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PlayStation exec says PSVR will see a dramatic change in next 10 years

As tech evolves, so will the customer base

PlayStation VR Headset Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

PlayStation’s PSVR headset hasn’t exactly taken over the world, but the head of PlayStation says the company has big plans for its VR console.

Shawn Layden told Game Informer that the next 10 years of the PSVR’s development will be dramatic, but he didn’t provide any specifics on what the growth will look like. Instead, Layden compared game development’s future to its past, acknowledging the dramatic growth in fields like virtual reality, augmented reality, e-sports, and even mobile gaming. That kind of dramatic growth will only continue, and that’s something Layden believes will affect PSVR.

He used the growth in smartphone development, like the numerous Android and Apple devices that have been released since the first iPhone 3G in 2008, as an example to examine what could happen to the PSVR as VR tech continues to evolve.

“By the same token, you look at PSVR right now, none of us are going to be able to imagine what it will look like 10 years from now, but the change will be that dramatic,” Layden said. “You can’t get to 5.0 until you do 1.0. It’s just the nature of the thing.”

Layden used old-school Nokia phones as a way to illustrate the issue he believes some people have with PSVR. Sony sold 1.3 million PSVR units in 2018 alone, which does outsell its Oculus Rift and HTC Vive competitors. But compared to Sony’s PS4 console, which has sold 91.6 million units to date since being released in 2013, the PSVR is selling much slower. Layden blames attention spans and expectations for what a device should be. He views the PSVR as part of 1.0 technology — something that is in its infancy, but customers want perfection right away.

Still, he has high hopes for PSVR — and gaming, in general — as the industry continues to grow. Gaming is no longer in its infancy; it’s one of the most dominant forms of mainstream entertainment, and Layden believes continued investment will only help speed along its development.

“We’ve gone from being the third cousin in entertainment to being one of the three bright stars,” Layden said. “Arguably, depending on how you do the math, the largest one from impact on a financial basis.”