Latest Market Analysis: PS VR Sales Predictions Fall Under 1 Million For 2016

by Joe Durbin • November 30th, 2016

Citing a lack of dedicated evangelism from Sony, interactive media research firm SuperData is updating its earlier predictions concerning the company’s PlayStation VR hardware. Initially, SuperData predicted Sony would sell well over 2 million PS VR headsets by the end of 2016. Today, however, the firm is walking that herculean number back significantly. Now, SuperData expects Sony to sell only 745,434 headsets by the end of this year.

PSVR_in-the-box

The company believes that Sony has chosen to double down on its other major holiday product, the PlayStation 4 Pro. According to an email sent to UploadVR, Stephanie Llamas, Director of Research and Insights for SuperData believes that:

“Sony has taken a more prudent approach and held off on spending frivolously on marketing the PSVR to better position the Pro. Sony is making just enough units available to prove the case for VR, without seeking to fully saturate the market and, instead, build the offering more gradually to ensure a stronger life-cycle. They have also pointed out that VR looks even better on a Pro than a standard or slim PS 4, so the message to most gamers is: Get the Pro now, then the PSVR later. As a result, we won’t see them break 1M shipments until well into the new year.”

“Had Sony pushed the PSVR the way they’ve been pushing their other new hardware, the demand would have certainly fulfilled a supply of over 2M. However, given its quiet release it’s clear they’re being cautious before fully investing in the tech. Without the ‘killer app’ and the slow, steady release of AAA content, they will release less than 1M devices until they have content they feel confident will bring in the praise they want. They can afford to take it slow since they have no competition for now, so their supply and sales will rise steadily into 2017 as opposed to riding the seasonal wave.”

SuperData’s sales predictions have not been confirmed by any of the major VR headset manufacturers. Here’s how the firm arrives at its predictions:

 “SuperData’s approach to the market for consumer-centered virtual reality includes retail checks, executive interviews with decision-makers from all of relevant firms in the marketplace, pricing data, our survey-based consumer tracking panel, and digital content purchases collected from our data providers. We combine both proprietary and public data sources to arrive at an objective reading of the market, including financial information obtained through our client network. Analysts are expressly forbidden to buy, sell, hedge or otherwise deal in the securities of any of the following public companies whose primary revenues come from the creation, selling, or distribution of video games.”

The sales predictions previously reported for the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive remained the same in the new report. Google’s Daydream View, however, fell from over 450,000 units to around 260,000 units in terms of predicted sales. Llamas explains this shift by writing that…”Google needs phones and adopters that won’t exist until next year.”

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  • Kevin Tham

    I’m not surprised at this! PS4VR sold out everywhere here in Australia within weeks of release back in early October and there was no way to get hold of one or the move motion controllers/peripherals. I had to jump through some major hoops to get one! Sales will prolly increase once stock comes in.

    Sony you need to get your rollout strategy sorted or expect a lot more of articles like this!

    • will bell

      Yeah I had a lot of trouble finding any headsets over the Black Friday weekend and there were no bundles to be found anywhere online, so I thought PSVR must be doing great! Then I saw this article on almost every major news outlet, with celebrations by the frighteningly large camp of VR naysayers everywhere. Sony seems to be making a big unforced error here, and they need to do something to shift public perceptions before it’s too late.

  • As I’ve already commented in a similar article: when I’ve read those estimates, I thought that they were absolutely crazy and in fact they proved to be wrong. I don’t think that PSVR has failed, I think that they put too much expectations on PSVR and Daydream…

  • corybantic

    Sony really needs to promote and endorse this product if they wish to be the headliners of VR.

  • Dizzy Pop

    If sony wants to sell more units its simple… Push for top level games to be VR compatible. If Battlefield 1 had VR capability than psvr would fly off the shelf. I purchased psvr on launch day hoping that the promise of launch day just for war thunder vr virtual flight sim. Still hasnt happened. Most of the VR games suck and are at most a 2 hour experience with no replay value. Multiplayer competitive games like BF, COD, GTA, War thunder etc would help sony crush sales. I’m sure these games will eventually happen in VR, but for now sales are soft due to the lack of great games. Not sure what the hold up is, with all the devs worrying about motion sickness. Players get over the motion sickness quickly, not really a big deal.

  • will bell

    I have to say, I’m not sure why Sony didn’t push PSVR harder this holiday season. I hope it’s just prudence, recognizing that their holiday hardware lineup is confusing with the addition of the PS4 pro to the mix, and that traditional marketing is a challenge for VR experiences, but they’ve left their new baby wide open to doom and gloom predictions that can hurt them tremendously in the long run. Many people seem to want to see VR fail, and with this kind of ammo that’s the message they’ll spread across social media, trying to turn what is probably the most consumer accessible “real VR” product into another virtual boy or Xbox Kinect (comparisons that have been in place since well before anyone even tried the product). I’m a VR fanboy at this point so I’m certainly biased, but for most people the perception of VR is more important than the actual quality of the experience right now. So unless Sony pulls an ace out of their sleeve in the next few months (such as mass marketing of a new killer app) they may find themselves in a public perception hole they can’t dig themselves out of. In the last week I’ve seen much more media interest in this sales projection downgrade than I’ve seen in the ps VR itself over the last month.. it’s certainly too early to call it but it seems that Sony is not doing much to protect the reputation of its newest toy at this point, which can cause long term damage for all current generation VR platforms. Here’s to hoping for something spectacular from PSx later today.

  • Multiplataformgamerz

    and yet ti already shipped more than both Oculus and Vive, almost close to outsell both together

  • Alex

    Well I think they would have sold a few more if they hadn’t run out of stock pretty much straight away here in the UK. Haven’t been able to get hold of one here since November and they also missed the Christmas rush by not having stock either. I’m sure if they had stock in they would have sold many thousands more.

  • Dave Smith

    Tried one for less than 5min, felt sick, eyes ached, when I took them off I was dizzy. Pleased to get them off my head only after 5 min. What damage are they going to do if you dared use them for a couple of hours?

  • [email protected]

    My Prediction for 2017 with the current focus on optical radiation through lenses on the Retina.. Its not the cleverest of design.