Sony has at last revealed how many of its virtual reality systems have been sold since October’s launch.
Sony Interactive Entertainment boss Andrew House told The New York Times that as of February 19th sales of the headset had reached 915,000 worldwide.
This puts PSVR on track to beat the internal sales goal of 1m units by the middle of April, although it should be noted that at one stage this estimated number was higher.
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,” 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.”
Sales would almost certainly have been higher, too, had the peripheral been more readily available. In the UK PSVR remained hard to come by on the High Street for some time and even now can be quite tricky to track down in the flesh, although it can normally be found online.
House has said that supplies of the device will improve by April, adding: You literally have people lining up outside stores when they know stock is being replenished.”
The number places PSVR as the leader of the VR pack, with SuperData estimates for the end of 2016 pegging HTC Vive sales at 420k units and Oculus Rift at 243k.
PSVR isn’t able to compete in raw technology terms with either Vive or Rift, but does better them on price, costing just 350. Even if you add in a PS4, that still brings the total to somewhere between 550-650 depending on whether you also need a camera and Move controllers.
By contrast, Vive and Oculus cost over 700 including controllers, and both require heavy duty PCs worth in the region of 1,000.
On the software side, Sony has a number of exclusive titles, most notably the PSVR compatible Resident Evil VII – a title which has seen the hours spent in PSVR among owners double, according to House.
Vive and Oculus have their own exclusives, of course, and being on PC they are also supported by a thriving indie community. Vive in particular sees titles arrive weekly, although few of them rate highly among users.