With around one million units sold, Sony’s PlayStation VR (PSVR) is one of the more popular headsets on the market right now, but the company may already be looking to other ways to monetize its device.
The Wall Street Journal cites sources “familiar with the matter” in saying that Sony is planning to roll out PSVR to location-based units in Japan after slower than expected sales. These units would apparently not be run by Sony itself, but instead the company will find partners across various industries to make use of its kit. Japanese gamers may well soon start seeing the headset in arcades and other facilities across the country.
The report doesn’t specify if Sony is considering a similar approach to PSVR in other territories, though the company has in the past said that the device is selling better than it expected. Sony’s original internal goal was to hit one million in sales by April 2017 and, while we don’t know if it’s yet reached that milestone, news that 915,000 units had been sold by the end of February certainly suggested it was on the right path.
Location-based VR is not a new concept; VR arcades are already springing up across the globe, particularly in Asia, and many companies are making moves to take advantage of them. HTC, for example, launched Viveport Arcade, which acts as a middle man in licensing software to arcades, while IMAX launched an extravagant pilot facility showing off VR experiences at the start of the year. Perhaps Sony hopes that by getting the kit on more heads out in the wider world it can drive sales in the home.
PSVR is set to have a busy few months with significant new content like Farpoint and Starblood Arena rolling out over the next few weeks before we head into E3 2017 in June.