Virtual reality (VR) technology is undeniably impressive, but there are still a lot of questions as to how well the tech will sell and how well the creators of specific head-mounted displays (HMDs) expect them to sell. From marketing to price points, there are numerous barriers to entry for every device on the horizon. Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) knows this all too well, which is why it doesn’t seem to be hoping for an overnight success story with its PlayStation VR device for the PlayStation 4.
Managing Director of Sony Computer Entertainment in Australia Michael Ephraim recently said as much in an interview with IGN. “Honestly, it’s going to be a challenge,” he said of selling VR to consumers. “We have retail partners, we have media, and shows, and events. There’s always been Westfield events. But word of mouth is a strong tool, too. You demo to 1000, and they’re going to tell 100,000 people that they had this amazing experience, and those people are going to want to have that experience too. But we don’t have the exact answer.”
He continued, adding that the company didn’t need to sell ‘a million units’ in VR. “We’re working on plans, obviously, but I think – look. Already before launch there’s so much hype, but it’s going to be here for a while. We don’t have to sell a million units during launch period. It will be a build. As Shuhei [Yoshida] said, there are a lot of publishers and devs developing for it. And there will be titles coming to VR that people will know, like GT Sport, for example, which will have a VR component. But as for en masse? It’s something we’ve got to work on,” Ephraim said.
PlayStation VR is set to launch in the first half of 2016, though a specific date and price are yet to be announced. VRFocus will continue to follow the kit closely, reporting back with the latest updates on it.