We already know that Sony has no direct competition in the VR market. Microsoft is prepping something different in the form of HoloLens that is nowhere close to release. Meanwhile, Sony is the sole company that will introduce a VR device for a console this year.
PlayStation VR will release in October for PlayStation 4 and it will retail for $399. According to analyst Ben Schachter, Sony will “utterly dominate” VR market without any response from rival Microsoft. He also said that PlayStation VR is expected to sell 8 million units in the first two years.
While commenting on PlayStation VR and its price that was revealed at GDC:
We believe that today’s news from Sony is very positive for the development of more mass-market friendly VR ecosystems… We now believe that by holiday ’16, there will be VR hardware and software across multiple price points. We think that investors will recognize that meaningful dollars will come into the VR industry by ’17, with the potential to ramp significantly in ’18 and beyond.
The price of PlayStation is going to attract a lot of audience, 36 million of them to be exact. Do we see 8 million of them buying PlayStation VR in the first 2 years? Possibly so.
Well, Ben isn’t the only one predicting such numbers. A different analyst, Jesse Schell, had previously said that there would be around 4 million units in the wild by the end of its first year.
Sony has launched multiple video game consoles over the past 20+ years. It knows how to align retailers, developers, publishers, and others. It also knows how to market to consumers and deliver an experience that consumers love… While HTC and Facebook are focusing on a broad adoption of VR across social, entertainment, and enterprise, Sony’s PlayStation team is laser focused on games and entertainment. Having EA’s Star Wars Battlefront as an exclusive VR title is a positive and highlights Sony’s experience in gaming, Schachter said.
PlayStation VR is not only an enticing option for console gamers, but PC gamers may show interest as well due to its cheap price. On PC, a VR device and a VR Ready PC can cost you around $1,700 depending on the specs you choose with a minimum of GTX 970 as GPU.
We can see that Sony will dominate the VR market and it is clear that Microsoft doesn’t plan on responding with its own VR device. Instead, the company is opting for AR that looks even more gimmicky than VR did in the beginning.