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Sony Halts PS VR2 Production Until It Clears Stock

Sony Halts PS VR2 Production Until It Clears Stock

The VR market is not growing as anticipated. Last month, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said the company would not increase investment in VR because of the disappointing performance of Assassin’s Creed Nexus VR. Now, it is claimed that Sony has halted PS VR2 production to clear the backlog of unsold units.

Sony Halts PS VR2 Production Until It Clears Stock

“We have been a bit disappointed by what we were able to achieve on VR with Assassin’s Creed,” Guillemot said during the Q&A session of the company’s earnings call. “It did ok, and it continues to sell, but we thought it would sell more, so we are not increasing our investments in VR at the moment because it needs to take off.”

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The update on PS VR2 sales was contained in a Bloomberg report which claimed the virtual reality headset sale has declined since its release last year. According to reports, the META Quest VR headset is currently trumping the PS VR2 in sales.

“The high price of VR hardware acts as the main hurdle for its expansion,” said Macquarie analyst Yijia Zhai in the Bloomberg post. “Currently, there are limited games that support VR devices, and that will also lead to lack of motivation for players to purchase VR hardware. This limited content also has a reason – the development cost for VR games is substantially higher than normal titles.”

Sony Halts PS VR2 Production Until It Clears Stock

Sony’s PS VR2 is currently priced at $549 which is more than the $449 price tag on the PS5. In contrast, the Meta Quest 2 is sold for $240. Although Meta Quest 3 is pricier at $499, it comes with Asgard’s Wrath 2 which offsets some of that cost.

However, the price point is not the only reason why the PS VR2 is less appealing to gamers. The library of games available for play on the PS VR2 is still slim compared to the PS5. These factors have contributed to keeping the demand for VR headsets down.

What can Sony do to move its pile of unsold PS VR2?

Unless Sony figures out a way to sell its pile of PS VR2, it’s unlikely that its current production stance will change in a long while. The first obvious technique would be to heavily discount its PS VR2. Sony frequently discounts its PS5 consoles, especially when it wants to boost sales. Nothing is stopping them from doing the same with the PS VR2.

Sony Halts PS VR2 Production Until It Clears Stock

The reason why Sony might have shied away from this route is probably because they have not sold enough to cover their initial investment. A discount at this time may mean that they are selling at a loss. Nevertheless, a discount appears to be the most appropriate line of action.

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Sony is also working on a PC compatibility for the PS VR which should provide another incentive for potential gamers to try it out. However, for that to have an impact, Sony has to make it fully compatible with PC like every other VR headset rather than just being a streaming device like it did with the PlayStation Portal.

In February, Sony announced that it was “testing the ability for PS VR2 players to access additional games on PC”. According to Gillen McAllister, the content communications manager at Sony Interactive Entertainment, the PC feature will “offer even more game variety in addition to the PS VR2 titles available through PS5”.

That statement shows that Sony understands that the paucity of games is one of the reasons holding the PS VR2 down. The next step that Sony can take is to commission some of its first-party studios to make more VR games. However, that would be more expensive and take longer to achieve their aim.

Do you own a VR headset? If not, what is holding you back from getting one? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.