Sony slashes PlayStation VR2 headset output soon after pre-orders disappoint

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Sony, one of the world’s leading technology companies, has announced plans to reduce the number of PlayStation VR2 headsets produced following the lackluster performance of pre-order sales.

The PlayStation VR2 is the much-anticipated successor to the PlayStation VR headset, and was set to ship in the spring of 2021. In anticipation of the launch, pre-orders opened in early March of 2021. However, the pre-order sales drastically underperformed expectations, leading Sony to reduce the number of units produced and shipped.

The centerpiece of the PlayStation VR2 is the wide array of new features it offers, such as higher resolution on the displays and improved controllers. Sony also significantly upgraded its audio offerings, with the headset now boasting a more powerful sound system with enhanced bass and directional audio.

Despite the abundance of new features, the PlayStation VR2’s pre-order sales failed to live up to expectations. Analysts attribute the poor performance to both supply and demand-side factors. On the supply-side, Sony struggled to scale up production to meet the high demand for the new headset. This led to long shipping times for pre-orders, which could have dissuaded some customers from purchasing the new headset.

On the demand side of things, customers may have grown wary of investing in expensive and untested technology. Although the PlayStation VR2 was highly anticipated, new purchases also posed an inherent risk as people may not have been sure of the quality of the product or the longevity of the system. With no clear way to quantify these risks in advance, many customers may have opted to wait and see how the headset performs.

As it currently stands, Sony has not released the exact details of their production reduction, but the impact of their decision is expected to reverberate throughout the gaming world. For those die-hards who still plan on picking up the headset, the pre-order window is still open, albeit with likely limited availability.

With its ambitious new features and arguably modest price tag, Sony had high hopes for the PlayStation VR2 headset. Unfortunately, this was not to be, as the headset failed to live up to expectations. In the end, it remains to be seen how the production cut back will impact the launch of the PlayStation VR2, but one thing is for certain, Sony’s ambitious plans for the device have been scaled back.

Sony Group Corp. minimized projections for the original start of its PlayStation VR2 headset significantly right after early pre-orders disappointed, signaling tiny improvement for the hyped-but-unproven virtual reality sector.

The firm halved its forecast for shipments of the PSVR2, which is set for a Feb. 22 launch, this quarter to about a million units, claimed individuals common with its deliberations. Sony had previously aimed to have 2 million headsets completely ready for the start quarter and leverage its second-generation headset to travel person advancement and adoption for VR.

The Tokyo-dependent electronics big has explained to a offer partner to anticipate diminished exhibit panel orders, in accordance to the folks, who requested not to be named as the details is not general public. The enterprise now designs to ship all around 1.5 million units concerning this April and March subsequent 12 months, they added, nevertheless that determine may perhaps be altered additional in reaction to need.

Consumers globally have taken to VR fewer rapidly than at first hoped, held back in section by a deficiency of titles that can showcase the technological know-how. Following diving in 2022, around the globe shipments of augmented and virtual fact headsets are envisioned to develop 32% to 12.8 million models this calendar year, in accordance to IDC estimates. The sector is now dominated by Meta Platforms Inc.’s Quest assortment, with virtually an 85% share. Sony does not rank amid the best 5 companies and its initially-generation PSVR has unsuccessful to protected even a 1% share.

Sony commenced accepting PSVR2 pre-orders on an invitation basis in November, but it shortly comfortable conditions so that any individual wishing to buy the gadget could buy a person. The PSVR2 will get the job done only with Sony’s PlayStation 5 console, which starts at $399. The headset is priced at $549. With a lot less than a thirty day period to go till the PSVR2’s launch, most suppliers are nonetheless having pre-orders with out a hold out list — while hotly predicted gaming gizmos are generally constrained in offer at launch.

Sony experienced envisioned start recreation titles these as Horizon Simply call of the Mountain would entice powerful demand, a particular person common with its pondering said, but the new hardware’s pricing may perhaps have blunted shopper urge for food.

A Sony spokesperson declined to remark as the company does not focus on its product or service stock.

The new headset’s charge and incompatibility with other consoles will possible confine it to niche status, according to analysts. Contrary to Meta, which has invested greatly in producing VR a lot more affordable and attainable, Sony’s supplying is deemed an effort to maintain a footprint in the VR section rather than really increase it to new audiences.

“The PSVR2 will be no more than an pricey accent for the PS5,” explained Damian Thong, an analyst at Macquarie Money.

The lackluster need arrives at a negative time for the VR field. Meta’s Quest 2 income dropped just after the corporation lifted the product’s price tag and cut careers in its hardware office, whilst Microsoft Corp. resolved to scale back its HoloLens goggles business.

VR headsets have prolonged held the promise of the following growth frontier for computing components and services, attracting fascination from Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Apple Inc. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg rebranded Meta to signal his dedication to creating a VR metaverse, but some of the most thriving metaverse initiatives to day — this sort of as Truth by Japanese cell game maker Gree Inc. — are not compatible with headsets at all.

“The recent head-mounted shows are bulky and it’s difficult to maintain oneself motivated to use just one every working day,” UBS Securities analyst Kenji Fukuyama mentioned. “That system is not attractive for software package makers to develop game titles for the reason that it doesn’t guarantee powerful product sales. Augmented or blended reality, not virtual actuality, may well switch out to be the upcoming.”

Cooling buyer and current market sentiment is not discouraging suppliers, according to Display Supply Chain Consultants co-founder Yoshio Tamura. A lot of part vendors, specially screen makers, continue to commit seriously in advancing optical technologies for use in goggles, together with types for Apple’s planned device launch later this 12 months.

“The VR period will appear,” Tamura said. “We’re just not there still.”

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