So. VR gaming. It’s a bit of a controversial issue, isn’t it? One of those that everybody in the industry has an opinion on, whether good, bad or indifferent. If there’s one company that’s certainly feeling good about the whole concept right now, though, it’s Vive.
When spangly new technology hits gaming, there’s always an interesting sort of honeymoon period. Take touchscreen gaming, for instance. When the DS first launched, that was a real revelation. We didn’t all have smartphones permanently grafted to our hands back then, after all. The tech was a little alien, like Wii’s motion controls.
Naturally, some of these things catch on better than others. Sometimes, the Next Big Thing™ is exactly that, and other times it’s… well, the Virtual Boy or something. How has VR fared? Well, somewhere in the middle.
At the height of the VR hype, some truly interesting things were happening. Some of them were exclusive games you could only play on such systems, and others were enhanced versions of already existing titles (Resident Evil 7 VR? That’s a sight and a half). In the end, VR doesn’t seem to have truly erupted, nor has it sunk without a trace. The jury’s still out on that.
The fact is, it’s a tough one to judge. As Destructoid reports, the major players in VR gaming don’t tend to release any solid sales numbers to judge from. Sony proudly declared that they’d sold one million PlayStation VR systems last June, but you don’t really tend to hear hard details like these when it comes to Oculus Rift or HTC Vive.
Even if things have been a little quiet on the VR front of late, Vive has issued a blog post claiming that the format is totally healthy. Reports of VR sales plummeting are “greatly exaggerated,” the post states, and stem only from the fact that the handset itself has already been so popular (the old "everybody already owns it" idea).
Not only that, they go on, but sales up to this point have been fantastic: “Vive has paced at its highest sales velocity of all time, for weeks on end… for a consumer electronic product in its third calendar year, this continued trajectory is nearly unheard of.”
Now, it’s impossible to ascertain how much truth there is to this, in the absence of raw numbers. Still, whether they’re feeling defensive or not, Vive are expressing faith in their system. That’s a positive to take forward into whatever future VR gaming may have.