So you’ve just taken the leap and purchased your way into a new virtual world. If you’re as much of a nerd as I am, sitting inside these new virtual locales feels like a fantasy home you’ve always wanted to settle down in. Escaping the doldrums of actual reality never felt so good. You can kick back on Headmaster’s inventively playful levels. Or maybe go for a more involved experience in the horrors of Resi 7. This is unquestionably a great thing. Yet, a question persists. Did you spend too much on this tech for these delights to sit well enough outside the area of diminishing returns? Are you one of the few on a spreadsheet for Playstation VR sales? You’re not alone in this sentiment.
Playstation VR’s Pricing Is The Cheapest On The Market. But Is That Enough To Draw In A Decent Crowd?
As a Playstation VR owner, you may find yourself feeling a little isolated. I have been to game stores, only to see an odd clearing around the VR games section. A vacancy that I’d love to see filled by jolly customers. The experiences I’ve had, be they in the cockpit of an X-Wing fighter or the mine cart horrors of Rush of Blood, are unforgettable. Yet it could be said the price plan of Playstation VR and its peripherals are holding a healthy consumer base back. Bear in mind, a Playstation VR headset currently sits at £350. A camera, needed to detect you, is around £30… Aside from your console and controller, that’s all you need.
There are a few games out there that require Move controllers. Given these are last generation tech, I personally find it unpalatable that Sony has decided to re-skin these for PS4 and sell them for £80! Not only did this tech already exist for PS3, but now we’re expected to pay (mostly for first party branding) over the odds after having spent a total of around £630 for everything we’re currently using for this experience. Regardless of these gripes we must still remember a few things.
First Generation Tech, Available To 60 Million Users Will Still Take Time To Gain Momentum
Firstly, this is first generation tech; breakthrough, frontier stuff made available to the everyman. According to IGN, the first games console, the Magnavox Odysee, sold for £76.25 / $99. Nowadays, after inflation, that equates to a whopping £439.37 / $570.44! This puts things in perspective a little.
Secondly, Playstation VR sales have been acceptably healthy according to Andrew House. The CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment has expressed how pleased he is with Playstation VR’s reception so far. To date, there are 60 million PS4 owners out there. Of them, just under 1 million own a VR headset. Stating he’d be very happy with 10% of the user base investing in VR, he’s got 5 million to go to reach his target.
Regardless, according to analysts, of all the VR headsets, Playstation VR sales have trumped them all. At much higher pricing for PC gaming rigs, combined with their corresponding Vive or Occulus Rift, these setups will set gamers back a total of around £770 / $1000. Perhaps, as a result, these companies have not reached out to discuss specifics on low level sales figures. Take solace in the fact that, if you already own a PS4, your VR possibilities are in the best financial place in the market.
The Most Controversial Mid-Generation Upgrades Have Left Playstation VR In A Sticky Situation
With another 5 million Playstation VR sales needed to reach House’s 10% target, it still has a long way to go. Coming out just before the PS4 Pro, we were told Playstation VR sales would begin and that we could get an enhanced experience with the Pro. What consumers are still asking to this day is whether or not it is worth spending the money all over again. From their perspective – it’s bad enough they already have to spend the equivalent another console’s pricing for VR, let alone yet ANOTHER actual console for slighter better images. All of this and we’re now hearing rumours the Playstation 5 will emerge at the end of next year.
This leaves Playstation VR sales at the mercy of owners (and non-owners for that matter) who don’t sleep on beds made of money, wondering what they should do. Don’t get me wrong, Playstation VR is fantastic, functional and worth every penny. Yet, House’s sales target will be a hard slog to reach with consumer confusion in the mix… Will our VR headsets work on PS5? After getting only around a year and a half out of them?
This has had a knock-on effect on the VR games made available to us. Many out there are still around the £15 / £11 mark, making them short and lower budgeted experiences. The hardcore, full budget, full price titles we all yearn for remain limited to the initial wave of release titles. Resident Evil 7 of course, simply happened to combine a good sense of foresight with a release perfectly in line with the Playstation VR sales hype.
Playstation VR Sales Are Already Great, If A Little Un-Affordable. By The Next Generation, VR Will Have Taken Steps Into Our Everyday Lives.
The future is unclear within the games industry, yes. Will the next generation of consoles be the last before PC architecture swallows us all up? Will optical drives become extinct with the advent of a dominant digital marketplace? Will there be a second renaissance in game design after the slumping sales figures of last years’ triple A titles? These are all questions that will remain unanswered until their corresponding, maybe heart wrenching announcements are made. Yet, interestingly, VR as a whole will remain untouched by the outcomes of any of these answers.
As the tech develops and physically shrinks, as all tech does, it will pervade more and more into the lives of the every-man. In the case of videogames, VR will really take off when it becomes completely accessible in a casual market. We already have Google Daydream and Samsung’s attempt at integrating VR into their mobile offerings. So this development won’t take long at all, by my calculations. I also believe strongly that, among other things, VR will likely be integrated into the following generation of consoles. By then, VR will have become truly affordable. Just as mobile phones did. As we currently see, the camera peripheral has integrated its way into our use of consoles and is now available as a part of that initial purchase.
Things Will Only Get Better
Research firm, Tractica has already stated in line with my projection, that VR costs will drop gradually over time. Again, this is typical with shrinking tech becoming more and more available to the masses. They believe the price of VR headsets will drop by 15% yearly. This will of course spur growth in the market. That’s a large percentage that speaks volumes about just how quickly this tech is going to race along. Also – just how much sooner you may be investing in its cheaper prices as it squirrels its way into your everyday life.