The success of PSVR seems to have taken even Sony aback. They expected to sell one million units in six months, but ended up moving over 900.000 in four. The unexpected demand is probably the reason for the supply shortages that some retailers have been facing lately.
According to Andrew House, CEO of Sony Global Interactive Entertainment, even he was skeptical about the potential success of the PlayStation VR. In fact, as the New York Times reports, it was his idea to produce and ship less units. From his position, the decision sounds more than reasonable:
It’s the classic case in any organization — the guys who are on the front end in sales are getting very excited, very hyped up. You have to temper that with other voices inside the company, myself among them, saying let’s just be a little bit careful.
To be fair, the sales numbers are pretty impressive, especially compared to the competition. Neither HTC nor the Oculus have official sales figures released, but, according to SuperData Research’s estimates, they are far behind. The say that, by the end of 2016, HTC moved about 400.000 Vives, while the Rift sold less than 250.000 units. If you compare that to the PSVR, they’re far back in the dust.
There are many potential causes for this difference. First off all, the PSVR is cheaper, at least for PlayStation 4 players, who themselves are a pretty big market. The other factor might be convenience. For example, while the HTC Vive is a great piece of tech, but it requires a huge, empty room for the full effect. Of course, the latest lawsuit revolving around the Oculus Rift will no doubt severely hurt its future sales.
Either way, Sony better get to manufacturing more VR units. Clearly, the market is demanding more, so t hey better meet it with supply, and fast.