Sony has revealed that it has shipped nearly a million PlayStation VR headsets since it launched the device four months ago, a figure which chief executive Andrew House has admitted came as a personal surprise.
Originally known as Project Morpheus before launching as the PlayStation VR, Sony's entry into the virtual reality market is designed to compete with rivals HTC and Oculus VR on one major front: price. Compatible with the PlayStation 4 and new PlayStation 4 Pro consoles, the PlayStation VR headset costs considerably less than its competitors both at retail and as a platform, with HTC's Vive and Oculus VR's Rift both requiring a considerably more expensive gaming PC to run. That the PSVR has been a success is obvious from the lack of stock in the run-up to Christmas, but with Sony refusing to release official figures nobody really knew exactly how much of that shortage was popularity and how much was constrained supply - although market watcher TrendForce was willing to take a guess at 1.5 million units sold
, putting it massively above the estimated 650,000 Oculus VR and 460,000 HTC Vive headsets it claimed shipped last year.
Now, Sony chief Andrew House has broken the silence and revealed that his company has shifted 915,000 PSVR headsets since its launch four months ago - below the TrendForce estimates but still ahead of even the most generous estimates attributed to Oculus VR and HTC's devices over the same period. During an interview with the New York Times
, House also revealed that he may be at least partially to blame for the stock shortages, having expected lower sales and advised a slower manufacturing ramp-up. 'It’s the classic case in any organisation — the guys who are on the front-end in sales are getting very excited, very hyped up,
House told the paper. 'You have to temper that with other voices inside the company, myself among them, saying let’s just be a little bit careful.
House claimed that manufacturing has now been kicked into higher gear and that supplies of the PSVR devices will improve by April. Meanwhile, Facebook-owned Oculus VR is facing a potential block on sales of its Oculus Rift headset as Zenimax Media has officially filed an injunction demanding the company cease sale and distribution of any and all products containing code a court recently found to be infringing