Sony's PS VR2 headset is reportedly underperforming in its first few months of release, and is now expected to shift around 270,000 units by the end of March.
Those numbers are estimates from IDC, a market research firm, and not direct from Sony. We'll have to wait until Sony's financial calls to glimmer any official numbers or sales figures. But the IDC's VP of data and analytics, Francisco Jeronimo, does give some reasoning as to why Sony might be struggling, in comments made to Bloomberg (opens in new tab).
"Consumers around the world are facing rising costs of living, rising interest rates and rising layoffs," Jeronimo said. "VR headsets are not top of mind for most consumers under the current economic climate."
That's not a great sign for the VR headset that launched just last month, as it has been reported that Sony is hoping to sell around 1.5 million units by March next year and had already revised that figure down from 2 million prior. It was also confident it would surpass sales of PS VR with the second-gen unit of around 5 million sales over its lifetime.
Sony will have to pick up the pace to make those sorts of numbers up throughout the coming months, but at least there is still time to turn it around.
PS VR2 has next to no competition on consoles. It's competing squarely with Sony's own first-generation PS VR headset. And that's basically a no-contest. PS VR2 is better in every way, and in many ways it's on par with some of the best VR headsets on PC that I'm a fan of.
You can't fault Sony for its hardware but that has meant the headset is not the cheapest accessory. At $550/£530/€550, it costs more than the price of a PlayStation 5 console, which is requisite to using the headset. It doesn't even really work on PC (opens in new tab).
"I suspect a price cut on the PSVR2 will be needed to avoid a complete disaster of their new product," Jeronimo said.
As I mentioned in my PS VR2 review (opens in new tab), "There's a lot to be said for PS VR2, but it's facing a much tougher market than the first-generation unit did even on the affordable end of VR." There are many cheap VR headsets available on the market today, and the Meta Quest 2 is a standalone device that makes for a much lower cost of entry.
I do hope Sony's fortunes take a turn for the better, however. PS VR2 is a very well put together piece of technology, and having that console VR scene be as strong as possible is the best way to help the entire VR gaming industry thrive.