PlayStation VR will cost $399 and launch this October, Sony confirmed at GDC this week, and the company is expected to dominate the remainder of the current console cycle with no response from Microsoft.
Macquarie Securities analyst Ben Schachter commented in a note today, as reported by GamesIndustry.biz, that they expect Sony to sell eight million units worldwide during its first two years of availability.
“We believe that today’s news from Sony is very positive for the development of more mass-market friendly VR ecosystems… We now believe that by holiday ’16, there will be VR hardware and software across multiple price points,” he commented.
Jesse Schell, another analyst, has predicted sales of four million by the end of its first year in 2017 while IHS Technology’s Piers-Harding Rolls expects 1.6 million PSVRs will be sold by the end of the year. This is partially as a result of supply constraints at launch.
Despite those constraints, PSVR is expected to seize a 64 percent share of the VR headset market’s installed base for 2016. This figure includes Oculus and Vive but not mobile VR. IHS predicts that 17 million consumers with high-end PCs will be targetable for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive by the end of the year while Sony will have an addressable market of up to 53 million PS4s by the start of 2017.
Schachter and Rolls both agree that Sony will have a distinct software advantage and the option to leverage its third party relationships with publishers and developers. Sony confirmed earlier this week that 230 developers are working on PSVR.
“Sony has launched multiple video game consoles over the past 20 plus years. It knows how to align retailers, developers, publishers, and others. It also knows how to market to consumers and deliver an experience that consumers love… While HTC and Facebook are focusing on a broad adoption of VR across social, entertainment, and enterprise, Sony’s PlayStation team is laser focused on games and entertainment. Having EA’s Star Wars Battlefront as an exclusive VR title is a positive and highlights Sony’s experience in gaming,” Schachter commented.
Schachter noted that given Microsoft’s HoloLens is years away from launch and is targeting enterprise rather than consumers, Sony will likely dominate the rest of the current console cycle without a response. “A big open question is, what will Microsoft do to respond? With Hololens still years away and focusing on enterprise, how will Microsoft Xbox compete with PlayStation VR in the near term? Without a response, we would expect Sony to utterly dominate the rest of the console cycle,” he said. “Additionally, Nintendo’s next console better have some particularly unique features if it hopes to be viable.”
PlayStation VR requires the PlayStation Camera and Move controllers. A bundle including them will be available in North America.