Sony comments on PSVR 2 production cut rumors due to low pre-orders
- According to Gamesindustry.biz, Sony says that it has "not cut PlayStation VR2 production numbers".
- This statement does not have to contradict the Bloomberg report, since Bloomberg writes about a forecast of sales figures, and Sony talks about production figures.
- Sony says that it is "seeing enthusiasm from PlayStation fans for the upcoming launch, which includes more than 30 titles such as Gran Turismo 7, Horizon Call of the Mountain, and Resident Evil Village."
The pre-orders for the Playstation VR 2 are worse than expected, reports Bloombeg, citing sources close to the company. As a result, Sony now plans to produce fewer units.
According to Bloomberg, Sony has halved its shipment forecast for this quarter from two million to one million VR systems. The company originally planned to ship and sell two million units at launch.
Sony now plans to ship 1.5 million units between April 2023 and March 2024, but that number could be revised downward if demand does not materialize. Sony has told a display supplier to expect a drop in orders, Bloomberg's sources said.
High price may be a deterrent
Disappointing pre-order numbers are cited as the reason for the revised forecast. The Playstation VR 2 has been available for pre-order since November 2022. Initially only from Sony directly, later also from retailers and online stores. Currently, most stores have no waiting lists, suggesting weak demand for the new VR headset.
The relatively high price for a console accessory may be a major reason why consumers are holding off: The Playstation VR 2 starts at $550, while the Playstation 5 required for the headset starts at $500. This makes the accessory pricier than the console itself.
Sony is hoping that launch titles like Horizon Call of the Mountain will lead to strong demand, one of the people said. For now, the price seems more impressive to the gaming community than the PSVR 2's game offerings.
PSVR 2 flop would hit VR industry hard
Low demand for PSVR 2 is bad news for the VR industry in general and Sony in particular.
If Sony fails to build a profitable VR ecosystem for VR studios in the next two years, it's likely that studios will turn to or prioritize other platforms like Meta Quest if they haven't already, or ignore VR altogether. Playstation VR 2 could then die the same slow death as the first headset.
This would hit the B2C VR industry hard and raise new doubts about the future potential of the technology in gaming. Companies like Meta, HTC, and Pico would be left with one less major competitor and industry driver, and an even greater investment burden.
Apple is still keeping a low profile, and who knows if all these rumors will turn out to be true.