Sony’s new PlayStation VR 2, which launched on February 22, has reportedly been struggling in terms of sales. According to research firm IDC (via Bloomberg), the Japanese tech giant is expected to sell only around 270,000 PlayStation VR 2 units by the end of March, which is a far cry from its sales goal of shipping 2 million units during the headset’s launch quarter. PlayStation VR 2 is an essential part of Sony president and CEO Kenichiro Yoshida’s plan to create a metaverse for the company, but the hardware has failed to generate much buzz since its arrival. The VR headset’s high price tag is one of the primary reasons for its lagging sales.
High Price Tag a Key Sticking Point
With PlayStation VR 2 priced at $549, the hardware is more expensive than a PS5 console, and analysts predict it will need to see a price cut if Sony wants to compete with rivals like Meta. While the Sony VR headset features impressive technology and is designed with better controllers than its predecessor, the pricey hardware comes at a wrong time when consumers around the world are facing rising costs of living, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, rising interest rates, and layoffs. “VR headsets are not top of mind for most consumers under the current economic climate,” said Francisco Jeronimo, an IDC analyst.
Games Library Lacks Exclusive Titles
In addition to the high price point, the PlayStation VR 2’s games library is also a cause of concern. Most of the titles available on the VR headset are already available on established VR systems. The only PS5 console-exclusive title available is Horizon Call of the Mountain, but analysts suggest that a thin exclusives lineup may not be enough to encourage consumers to shell out for the pricey VR headset. Analysts are now predicting a price cut will be a necessary move for Sony if the company hopes to avoid a total disaster with its VR headset.
Sony’s Struggles in the VR Market
This is not the first time Sony has struggled in the VR market. In 2016, the company launched the PlayStation VR, which shipped 4.2 million units by 2020, making it one of the best-selling VR headsets on the market. However, sales of the headset had tapered off even before the PlayStation VR 2’s arrival, and the company had been looking to boost its position in the VR market.
Sony has acknowledged it’s essential to strive for the mass-market appeal of VR, and it is expected to roll out more exclusive games to drive sales of PlayStation VR 2. However, with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic still in play, a general economic slowdown, and Meta’s aggressive pricing strategy, Sony faces an arduous task ahead in achieving its ambitious VR goals. With the PlayStation VR 2 struggling, it will be interesting to see how the company responds to the latest setback as it looks to build its presence in the VR industry.