Playstation VR: 2021 charts show what Sony desperately needs to change
Sony releases the Playstation VR top downloads for 2021 - and we're in for a big surprise at the top. Are we?
What would Playstation VR - and the VR gaming world in general - be without Beat Saber, Job Simulator, and Superhot VR? Across all platforms, probably significantly smaller.
This is especially true for Playstation VR: Last year, too, the three VR methuselahs were at the top of the download charts in the Playstation Store. Beat Saber also took this top spot in previous years - in the US and in Europe.
Download Hits from 2016: The PSVR Ecosystem is Dead
The fact that the PSVR charts in 2021 are dominated by almost retro VR games makes me happy for the respective studios, of course, and speaks for the quality of the titles. It's not for nothing that they are also long-running hits on all other VR platforms.
Sure, the VR game market is still tiny. However, the dominance of the three titles is particularly obvious with Sony's Playstation VR. They were already at the top of Sony's PSVR charts at the beginning of 2020, as well as in 2019.
No wonder, what else are PSVR players going to buy? Sony has failed to deliver great VR games for Playstation VR in recent years. Timid attempts like Iron Man VR or Blood & Truth failed qualitatively, partly also due to the outdated hardware, and were ultimately only the often cited drop in the bucket.
Where would PSVR be without the strong start with Resident Evil 7 and the Beat Saber hype? Probably not at more than five million units sold. Sony has not yet managed to convince Playstation gamers of VR eventually.
Did Sony save the munition for Playstation VR 2 early on?
Granted, for the past two years, it didn't look like Sony was seriously considering VR as a major part of its gaming future. Perhaps the Playstation company has long since realized that the old Playstation VR is no longer an attractive offer for gamers - not even at junk prices - at the latest with the release of the first Oculus Quest and the strong technical progress in PC VR. Investments in exclusive PSVR games would hardly have had a chance for a good return.
We can only hope that Sony sees this stumble into the VR future as an experimental prelude to a Playstation VR 2 with strong hardware and a sustainable software strategy. The fact that Playstation games could be developed hybrid for 2D and VR in the future at least gives hope for more big names and a steady supply of games.
Sony has a mammoth task ahead of it: The company has to win back the trust of the many millions of PSVR players who bought the VR glasses not only for Beat Saber, Job Simulator, or Superhot. Meanwhile, they have probably put PSVR away in the closet in disappointment.
Sony has to reignite the euphoria around VR, as it once did in 2016, and show from the beginning with PSVR 2 that virtual reality is more than a three-game accessory. We could get a glimpse of whether that will be successful in February - that's when Sony could finally fully unveil PSVR 2.