For many VR developers, PlayStation VR’s affordable price and accessible setup represent the first legitimate shot at getting the technology into the mainstream. Based on the coverage the headset received from the media over the past few weeks, that may well hold true.
Research firm ICO Partners‘ Thomas Bidaux this week published a new report analyzing the media coverage of Sony’s new device as it launched on October 13th, comparing it to that of its two rivals, the PC-based Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. The results indicate that PS VR was far more widely covered than Rift and Vive, which launched just days apart from each other at the end of March and start of April respectively.
According to the report, for example, PS VR had 2,068 articles written about it in the 48 hours around the product’s official launch. That’s nearly double the 1,069 written about the Rift and just under triple the 698 written about Vive in their respective launch windows. ICO hasn’t shared how it gathered this data, but we’ve reached out for clarification. The report, however, attributes Sony’s experience with PR in helping to spread the word about PS VR.
Splitting those articles up on a language basis also reveals interesting results. English coverage was easily the most prominent for all three, but the gap is the biggest in Italian, where PS VR had well over double the amount of articles of either the Vive or the Rift. Again, PlayStation is an established brand across Europe and other regions, whereas Oculus is still in the process of establishing itself in many territories as is the Vive, even if HTC itself is globally recognized.
These results are hardly surprising, though still interesting. There are already over 40 million PlayStation 4 owners out there that want to know what’s going on with the console they own. Sony itself recently said that PlayStation VR sales at launch were in the “many hundreds of thousands”, though we still have no concrete idea of how many units either the Rift of Vive has shifted.