Its been very hard to deduce how many head-mounted displays (HMDs) have been sold by Oculus and HTC since they launched earlier this year. Neither company has been very forthcoming, so analysts and media outlets have been working out approximate figures through software sales on platforms such as Steam to get a rough count. Now it seems as if HTC is starting to give some figures to indicate the popularity of the system, with a representative claiming the company has sold over 140,000 units.
Spotted by Tech Crunch this figure came from Chinese website 87870 via chairman Cher Wang. And back in August HTC’s China regional president of VR Alvin Grayling had given a figure of 100,000 units, a sizeable jump for what is seen by many as an expensive peripheral.
For the console market these sort of figures would paint a very dismal picture but with the price of the HTC Vive system, along with the cost of a suitable PC, not exactly entry level the sales figures do show promise in the growing VR field. But HTC has been making inroads with the entry price, recently the company partnered with computer manufacturer HP on a PC/headset bundle for £1,499 GBP, saving £200 off the normal cost.
But to put that into a bit more perspective a couple of days ago VRFocus reported that the recently released PlayStation VR from Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) sold just over 50,000 units in its first three days on sale in Japan. That’s just one territory, figures for North America and Europe haven’t been released but they’ll likely be higher, putting the headset way above its rivals.
The PlayStation VR is somewhat cheaper but one of the biggest benefits to the headset is the 40+ million PlayStation 4’s that are in customers homes, making that entry price much more affordable. And if data from companies such as SuperData Research are near to the mark, sales forecasts for PlayStation VR are set to be over 2 million by year end.
For what is still a niche market 140,000 HTC Vive units is still a good figure, and one that developers will be looking at when creating their next VR experience with an eye on recouping investment.
VRFocus will continue its coverage of HTC Vive, reporting back with any further announcements.