PS4 Virtual Reality Headset Has Strongest Games Lineup, GameStop CEO Says
"The more important thing will be the title count at launch."
Speaking today at the ICR Conference 2016 in Orlando, GameStop CEO Paul Raines talked more about the retailer's thoughts on one of the biggest trends of 2016: virtual reality.
Overall, Raines said GameStop is optimistic for the future of VR, hoping to work with the device's creators to sell the headsets, as well as their games and accessories, in GameStop's network of stores around the world.
Raines said he wouldn't be drawn into a conversation about the quality of the three major headsets, instead saying Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR all look great. The bigger consideration for GameStop, Raines said, is the breadth of content that will be available. In that regard, Sony has the edge.
"The more important thing will be the title count at launch," Raines said. "I think that's going to be big. And from what we can see at this point, Sony seems to have the strongest title count."
It's still relatively early days, however, and none of the VR companies have yet to provide any specifics on the number of games that will be available for their devices. For its part, Sony has said more than 200 developers have signed up to make PlayStation VR games, of which 100 or more are currently in development.
Raines went on to say that the games lineup for each device will come into focus over time. He pointed out that GameStop has a team in Hawaii right now attending a sales meeting where Sony may divulge more information.
"We think VR is a big part of our future," Raines said, cautioning, however, that GameStop won't get "caught in the trap" of factoring VR sales into its financial outlook just yet.
"Once we know more about it, we'll plug it in," Raines said. "But I certainly think [GameStop] is going to be a store you're going to want to buy your virtual reality products at. And it will come with a variety of accessories, by the way--there'll be goggles and gloves and motion [controllers] and all kinds of things. So it's very promising in a lot of ways."
Also during his talk, Raines said GameStop is in discussion with all the major VR players about stocking their devices in the company's stores. He said he's hopeful that these companies will see GameStop as a store that's uniquely positioned to help sell their devices and bring them to the masses.
"Some of them will understand what we did with the launches of the consoles," Raines said. "What people don't grasp, is we had very strong market share at the console launch. Depending on the country, we were in the 30-50 percent range."
This was made possible, Raines said, by sending out email blasts and conducting other awareness campaigns to help convince gamers to buy from GameStop.
"We think we can bring the same thing to VR," Raines said.
Finally, Raines warned that VR games could carry huge file sizes, larger than those for AAA games. About VR games, Raines said, "those will be even larger files." Of course, GameStop would rather sell you a physical game, which can be traded in. It remains to be seen, however, if VR games will be sold through both physical and online channels.