Sony on PlayStation VR -- "We Don't Know What Demand Will Be"

"In terms of disruption, this is the most since PS1 and perhaps even greater than that."


With the October launch of Sony's PlayStation VR device coming up, PlayStation executive Shuhei Yoshida has now spoken up to say he's not sure what level of demand there will be for the headset. That said, he drew a parallel to the original PlayStation console when talking about the device's level of "disruption."

"To be honest, we don't know what demand will be," Yoshida told Bloomberg. "In terms of disruption, this is the most since PS1 and perhaps even greater than that."

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Retailer GameStop sold through its allotment of PlayStation VR preorders in mere minutes, but it's not clear how much stock the store had to begin with. The device is also sold out on Amazon.

In June, PlayStation executive Andrew House told fans to expect PlayStation VR shortages. He also said basically the same thing as Yoshida about not being able to model demand very well.

"Virtual reality is a medium that's in its infancy. With such a nascent, very new form of storytelling, it's difficult to predict what user uptake is going to be," House said at the time.

Analysts cited in the Bloomberg report said Sony could sell at least 1.5 million PlayStation VR devices in 2016 alone, which would be ahead of Oculus Rift and HTC Vive despite launching months later. The analysts said sales of PlayStation VR devices could reach 3 million in 2017, citing the device's "attractive pricing" relative to the competition, as well as exclusive games.

Sony originally announced it would ship PlayStation VR in the first half of 2016. However, the release date was pushed to October due in part to increased sales projections. Sony needed more time to manufacture additional units to meet demands, according to Sony Computer Entertainment executive vice president Masayasu Ito.

PlayStation VR will launch on October 13. As detailed previously, the device, which requires PlayStation 4 and a PlayStation Camera, starts at $400 for the headset alone. You can also buy a bundle that comes with the headset, two PlayStation Move controllers, a PlayStation Camera, and the PlayStation Worlds game for $500.

Sony has yet to say much about how PlayStation VR will work with the new, more powerful Neo system. This console is expected to be officially announced tomorrow, September 7, so we may not have to wait long to find out. The system has better specs than the existing PS4, so it stands to reason that PlayStation VR games would look even better running on the console. Sony is also expected to announce a slimline version of the PS4 during the show. Check back tomorrow for more details.

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