A historic milestone has been reached for both Sony and VR, with the announcement of 1 million Playstation VR headsets sold.
While the market for virtual reality may not be streaking into the present as fast as we’d like, it’s certainly showing signs of healthy growth. Sony announced yesterday that they have sold over 1 million PSVR headsets, making them the most popular non-smartphone powered virtual reality headset on the market.
This comes on the heels of a report last Thursday from the International Data Corporation that has confirmed the market leading status of the PSVR with over 429,000 headsets shipped in the first quarter of 2017. That number represents more than the total combined shipments of the PSVRs nearest competitors, the HTC Vive and Facebook’s Occulus Rift.
The PSVR was only beat out by the Samsung Gear, which is one of the cheaper headsets available and works on Samsung’s latest smartphones. However, this is likely due to a marketing promotion that gave a free Gear with every pre-order of the Samsung Galaxy S8, a promotion which has since expired.
The massive sales of the PSVR can be chalked up to the prevalence of the Playstation hardware, which has sold nearly 60 million units since launch. The Vive and the Rift in comparison require very high-end and expensive computers in order to operate, giving the PSVR a huge advantage when it comes to market penetration.
Due to the prevalence of their hardware, IDC believes that Sony “will likely remain a leader in the near term.”
Sony also enjoys an advantage when it comes to game development. More blockbuster games are being made with PSVR in mind during their creation, such as Capcom’s recent Resident Evil 7. With triple A titles being developed for PSVR hardware Sony will continue to see an advantage over its competitors for some time.
HTC came in third on the IDC report, having shipped 191,000 units in the first quarter. The Taiwanese smartphone maker says that they have “enjoyed success in the commercial space as VR cafes have been popping up around the world, particularly in Asia.”
The Occulus Rift rounded out the report with 100,000 units shipped. The rift had a shaky debut owing to problems with shipping headsets and the very public controversy surrounding Palmer Luckey, the co-founder of the Occulus, as reports surfaced he had covertly funded a non-profit organization supporting Donald Trump by spreading false news. He has since left the company.
In order to drive sales the price of the Occulus has recently dropped, and as the market heats up one can expect falling prices across the board. With E3 announcements around the corner, could this be the year that VR hits its stride?