February 27, 2017 - 11:50 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Sony has revealed PlayStation VR’s sales for the first time, saying consumers had purchased 915,000 of the headsets as of Feb. 19, roughly four months after it went on sale, The New York Times reports.
Andrew House, global chief executive of Sony Interactive Entertainment, the video game division of the Japanese electronics giant, had doubts about how quickly virtual reality would be embraced by the mass market. So when Sony needed to decide how many of its virtual reality headsets to manufacture, House was among those inside the company advising that Sony make fewer of them.
“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.”
It turns out House was too cautious. The headset, PlayStation VR, has been scarce in many stores, especially in Japan, since it went on sale in October. In an interview at his Silicon Valley office on Friday, House revealed PlayStation VR’s sales for the first time, saying consumers had purchased 915,000 of the headsets as of Feb. 19, roughly four months after it went on sale.
Sony’s internal goal was to sell one million of the headsets in its first six months, by mid-April. The company will almost certainly surpass that forecast. “You literally have people lining up outside stores when they know stock is being replenished,” said House, describing the scene in Japan, one of the largest games markets.
House said the supply of PlayStation VR headsets will improve by April. By fall, Sony expects to begin selling them in Latin America.
The sales figure is a positive sign for virtual reality and probably establishes Sony as the leader in the premium side of the market — headsets connected to PCs and game consoles that provide more immersive experiences than are currently possible through inexpensive headsets that use smartphones for visuals.
Sony’s primary competitors, Oculus from Facebook and HTC, have not disclosed sales of their premium headsets. One research firm, SuperData Research, estimates there were 243,000 Oculus Rift headsets and 420,000 HTC Vive headsets sold by the end of last year.
In contrast, during the iPhone’s first three months on the market in 2007, nearly 1.4 million units were sold, and it is considered to be among the most successful technology products of all time.