Is PlayStation VR2 a Flop? Sony Pauses Production Amid Slow Sales


Sony’s ambitious foray into the virtual reality gaming market with the $550 worth of PlayStation VR2 (PSVR2) appears to be hitting a roadblock.

According to recent reports, the tech giant has temporarily halted production of its high-end VR headset to clear a backlog of unsold units.

But what went wrong, and can Sony revive its VR dreams?

PSVR2 Sales Have Slowed to a Crawl

First, let’s address the elephant in the room: the PSVR2’s sales performance.

Bloomberg report states that sales of the VR headset have dropped steadily since its launch in February 2023, leading to a buildup of unsold stock.

The publication claims Sony produced 2 million+ PSVR2 units, suggesting initial sales projections were quite optimistic.

But at the end of the year, PSVR2 sold just over one million units, a far cry from Sony’s initial production figures.

It’s not even performed well in the 2023 holiday season where its rival Meta’s Quest 2 and Quest 3 VR headsets outsold it by a huge 30:1 ratio margin.

What Went Wrong with the PSVR2?

Lack of First-Party PSVR2 Games

One potential factor contributing to the PSVR2’s lackluster sales could be the lack of compelling first-party game titles from Sony itself.

Earlier this year, Sony announced a slate of upcoming PSVR2 games (Behemoth, Low-Fi, Metro Awakening, Madison VR, Sushi Ben, Tin Hearts, Aces of Thunder, Wanderer), but none of them were developed by its own studios.

This raised eyebrows among industry analysts and gamers alike, as first-party exclusives are often a major selling point for new gaming hardware.

The situation worsened when Sony announced massive layoffs affecting 900 employees, including the closure of its VR-focused studio in London.

This move sent a clear signal that Sony might be scaling back its VR ambitions, at least for the time being.

Challenging the VR Gaming Market

Despite the immense potential and hype surrounding virtual reality (VR) gaming, the technology has yet to achieve widespread mainstream adoption.

That is why the virtual reality gaming market has been a challenging one for all players involved.

According to Fortune Business Insight, the global VR market is projected to reach USD 53.44 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 31.4% between 2023-2028. Statista and Technavio also showed similar projections with a high growth rate for this sector.

However many experts don’t agree with these projections suggesting that industry expectations for VR adoption might have been overly optimistic.

According to Eric Lempel, head of Sony Interactive Entertainment’s global business, VR gaming was “a bit of a challenging category right now,” showcasing the overhyped created around this sector.

Can Sony Revive PSVR2’s Fortunes?

So, what’s next for the PSVR2? Sony is currently testing compatibility with PC, which could potentially open up a wider library of VR games for PSVR2 users.

However, this move alone may not be enough to address the root issue: the lack of compelling, first-party content from Sony itself.

Perhaps Sony could take a page from its successful PlayStation strategy and invest in developing exclusive,

AAA VR titles that showcase the true potential of the PSVR2 hardware.

After all, the PlayStation brand’s success has been largely driven by its robust lineup of first-party games that keep gamers coming back for more.

Source: IGN, Bloomberg, RoadToVR

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