The VR gaming space is easily one of the toughest places to make success happen. After all, while many people claim that they want to see the “virtual world through their own eyes,” there are few good and affordable options to enable that “dream” to come true. Many competitors have tried to make it happen, but results have been minimal at best. Enter PlayStation with their VR headsets. Their first one was the most successful VR headset by a wide margin, and their hopes for the PSVR2 were high, as they wanted to prove that the VR space could be successful over time.
However, when the PSVR2 launched in February, the sales were reportedly not good. To the extent that projections for the headset were cut in half to ensure that it wasn’t seen as a total failure. Sony didn’t comment on anything for some time until a webcast that dropped on Tuesday. During it, as noted by VGC, they claimed that the headset sold 600,000 units in its first six weeks on the market.
The key figure here is that, according to Sony, the original PSVR sold 8% fewer units during that same amount of time. So that would mean that its follow-up did better than it did at launch. But is that the only thing to consider here?
Not exactly. First, while doing better than what came before is impressive, an 8% increase isn’t that much. The point of a follow-up is to do leagues better than the last version and show that you’ve built up your audience so that it can further expand and you can get more sales. That’s not exactly what happened here.
Plus, it still doesn’t account for how Sony hoped to have sold millions during this first quarter of life, and yet it won’t come close to that.
So why is it that the PlayStation VR headsets aren’t doing what Sony feels they could? The simple answer is that they haven’t proven that this is the “definitive space for games” and have the titles to back it up. Not to mention, you could buy the headset and the game for the same price as a PS5, but the PS5 will have more games and better experiences and doesn’t need to have a “safe zone” to play it in.
In many ways, virtual reality gaming and experiences are still experimental. People are curious about it but not necessarily willing to buy into it.
Until that change happens, sales numbers like these will be the norm.