PlayStation VR2 launch sales have been disappointing, analyst firm IDC claims.
IDC (International Data Corporation) is an analyst firm that sells reports detailing its estimates of market size, market share, and unit sales of popular product categories. Analysts use sources in the supply chain, though their accuracy can vary wildly, especially for lower volume products.
IDC told Bloomberg News that Sony is “likely” to have sold only around 270,000 PSVR 2 units between launch and the end of March.
In October, Bloomberg reported Sony was producing 2 million units for launch. But in January, the outlet reported Sony was disappointed with pre-orders and projections were cut “dramatically”. When asked about this, Sony only responded “we have not cut PlayStation VR2 production numbers”.
The original PlayStation VR took just under 8 months to sell 1 million units, so it’s too early to tell whether PSVR 2 is doing better or worse. As more games were released for the platform and holiday seasons saw attractive discounts on hardware bundles, PSVR went on to sell over 5 million units, despite its clunky setup and shoehorned Move controllers.
Sony May Be Just Getting Started
PlayStation VR2 isn’t yet sold by retailers such as Amazon or Best Buy (other than in Canada) and thus isn’t available in stores either.
It’s also one of the only major PlayStation products to launch early in the year. Almost every console releases close to the holiday season. While it already has some wide-appeal titles like Horizon Call Of The Mountain and Resident Evil Village, the system doesn’t support some of the most popular titles of the original such as Skyrim VR and Star Wars Squadrons.
The timing might set up Sony to treat PSVR 2’s introduction as a soft launch, with bigger and better new games – and perhaps ports of old games – planned to release over the next few years.
Will There Be A Price Cut?
Of course, simply expanding availability and releasing more games won’t make a difference if people can’t actually afford it. At $550, PlayStation VR2 is the most expensive first-party console accessory in history, priced higher than the console itself.
While there are undoubtedly some expensive components in PSVR 2, such as the HDR OLED displays, it’s unlikely to cost anywhere near $550 to make. Given that cinema mode (sort of) works on PC there is some degree of onboard compute. But the lack of a full-fledged high-end mobile chipset with battery, storage, and RAM and the use of fresnel lenses suggests Sony may be making a decent profit on the hardware. There could be plenty of room for a price cut to boost demand.
Price cuts in response to weak sales aren’t exactly unheard of in the VR market. The original Oculus Rift with Touch dropped from $800 to as low as $350 over its lifetime, and Meta recently cut Quest Pro from $1500 to $1000 just 4 months after launch. Given the current cost of living crisis and IDC’s estimate, will Sony be next?