Sony’s PlayStation VR More Popular Than Expected? We’ll See

Posted on February 27, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Xbox with 23 Comments

Sony's PlayStation VR More Popular Than Expected? We'll See

Yes, this mess is apparently very successful

A new report claims that the PlayStation VR is more popular than Sony expected. Sure. But the company may want to hold off on the Champagne.

In an interview with The New York Times, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Andrew House disclosed for the first time that sales of PlayStation VR have beat internal estimates. The firm expected to sell 1 million units by April 2017, or after six months of sales. But it has already sold 915,000 of the headsets as of February 19, or after about four months.

“You literally have people lining up outside stores [in Japan] when they know stock is being replenished,” Mr. House breathlessly told the staid NYT, which latched right onto the story. (Just like it does about any health-related bullshit, as it turns out. This is a huge pet peeve of mine.)

“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,” the publication noted. “In contrast, during its first three months on the market in 2007, Apple sold nearly 1.4 million iPhones; a feat now considered among the most successful technology products of all time.”

Wait, what?!

No. Stop. These things are not and will never be comparable. Ever, ever, ever.

But you know what is comparable? Right. Microsoft Kinect. Which, when it was released, was the fastest-selling consumer electronics device in history, according to the Guinness Book of Worlds Records. And we all know how amazingly well that product has done, with sustained sales and huge usage growth over many years.

Oh, right. That never happened. In fact, Kinect was such a turd that it killed Xbox One sales so badly that this console may never recover.

See, that’s the thing with fads. They crash and burn.

And that Kinect? It was way more successful than Sony PlayStation VR will ever be, and Kinect ultimately bombed: Microsoft sold 8 million units in the first 60 days. That rate is over 16 times faster than the sales rate of PS VR so far.

So yes, you can queue up the “sad trumpet sound.”

Look, I’m not saying that PlayStation VR hasn’t established itself as a viable VR option. But I am saying that this is a niche product in a big field of niche products. And you know what? It probably always will be.

And I’m also saying that, for a publication that is advertising “truth,” the NYT needs to wake up. This story is ridiculous, as was that iPhone comparison.

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