VR Sales Are Underperforming, Sony Cutting Production Plan By 20 Percent
We live in a world where it feels like we get a new going tech breakthrough every few years. Everything from improved graphics to larger RAM capabilities and so much more has allowed the gaming industry to continue its growth. But one thing that was supposed to be a big game changer is struggling right now, and that is VR. VR Sales are underperforming, and it is affecting multiple companies and the industry at large.
VR sales have been underperforming across the board for most companies.
This has caused some companies to shift back on their production and reevaluate some aspects of this technology.
With this, it is important to look at what could be done to improve this technology or if it will even be viable.
We have been expecting VR gaming to take off for years, but today it remains an odd side item than anything resembling a main console. Now it appears that the VR systems are underperforming in sales, which is affecting production for these devices and their add-ons. So what does the future hold for something that was supposed to be the next big thing?
According to Ming-Chi Kuo, one of the most reliable tech insiders, Sony has cut its 2023 production plan for PlayStation VR2 by 20%.
According to a report shared on Twitter by MauroNL on Twitter, multiple VR brands had been underselling, and even ones that hadn’t reported that they were cutting back. The first of these, and by far and away the most significant to gaming, is the sales numbers of the PSVR2. This device’s sales figures have not been released, but interestingly enough, the production has been affected.
It is stated explicitly that they will lower the production rate of the system by 20%. While that is not as large as it could have been, this is still a significant reduction for a fairly new console.
The next one would be for Pico, which is one of the largest VR providers in Asian markets as it is China’s largest AR/VR provider. This is one of the most direct ones; the report states that they undersold by 40%. This is a huge number, which is a big sign of the effect that underselling VR can have on the market.
The last one listed in the report is the Meta Quest Pro, which is one of the most surprising. The Meta Quest Pro is currently limiting its lifecycle shipment to 300,000 units. This is a surprisingly small number from a company that is famous for making and pushing VR as the future. Remember that Meta’s devices are not just for gaming but for every other computer purpose as well.
Well, this really seems to signify that not enough people are buying these devices for the companies to justify large-scale production. For as large as the gaming industry has gotten, it must still follow the rules. The biggest rule that has to follow is the rule of supply and demand. If there isn’t a demand, then your supply can quite easily become a burden and an expense.
A large part of the VR problem is that it does not understand who it is for and how it can help its audience. Every other technological advancement provides something that wasn’t there before or solves a problem that has been around for at least a bit. VR has the potential to do both of these in a large variety of ways.
This logic is especially true in the gaming sphere. It is just that companies don’t seem to understand how this could work for them and gamers.
The biggest benefit of VR gaming is the actual feeling of being immersed in the game world. The sensation of horror when you are in Resident Evilor the sheer wonder in Minecraft is by far and away one of the most powerful benefits of this technology. Applying story-driven games could have a similar effect in which players will start to feel like the game and story are about them.
While being immersed is and should be the goal for these devices, it should also be noted they have to improve how people interact with the devices and games they play. No one wants to be in the middle of a horror game and trip over their coffee table. There is some device to accommodate this, but they are not quite there yet to be helpful.
There is also a secondary benefit that VR could have that most have not explored yet: the connection to other players. Many have felt the loss of couch co-op as more and more games abandon the traditional style of play. But with VR, it might be possible to have people connect again like they used while playing games.
This improvement would go a long way toward helping VR become popular in the game like it allegedly should be. While discussing the possibility of this device, we should also look at the potential that their games hold.
In truth, most games today are a miracle in that they exist at all, and the fact that so many are excellent is just a separate category. The thing is that, like with so many other aspects, VR does not use this to its full potential. Doing so could elevate VR and actually make it a must-have for many gamers.
The games must take better advantage of the mechanics to instill a feeling in the player. So far, few games have actually done this, like Horizon: Call Of The Mountain. These examples show that this type of game is possible. But most don’t take advantage of it, which really hurts the market for these.
The second is that there are next to no story-driven games for VR, and that is a shame because that could be the elevation it needs. Whether it would be a choice-driven game similar to Mass Effect or a character-driven one like The Last Of Us, it could improve the gaming experience. It would remove that buffer of playing just a character and fully integrate into the world and the story.
There is still room for VR gaming if companies can learn how to use it. It’s not like there haven’t been huge hits in the VR community already, but they tend to pattern out with any sustaining way for them to endure. So not only are the changes that we have already discussed so important but so is the future support that games get.
I do not see VR disappearing into the void anytime soon, but unless some serious effort is put forth, it will not get any better, either. The VR systems need a real push to convince people to invest the money and the time in the consoles. No one wants to drop five hundred to two thousand dollars to have only one game that runs five hours long.
VR will still be around, but we will likely see a continued shrinkage in inventory numbers. We will also likely see a reduction in advertising for these gears because why would companies advertise something they are cutting down on? Given trends, though, there is a strong possibility that this will only be temporary. If enough games come out that people want to play, we will likely see a surge in VR again.
It is also possible that if Meta finally makes a home equivalent of a PC, we could see that surge again. With utility comes more justification for ownership.
These are the most likely way that we will start to see VR in the future. Until this happens, we are looking at a long wait for the ability to get into our favorite games and worlds.
That is all that we have on the fact that VR Sales are underperforming.
Jace loves both video games and writing, so he thought the best career was to write about video games. He attended Full Sail University and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Creative Writing. He joined Gamsual in 2022, and when not covering video game news, he is often building and strategizing in simulation and RTS games. Xbox: Alchemist5966