Sony Targeting 2 Million Units in First PSVR2 Production Run
Sony is planning to produce 2 million units of the PlayStation VR 2 headset by March 2023 according to a Bloomberg report citing people familiar with the matter. The headset goes on sale in early 2023 and the production target shows Sony is betting big on its next-generation virtual reality headset.
Mass production for the PSVR2 headset started in September and so far, the company hasn’t encountered any supply constraints. Sony could ramp up the production figure of the headset or slow it down after the market launch depending on the demand for the headset once it is released in early 2023.
Virtual reality headsets have been available for several years now but they are yet to gain serious traction and go mainstream like PCs or smartphones in spite of the wide availability of cheap commercial offerings by several VR headset brands.
Sony’s PSVR2 roadmap is anticipating a much higher demand than the company’s first-generation PlayStation VR headset for PlayStation 4. The first PSVR took 8 months to hit the 1 million sales milestone. Meta’s Quest 2, on the other hand, sold 2.8 million units within its first quarter of availability according to the Bloomberg report, citing IDC figures.
Sony hasn’t given the official release date or the official price of its new headset. It is currently planning to begin selling the device by early 2023. That date also coincides with easing up of the supply chain bottlenecks being experienced at the moment which has so far hindered the availability of some devices including Sony’s PlayStation 5 which was launched in late 2020. Relief in the supply chain shortages would give Sony enough inventory of consoles and headsets that will enable it to make a big marketing push. Users need the PS5 console to use the PlayStation 5 virtual reality headset.
Analysts have stated that Sony’s key to success will be the quality of games that it would bring into the ecosystem. The other major success factor will be the pricing. The PSVR2 has impressive specs and some have speculated that it will cost as much as the PS5 console.
Close to a decade since its launch, the VR market segment is yet to break into the mainstream and the low market penetration has seen game developers give it a wide berth. This is especially so in Japan where the leading game developers are still not embracing virtual reality. IDC estimates that Meta’s Quest 2 could have shipped 17 million units so far which is a major milestone for the industry. However, this is still a drop in the ocean when compared with other major tech products such as mobile, consoles, and PC gaming products.
A big part of this has been due to the general economic slowdown being witnessed at the moment. The Russian-Ukrainian war has also increased the cost of materials. In August, Meta increased the prices of its Quest 2 products by $100 in response to the rise in the cost of production.
According to an IDC report, the increasing cost of living means many consumers are now less willing to spend on non-essential items. Sony could cut production should the current economic crisis continues, according to IDC’s VP for data and analytics Francisco Jeronimo.
Bloomberg reports that at the moment, Sony’s partners and suppliers are still unsure about how long the company will keep its current high-paced production schedule following the launch.
Sony is also planning to boost the launch of the PlayStation VR 2 headset with fresh VR-focused titles from some of its popular in-house franchises like Horizon. The Japanese company says it currently has 20 titles under development for the PSVR2 from both third parties and its internal development team.