Sony’s PlayStation VR (PSVR) headset is a gaming platform first and foremost, but CEO Kaz Hirai sees its success helping all areas of the company.
Hirai recently said as much to Financial Review. He reasoned that, because Sony had many divisions outside of its PlayStation business, the company could stand to gain a lot from helping push VR into the mainstream. “We have a lot of professional business groups that are involved trying to come up with professional cameras for VR content creation,” Hirai said, “and we also involve Sony Pictures and Sony Music from the content perspective.”
It’s true; PSVR is already being used to promote Sony Pictures movies like Ghostbusters, and has several music videos available to download too. As such, getting headsets into people’s hands will help Sony drive adoption of lots of experiences outside of gaming.
“So as a company it’s important that VR is successful, not just because it helps the video game business but in fact the tide actually lifts all the Sony boats,” Hirai continued. “We stand probably to benefit more than some of the other companies that are pursuing VR, because we are involved in so many different aspects that touch the VR experience and the content creation.”
PSVR itself is already off to a good start, having sold nearly one million units by the end of February 2017. Reports last week, however, suggested that the device isn’t selling as well as anticipated in Japan, thus Sony is already looking to push the headset out to commercial opportunities for business use and more. We’ve also seen the company work with other devices like HTC’s Vive.
But VR has a long way to go if it’s to becoming the mainstream success that Sony is counting on, and the company has a lot more convincing to do to get the other 52 million PS4 owners — and indeed those without the console — to pick up their headset.