The Playstation VR headset is selling better than the company originally anticipated. When the device went on sale last October, Sony was cautious in its rollout. But speaking to The New York Times, it’s now offered the first concrete numbers for how well the device has been selling, providing a glimpse onto the overall health of the VR marketplace.
The Times spoke with Sony Interactive Entertainment’s global chief executive, Andrew House, who revealed that Sony had sold 915,000 headsets since the product’s launch last October. Sony had planned to sell a million devices by the middle of April this year, and is likely to pass that goal. The popularity of the headsets has meant that the device has been difficult to find in stores. “You literally have people lining up outside stores when they know stock is being replenished,” House explained to The New York Times. He went on to say that availability will improve by April, and that the company is expecting to expand their sales to Latin America.
The main competitors to the Playstation VR have yet to officially release their own sales numbers, but estimates point to lower sales. HTC Vive is believed to have sold around 420,000 units, while Facebook’s Oculus Rift sold an estimated 243,000 headsets sold by the end of 2016, according to the Times, citing figures from research firm SuperData Research.
There have been indications that the Playstation VR has been a strong seller from the onset, with Sony’s president of interactive entertainment Europe and global sales and marketing telling CNBC in October that the device had strong pre-sales and that they were anticipating ramping up production by the end of 2016. The Playstation VR also sells for a lower price point and works with existing game hardware, rather than that of the Rift, which retails for $600.
However, the general market for VR devices has been cool, according to The New York Times. Best Buy has begun closing demonstration stations for the Oculus Rift due to slow sales and analysts looking at sales figures following November’s Black Friday noted that VR devices struggled. 2016 demonstrated that VR is still in its infancy, but it’s now clear that Sony has a strong lead out of the gate.