sold 915,000 units as of February.

Reaching the vaunted one-million-sold milestone puts PlayStation VR even further ahead of Oculus Rift and HTC Vive—which, according to industry market research firm SuperData, sold 243,000 and 420,000 by the end of 2016, respectively—but still a far cry from the five million Gear VR units that Samsung has sold.

Sony Interactive Entertainment America's Shawn Layden, president and CEO, seemed reserved about PSVR's success. "It's still just a million units," he said. As a frame of reference, Sony has sold over 50 million PlayStation 4 consoles, making PSVR's adoption look quite small.

Nevertheless, Layden is optimistic, expecting high sales through the end of the year thanks to greater availability—a critical ingredient in any product's recipe for success that eluded Sony last holiday. "We'll have freer supply in the marketplace. We got to a point around [last] Christmas where you would be hard-pressed to find VR anywhere. So we dialed back some of our promotional activity at that time because we didn't want to be promoting a platform for people to find out they couldn't get it. I didn't want to create more unhappy customers."

PSVR might be doing even better if not for a paucity of software. The VR headset launched with a flurry of short but impressive games last fall. Layden cited data showing that users have purchased 5.25 million PSVR games and played an average of 25 minutes a session. That stream of releases thinned to a trickle rather quickly, something Sony hopes to correct sooner rather than later.

"When a new console or a new platform launches, there's a lot of activity driving launch day," said Layden. "And then there's the inevitable lull between that and the next launch of titles. I think we're seeing that happening now. Farpoint is the lead of that, and we'll be talking about a number of other titles at E3."

Another sticking point that could be causing some consumers to hold off on PSVR is its lifecycle. PS4 turns four years old this November. Before last generation—PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii—most platforms lasted between four to five years. Layden and Sony are still trying to prognosticate where PSVR will be a year from now, let alone in five or more.

"We're still trying to understand exactly what people are going to want to do in that medium," Layden said. "It's hard to make predictions about it. People will want it to be smaller, lighter, wireless — these are all things we're looking at from a conventional iteration process. But I don't presume to be able to tell you what VR is going to look like in the year 2018 or 2019. We're going to find out together as we go along."" 

Long Reads Editor
From The Chatty
  • reply
    June 5, 2017 3:45 PM

    David Craddock posted a new article, PlayStation VR Surpasses 1 Million Units Sold

    • reply
      June 5, 2017 4:46 PM

      I've been itching to get one of these things but the point in the article "PS4 turns four years old this November" makes me worried this would not be a good purchase this late. I want to join in on the hilarity of Star Trek Bridge crew.

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        June 5, 2017 5:18 PM

        What? Isn't the average console life cycle 7 years?

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          June 5, 2017 5:21 PM

          I mean we got PS4 Pros and the Scorpio for a reason, the whole point is to extend this cycle.

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            June 5, 2017 6:30 PM

            Sorry I haven't been following gaming news as much lately. I thought it was about every 5 years for the next console.

            Debating between psvr, occulus or htc vive.

            PSVR is intriguing because my living room is too bright to play anything in the day. And cheaper.

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              June 6, 2017 6:23 AM

              Wasn't the last generation like 7 or 8 years?

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                June 6, 2017 6:49 AM

                That was an anomaly, although I expect it to happen again. From the SNES era through the Xbox/PS2/GameCube era, consoles lasted approximately five years. Technology was changing fast enough to justify moving on to new hardware. Last gen lasted eight years (Xbox 360 debuted in November 2005, a year ahead of PS3 and Wii, and lasted until November 2012) in large part because development was so expensive and the install base so large that to move on earlier than that would have meant losing money.

                I expect this gen will last 7-8 years. Moreover, I think its duration will depend largely on PS4 Pro and Scorpio. PS4 Pro was by and large a nominal jump over the PS4. If Scorpio is as powerful as Microsoft claims, and if it performs well enough to eat into Sony's (admittedly huge) lead at market, Sony might feel tempted to kick off a new generation with the PS5 sooner rather than later.

                Meanwhile Nintendo's selling Switches left and right and doesn't give a fuck about any of that. lol.

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      June 5, 2017 5:03 PM

      Nice! The install base is getting there!

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        June 5, 2017 5:04 PM

        More peeps attracting more titles attracting more peeps and before you know it, VR is BIG!

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      June 6, 2017 6:22 AM

      They would sell more if they invested in more games. Farpoint doesn't look like a system seller to me unfortunately and they hardly marketed it.