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PlayStation VR Popularity Surprises Sony Executives

PlayStation VR ships almost a million units since launch, to Sony the surprise of Sony executives

Sony have shipped almost a million PlayStation VR headsets since the device launched in October 2016. However, it has been no secret that there were stock shortages around Christmas, and Sony have revealed some details on the reasons for this.

Global Chief Executive of Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE), Andrew House, admits he initially advised caution in the amount of PlayStation VR head-mounted displays (HMDs) should be manufactured. He said in an interview with the New York Times; “It’s the classic case in any organization — the guys who are on the front end in sales are getting very excited, very hyped up,” Mr. House said. “You have to temper that with other voices inside the company, myself among them, saying let’s just be a little bit careful.”

PlayStation VR Group shot

This caution may have been one of the reasons HMDs were somewhat scarce in stores, especially in Japan. There was also a statement from Sony stating that they were having problems with some of the components for the OLED display, which also slowed down distribution. There have been reports of consumers lining up outsides Japanese stores when stock is replenished for the opportunity to buy one of the headsets. Prices for used PlayStation VR’s online also took a huge jump, sometimes selling for almost double the original retail price.

The PSVR sales figures have been revealed as being 915,000 units sold as of Feb. 19. Official figures from HTC Vive and Oculus Rift have not been released, but analysts at SuperData Research estimates that there were 243,000 Oculus Rift headsets and 420,000 HTC Vive headsets sold by the end of last year.

The PlayStation 4 (PS4) has a current install base of more than 53 million people, and Mr. House mentioned he would be “very happy” if the PSVR was purchased by even a high single-digit percentage of all PS4 users, but he, like many other analysts, believes that future headsets will need to be lighter, cheaper and not encumbered by cables if they are to reach the biggest audience possible.

As always, VRFocus will bring you more information on the PSVR when it is available.

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