It looks like Sony is confident that PSVR 2 could outsell its predecessor, but things will need to change in order to make that happen.
Sony’s chief financial officer, Hiroki Totoki, was optimistic on the topic of PSVR 2 outselling the first PlayStation VR headset when speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference just last week (thanks, VGC (opens in new tab)).
“We are very happy to launch VR2 on PS5,” Totoki said at the event. “VR1, we sold over five million units, and I think we have a good chance to exceed that amount with PlayStation VR2.”
And while the PS5 headset is undoubtedly excellent, boasting superb image quality and welcome features like eye-tracking support, it doesn’t seem to be a hit with console owners out of the gate.
PSVR 2’s pre-order performance was reportedly quite poor, and the high cost of $549 / £529 / AU$879 certainly won’t do it any favors in the immediate future. It’s an impressively high-end headset, for sure, but the fact it’s more expensive than the PS5 itself is simply bad optics for the average consumer.
Does PSVR 2 stand a chance?
I personally want nothing but success for PSVR 2. I’ve loved my time with the headset so far, and playing some of the best PSVR 2 games has been joyous. Between Horizon: Call of the Mountain’s immersive climbing and Gran Turismo 7’s breathtaking driving experience, the act of playing games in PSVR 2 is simply fantastic.
And I know it’s early days; the headset isn’t even a month old at the time of writing. But at present, PSVR 2 is not well-positioned to even scratch the surface of its predecessor’s impressive sales record.
Sony is going to need more exclusives than just Horizon if it really wants to start shifting PSVR 2 units. But beyond that, the VR headset is kneecapped in a number of ways. It’s not backwards compatible with original PSVR games, for a start, meaning you’ll still have to dig out your old headset if you fancy dipping back into Resident Evil 7 or Astro Bot: Rescue Mission. As it stands, we’re relying on developers to port their PSVR games to the new headset, and that’s not a guarantee.
I’d also love to see Sony bring PSVR 2 games to its PS Plus game catalog. If players are able to download some VR exclusive games at the cost of a monthly subscription, that’ll ease the burden on their wallets, especially after dropping a mountain of cash on an expensive headset.
Again, I want to stress that at such an early stage, we simply don’t know how PSVR 2 will perform in the long run. But there are things Sony can do now, such as the above suggestions, to make PSVR 2 that much more palatable. A price drop would help, too, but I can’t see that happening for at least a couple more years.