Google's Cardboard may have found its way in front of more eyeballs than any other virtual-reality headset on the market, but as it turns out, another player in the industry has reason to be happy about its first year selling VR devices. In a recent interview with the New York Times, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Andrew House revealed that the company has sold over 900,000 PlayStation VR units in just four months of sales.
PSVR seems to have outperformed Sony's expectations. House admitted in the interview that he advocated for erring on the side of caution when the company was deciding how many units to initially manufacture. But then consumers purchased 915,000 headsets before February 19th, leading to a supply problem, particularly in Japan. House said that the supply situation should improve by April.
One selling point for the PSVR has been Capcom's horror game Resident Evil: Biohazard. House said that after the game was released, PlayStation VR users started spending twice as much time playing with the headset, on average. Sony hopes to see another bump in sales and engagement in May, when it releases the PlayStation VR Aim Controller, a gun-shaped appendage set to be released with a shooting game called Farpoint.
For contrast, the New York Times pointed to estimates from SuperData Research claiming that users have bought 243,000 Oculus Rift headsets and 420,000 HTC Vive headsets. Those devices have been on the market for more than twice as long as the PSVR, but Sony's VR headset has the advantage of being powered by a console system that's in the homes of 53 million consumers. As Google learned with Cardboard, there's a lot of potential in easy-to-use VR systems with a large install base.
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