Skip to main content

PlayStation VR May Have Already Won Virtual Reality War

The PlayStation VR just hit store shelves, but it's already leading the virtual reality competition in one key area.

According to a survey by researcher Magid Advisors of consumers 8 to 64 years old (as reported by CNET), a solid 42 percent said they were very or somewhat interested in virtual reality. But it's Sony's own numbers that are more impressive.

MORE: PlayStation VR Review: Serious Fun for a Sane Price

Among those who said they were at least somewhat interested in VR, about a quarter (26 percent) said they would be interested in buying Sony's $399 system in the next 12 months.

That figure is nearly double the respondents' interest in the $599 Oculus Rift (14 percent) and way ahead of the $799 HTC Vive (9 percent). That's pretty impressive given that Oculus' and HTC's PC-based VR products have been available for several months.

Samsung's Gear VR topped the survey with 29 percent intent to purchase, likely because of its $99 price. But that phone-driven device is really in a different mobile category.

To be fair, the PSVR isn't $399 if you don't already have the other gear required to get the full experience. Once you add the PlayStation Camera and PlayStation Move controllers, you're looking at $528. Still, that's cheaper than the competition.

Sony is anticipating a fast start to the PSVR, because the European CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, Jim Ryan, told CNBC that the company expects to sell hundreds of thousands of units after its launch. Separately, SuperData research forecasts 2.6 million units sold this year.

Based on our review, the PSVR offers a decent selection of 30 launch titles, a surprisingly comfortable headset and a fairly easy setup. And you don't need a pricey gaming PC to jump in. In fact, there are already more than 40 million PS4 owners out there.

Sony and its developer partners will need to deliver a richer variety of immersive experiences if it's truly going to win the VR war, but without any real competition from Microsoft on the console front, it looks like the PSVR could be the system to beat this holiday and beyond.

  • seb_breton
  • Daekar3
    I hope for all of our sakes that Sony got it right if it's going to be popular. If not, they might set consumer interest in VR back years.

    I'm going to reserve judgement. My first impression is that first-gen console VR is going to be a mediocre experience, but when my local Best Buy gets a demo unit I'll give it a try. VR is not something that I will jump into without a good length demo first, since I have reason to believe it will mess up my eyes or make me nauseous.
  • Double44
    I wear glasses, this VR tech only accommodates those who do not have pre-existing conditions, which is already cutting right into their profits. Then there's the whole dizziness factor, which people are pretty much unanimous about. The games that are being made aren't even worth the money for all the gadgets required.

    It's kinda funny how Sony whipped out the PS Move sticks again, back when motion control was the fad. If those sticks are any indication of the VRs future, VR is pretty much doomed. That's not to say that the technology couldn't be used for other purposes, I think it's a great new way of presenting things, but there's a pretty wide barrier of entry.
  • Tri23
    The world of VR is divided into people of hope and despair. :P

    >> whole dizziness factor, which people are pretty much unanimous about.
    This problem is resolved by high frame rate and giving the players a point of reference. Most game devs have stopped making people fly-around while not in a vehicle. Roomscape also REALLY helps that, as you keep your perspective.

    >> The games that are being made aren't even worth the money for all the gadgets required.
    You can't quite think of VR as a gaming platform, as that sort of limits what it is used for. I like to think of it as an experience / interaction medium.

    For example... Google Tilt Brush.
    It isn't really a game, but an experimental art-program that works.

    In the future, I see VR being adapted to overcome limitations of the monitors. Think of 3D modeling programs in VR? Autocad, etc.
    Think of having a virtualized desktop with as many screens as you need! think of video editing, where all your tools are perfectly laid out. There are so many possibilities!

    >> VR is pretty much doomed.
    Sony VR? Maybe this iteration, but remember, VR has been on the consumer market for 6 months now with the HTC Vive being released in April. Also think of this.. Steam, Facebook, Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo(?) and others are all pushing forward with VR. These are pretty big companies with REALLY smart people. It is really hard to say it is doomed, because you are betting against some big tech giants. You don't want to be the guy who looks at the first Windows Phone, and goes "Nobody will ever want a PC and a phone in one! It will never take off!" Sure the window phone flopped, but people still paid $800 for the first Iphone.

    (and for the record.. I thought people were crazy when they purchased the first Iphone.)

    As for Playstation.. I think the release of their VR and in the state it is in is a move against Microsoft. That gives them a little edge against Xbox, and just in time for the holiday season. Ya gotta pick a side in the console wars.