PlayStation VR Sales Could Hit 1.6 Million Units, Analyst Claims

Sales monitor Screen Digest expects Sony to outperform HTC Vive and Oculus Rift with 64% of VR market.

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Sony's PlayStation VR is forecast to sell some 1.6 million units worldwide before the end of the calendar year, according to research from analyst firm IHS Screen Digest.

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In a note sent to investors, analyst Piers Harding-Rolls claimed that such a sales feat would give Sony and PS4 about 64 percent of the VR market. Part of the reason for PSVR's projected popularity, he said, was due to the PS4 providing a " much bigger addressable market of "ready-to-go" consumers to address than PC-based solutions".

According to Hardin-Rolls' data, PS4 sales are expected to reach 53 million units by the end of 2016, all of which would be an addressable market for PSVR. "In contrast," he added, "17 million consumers will addressable by Oculus Rift and HTC Vive by the end of 2016."

Another key factor is the PlayStation VR price, at $399 in the US and £349 in the UK (but also requiring a $60 standalone PlayStation camera to function).

"When you take into account the total cost of ownership of using a PS4 as a source device, Sony's experience is around half the price of its PC-based competition," Harding-Rolls claimed.

"When Oculus and HTC announced their relative headset pricing, Sony was offered an open goal opportunity to take an early lead in the consumer VR market, which they have taken with aplomb."

PlayStation VR likely to be supply constrained at launch and into 2017, he added. Such supply constraints already appear to be having an effect, with Amazon UK selling out of its PSVR stock within 10 minutes.

One favourable advantage for Sony is its games development network, which includes the likes of Naughty Dog, Sony Santa Monica, and Guerrilla Games. Harding-Rolls said "Sony's existing in-house expertise and third-party relationships means it is well positioned to build a strong body of content for launch of the platform."

Sony says more than 230 developers are on board supporting PlayStation VR, with some 160 projects in development.

Announced PSVR games include Star Wars Battlefront, Eagle Flight, Eve: Valkyrie, Headmaster, Rez Infinite, Wayward Sky, Rigs: Mechanized Combat League, Tumble VR, Until Dawn: Rush of Blood, and PlayStation VR Worlds.

Sony has confirmed the PlayStation VR release date will be in October 2016. It will be available for $400 in North America, €399 in Europe, £349 in the United Kingdom, $549.95 in Australia, and ¥44,980 in Japan.

The base PlayStation VR package does not include Move controllers, which typically retails for around $40/£40 or the PlayStation Camera, which usually costs $50/£40.

Further Reading: All the PSVR News and Reaction

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