PSVR Price Delivers Profit at Each Sale, Sony Exec Claims

Unlike the Oculus Rift, PS4's virtual reality headset will not sell at a loss at point of sale, a company rep suggests.

35 Comments

Each sale of a PlayStation VR will generate a profit for Sony, as opposed to a loss that was foreshadowed last year, if new comments from a PlayStation executive are to be believed.

Adam Boyes, a developer relations executive at PlayStation, was asked by Game Informer about the PSVR price in comparison to other virtual reality devices such as HTC Vive ($800) and Oculus Rift ($600).

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"I think for us, we weren't really looking at the other guys," Boyes said.

"The same goes for the price point. It wasn't predicated on anyone else's prices. Obviously we need to make money on the unit, but we've been in the consumer electronics business for a long time, so our ability to source great, high quality parts is a big part of it."

Then, apparently after being asked directly whether each PSVR unit sells at a profit, Boyes confirmed this was the case.

"Every device we've sold since PlayStation 4 has been in the black," he added.

In November last year, the head of Sony games development, Shuhei Yoshida, claimed that the corporation was not looking to make a profit with each PSVR unit sold.

On Tuesday at an event in San Francisco, Sony announced the PSVR price and release date. The device will retail at $399 (£349) and go on sale in October.

It is a common practice in the games hardware business to sell each console at a loss at point of sale, with a long-term plan to recoup those losses and make profit with software.

Due to a range of factors, from manufacturing costs to choice of parts, the Oculus Rift device will be sold at loss, despite retailing for $200 more than Sony's device.

Further Reading: All the PSVR News and Reaction

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Avatar image for louixiii
LouiXIII

I hope they do lol

Avatar image for brn-dn
brn-dn

Wow, all this hate in the comments. I guess people can't read specs.

Avatar image for brn-dn
brn-dn

That's amazing.

Avatar image for Adam802
Adam802

well it better, sony cant afford to sell at a loss

Avatar image for edwardnygma
EdwardNygma

@Adam802: Sony's back in the black but they are smart to profit off their product like most companies.

Avatar image for Iemander
Iemander

This sounds a little too unbelievable really. Sony might have experience in sourcing their parts, the same could be said about HTC that's been selling phones with high quality screens since forever.

How is it possible that two manufacturers, with HTC having direct access to their production lines for their millions of phone screens have such a huge pricing difference?

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Avatar image for Oogazi
Oogazi

@Iemander: 1. Sony invested in the tech before - the motion tracking is the same used for the move controllers. 2. Sony's headset is less powerful than the Vive headset, but it's fine because they have to create it with the PS4 in mind anyways. 3. By leveraging the PS camera (which they have tons of stock of and probably costs less due to economic scaling) they do not have to add that to the expense.

In other words, the VR tech Sony is using was already put in place (because of the move, camera and dualshock). Therefore, Sony isn't starting from scratch. In fact, when the different companies first showed of their VR sets, Sony's Morpheus always looked the most 'complete'. meaning they had the infrastructure in place to bring this out to market faster.

Avatar image for xxmavr1kxx
xxmavr1kxx

@Iemander it is not going to come down to quality of parts. it is going to come down to how powerful the parts are. So the question then becomes will PS4r be able to hold a candle to the other 2 vr options?:

Avatar image for pelvist
pelvist

No shit -its basically a GearVR with an age old method of camera and LED to track positions (ala free track & cam2pan).

Avatar image for shalashaska99
SHALASHASKA99

I would rather pay a little more for the Rift than get this.... and i did. Oculus will be king of VR in the future because VR is the only thing they put their energy into. Console VR needs another 10 years before it is PC standard.

Avatar image for tom2750
tom2750

@shalashaska99: is that really your logic? Sony is a massive multi billion dollar company they could assign a single department to playsation VR that would be larger then the whole company working on the rift if they wanted

Avatar image for Stebsis
Stebsis

Just makes me wonder how low quality it is. I think it's already obvious it doesn't compete with Oculus or Vive when it comes to gaming, but if they can sell it at profit at that price makes me worried what the real quality is.

Avatar image for Alurit
Alurit

@Stebsis: it seems to be that they went with a much cheaper panel in the display. they said it has less than 18ms delay, although dont know if that is sensor delay plus display or only display but that is not the best because you want the lowest possible delay between head movement and change of picture to minimize motion sickness

Avatar image for mikemurphy80
mikemurphy80

Get ready for your 18fps medium settings VR boys and girls!

Avatar image for Spartan_418
Spartan_418

@mikemurphy80: 0/10 (zero out of ten)

Apply yourself.

Avatar image for mikemurphy80
mikemurphy80

@Spartan_418: The salt

Avatar image for NeoBillbine
NeoBillbine

@mikemurphy80: My body is ready for ps2 visuals with a bit of nausea and vomiting!!!

Avatar image for Myron117
Myron117

Man, how weak must this product be if it's making a profit too...

Avatar image for kyelo
Kyelo

This makes the future look good for such a product, it means when parts prices come down so can the cost of the unit.

Avatar image for deactivated-58183aaaa31d8

That's good then at least. As long as they push that profit back into VR in the form of top end games it should all be fine.

Avatar image for Stebsis
Stebsis

@dexda: Top end games in VR with slightly improved PS4 hardware? I highly doubt it

Avatar image for Stebsis
Stebsis

@dexda: ...Uhh, ok? Not sure where that came from :D And that's what I meant too, games, not tech demos. Where did I say anything different?

Avatar image for Stebsis
Stebsis

@dexda: Ok, just calm down :D Maybe you should take some time off if you can't handle a simple comment on the internet

Avatar image for mikemurphy80
mikemurphy80

@Stebsis: Fanboi is strong in this one eh?

Avatar image for ello432
ello432

Sony has been making media headset for years so its not surprising that they can produce at a lower cost and at a profit. All though their media headset were extremely expensive for the time

Avatar image for ExtremePhobia
ExtremePhobia

I'm sure he didn't make a mistake on this, they are profitting on each. With how precise the pricing is on parts, sometimes the profit margin is very small, especially once you cut in the retailers. It wouldn't surprise me if their profit margin was a fraction of a percent.

Also, while both MS and Sony sold their previous consoles at a loss, Wii did not, and none of the consoles now available do (as far as I'm aware). Before then, I don't remember anybody caring, though I'm sure it happened. All things considered, I certainly wouldn't say it's a common place idea now, and I don't suspect it will be in the future, considering how this console generation is going while all the companies are selling for profit.

Avatar image for deactivated-58a78a043e9d4

@ExtremePhobia: I think it's far more likely that they're muddying the truth here a little. In reality it's not $400, it's $500 with the camera and move controllers, which cost them almost nothing at this point.

Avatar image for neowarrior793
neowarrior793

@pongley: you dont need the move controllers, and yes camera, buy it second hand. theres plenty of people who will sell theres if its that usefull.

Avatar image for deactivated-58a78a043e9d4

@neowarrior793: You can get by without the move controllers but Sony are touting them as an integral part of the experience. If you don't think they're including new sales of those in their projections, you're out of your mind.

Avatar image for neowarrior793
neowarrior793

@pongley: lol theres no indication they are, not like whith MS when they said the kinext is required.

Avatar image for Gomtor
Gomtor

There should be a certain amount sold before you can talk profits. They must first recoup all R & D, for starters.

Avatar image for kyelo
Kyelo

@Gomtor: R&D most likely won't be that different to any other running year for Sony. Companies that large have a vast number of salaried staff and huge research complexes that always exist and that they are always paying.

Avatar image for ltjohnnyrico
LTJohnnyRico

Makes sense !! Not really news !!!