PlayStation VR made its debut earlier this month, and it has enjoyed a successful start. The platform isn’t performing like the PS4 did when it first released, and that was to be expected, but PlayStation VR is seeing positive support from gamers.
HTC Vive and Oculus are the main competitors of PSVR. What platform will ultimately prove to be successful is up in the air. VR is still very much a growing platform, so it could be a long time before we truly are able to crown a victor in the VR market.
That said, there are still guesses that can be made about how PlayStation VR will compete, given its large install base of PS4s. Michael Goodman, who is the director of digital media strategies at Strategy Analytics, talked to We Write Things, about PSVR and how his firm believes the platform will ultimately be the most successful.
“This is Sony’s first VR product and it’s going to take time before we really start to see games take full advantage of the hardware. We think [PSVR] will do well, but we don’t think any [VR] products are going to rock the world. We do think Sony is going to be the most successful,” Goodman said.
And you might be sitting there thinking about why this could be the case. Well, it’s simple because Oculus and HTC do not have the type of install base that Sony’s PS4 does. PSVR has over 40 million customers that can easily and more cheaply upgrade to the system since they already have a PS4. This is what makes PSVR the likelier candidate to success, right?
“Absolutely,” Goodman said.
In theory, PSVR has the foundational elements to be successful, but time will tell how that ultimately shakes out. One of the factors that will be influential in the platform’s success is how games begin to evolve. When will we get to see the AAA quality experiences on VR that we see on console?
PSVR’s launch was immensely different from PS4’s when you look at the experiences that came to each platform. Obviously, console enjoyed AAA quality games, while PSVR’s games have and will take time before they reach true AAA status.
“Compare the launch lineup of the PS4 when it was out [three] years ago to the launch lineup of PSVR. Quite frankly, I would say it is night and day compared to the depth and quality of those titles. I think this is where the hype for VR has done a bit disservice to it.
“There’s been a tremendous amount of hype surrounding VR and it hasn’t done any favors for the platform in terms of setting expectations. Expectations have been sky high. I see people out there who say [it will be] a $120 billion market in five years time. Now I don’t believe that, but it is setting incredibly high expectations,” Goodman said.
It is early days in PSVR’s life, so games will take time to evolve and so will the market. How long will that time take? Publishers are investing millions into an unproven platform. Will experiences reach the level of quality they need to in order to be successful before publishers tap out on supporting PSVR because the returns do not justify the expenses?
These are questions we will have answered in the coming months and years. PSVR is available now though, and Sony seems to be happy with how the device has performed thus far. Stick around here at We Write Things for more from our chat with Strategy Analytics.