Sony is the first of the big three tethered VR headset makers to drop official PSVR sales figures: 915,000 PlayStation VR headsets sold as of February 19. And it likely could have been more, save for the fact that the device has been surprisingly hard to find in stock, the company says.

Speaking with the New York Times recently, Andrew House, President of Sony Computer Entertainment, confirmed the PSVR sales data. As the first company to offer such information, it means that Sony is not only happy with the figure, but likely confident that they’re well ahead of the competing Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. As the New York Times cites as a point of reference, the original iPhone launched in 2007 saw about 1.4 million units sold in its first three months.

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And PSVR might even have matched those numbers, had the company placed a bigger bet when it decided how many to manufacture in its initial launch.

“It’s the classic case in any organization—the guys who are on the front end in sales are getting very excited, very hyped up,” House told the Times. “You have to temper that with other voices inside the company, myself among them, saying let’s just be a little bit careful.”

That veteran skepticism seems to have led to a limited supply that couldn’t meet demand. In the months following PlayStation VR’s October launch, it’s been difficult to find the device in stock at major retailers in the US and elsewhere.

“You literally have people lining up outside stores when they know stock is being replenished,” House said of consumers hoping to get their hands on the headset in Japan.

The company recently committed to bolstering its stockpile of the headset, including adding a new PSVR bundle to the lineup. By April, PlayStation VR should be much easier to find in stores, House said, and in the Fall the headset will begin shipping in Latin America.

Despite not meeting overly enthusiastic analyst predictions, 915,000 of any high-end tethered VR headset is a major point of validation for the young VR industry, and likely gives the headset a sizeable head start in install base over competitors, which may grow developer interest for the platform.

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As the headset is even more expensive than the console that powers it, the revenue brought in by those sales is worth considering: roughly $36 million, assuming a $450 price point (halfway between the base headset package and the bundle package with required PlayStation Camera). That’s a big deal, and you can bet that, beyond the VR industry, the ears of Sony’s competitors in the console space—Microsoft and Nintendo—will perk up at the news.

Though competitors Oculus and HTC are believed to have sold fewer headsets despite being on the market for several months longer, Sony had a number of major advantages out of the gate. For one, the PlayStation 4 hardware that powers the PSVR not only has an existing install base of more than 50 million, but new users could pick that hardware up starting around $260. The headset itself, even bundled with the required PlayStation Camera and optional Move controllers, costs $500, compared to the $800 price point of both the Rift (including Touch) and Vive, and both of those competing headsets require significantly more costly PC hardware than the PS4.

And while PSVR doesn’t provide an experience that’s as graphically rich or immersive as those other headsets, Sony’s sales figures would suggest that the headset’s specs and capabilities are ‘good enough’ for the price, despite not being best-in-class [our review].

The careful observers among you may have noted something odd about Sony’s announcement: why not wait for the 1 million unit mark? We wondered the same thing.

The timing of this week’s GDC 2017—an event that’s been an important gathering for the VR industry—makes it seem highly strategic. You can bet there will be some important announcements from Sony’s top competitors in this space, and the company may have wanted to put the spotlight on PSVR ahead of news that’s on the way from competitors.

We’ll find out if that hunch is right soon enough. Stay tuned to Road to VR this week for the most important VR news out of GDC 2017.

  • Me

    I was just shocked to see some PSVR sets in my local supermarket where there are usually only dated and cheap tech products. If Sony can push VR so far it reaches my small town in the middle of nowhere, their number one position is well deserved.

    The positive thing coming out of this is that now studios have a real reason to develop for VR, and if they do it for the PSVR they will also probably realease it for other HMDs.

    I’m glad Sony’s pushing it, I just wish they would offer a better tracking solution but as I haven’t tested it myself, I can’t really judge if it’s really worse than my Vive.

    • MaeseDude

      I have only the PSVR and never tested the Vive, but it’s obvious that the tracking capabilities of PSVR are a little limited. Considering the PS camera is a years-old device that wasn’t designed for that purpose, it’s really no wonder. It all works quite well in general, but just like the display resolution, I sometimes wish it would be just a tad better. So there’s room for improvement, but nothing unexpected at that price point. I’m pretty happy with it. Yet, it makes me think about upgrading to a PC headset later on…

      • Andrew Jakobs

        the camera WAS designed for tracking purposes, as it was already tracking the move and the DS4. But ofcourse there is room for improvement, but that will come at a cost.

    • Get Schwifty!

      Vive~Oculus>>PSVR… there is no question about this…

  • Well, now I’m interested in the same numbers about Vive and Oculus. I’m happy that finally a major has declared the number of sales!

  • iThinkMyCatIsAFlea

    And the VR hmd charts this week are…….. in at number one is…….
    Sony PSVR
    In at number two is…….
    Valve/HTC Vive
    In at number three…. meh, who cares who’s third?

    • dhorowitz

      It’s Oculus. You know, the company you have to thank for bringing VR to the masses.

      • iThinkMyCatIsAFlea

        If by “masses” you mean 200,000 then ok…

        • dhorowitz

          Oculus was developing prototypes and spearheading VR well before HTC Vive and Sony decided to jump on the bandwagon. HTC and Sony developed their headsets AFTER Oculus already had its DK1 in the hands of developers and enthusiasts. Who knows when, or even IF Sony and HTC would have begun developing VR headsets were it not for Oculus laying the ground work and generating excitement for the new technology. So yeah, by “masses,” I actually meant everyone.

          • iThinkMyCatIsAFlea

            You forgot to mention ZeniMax dhorowitz.

            “In 2012, VR was beginning to creep back into the public imagination. It started in May of that year, when id Software’s John Carmack demoed a modified Oculus Rift running Doom 3. The following month, he took the Rift to a wider audience at the E3 games convention. By August, Palmer Luckey launched the Oculus Kickstarter campaign, and it broke records. Almost overnight, the Rift went from an intriguing prototype to a truly exciting reality. But while all of this was happening, Valve was already at work on its own solution.”
            How HTC and Valve built the Vive https://www.engadget.com/2016/03/18/htc-vive-an-oral-history/

    • Tom_Craver
  • NooYawker

    Easy access is a big reason. People can just pick up a PSVR and start playing on their PS4. You need hefty minimum requirements to run an oculus or Vive on your PC and upgrading costs serious money.
    Any interest in VR is good for the industry as a whole.

  • Lucidfer

    Again, of course:
    1. There’s was a 50 millions park of PS4 consoles. At time of “consumer” PC HMDs release Nvidia advertised that there was only a 17 millions high-end GPUs user base.
    2. A PS4 is an optimised standard device, all 50 millions of console have the same configuration vs as many configurations as there are PCs.
    Which not only means 60% more performance on a single optimised standard platform, but also ended-up meaning at least a 70% quality roster of experience vs the 80% of crap experience from the Steam store
    3. A relatively limited PSVR headset works better in the context of a friendly/family, social couch and big screen equipped living-room than a limited PC headset in single-chair, small screen, desktop context.
    4. and only in fourth place, Price.

  • This is awesome! PSVR is a great headset with a few quirks, and everyone who has tried mine was impressed.

  • Daniele Kirylo

    As a PSVR owner, my only and real concern for the future is:
    Will they ever be able to remove motion sickness??
    It’s the only thing that I’m really looking forward for, the rest (4K/6K, tracking, mobility, eye focusing, etc) I know will come at a certain point.

    • FRED

      Chew on a piece of ginger root, motion sickness gone in 15 minutes.

      • Daniele Kirylo

        Didn’t work for me and I have plenty of gigner at home.

        • Hawk1290

          Unfortunately it’s hard to predict right now. What I can tell you is that I used to get motion sick quickly in VR. I’ve had my Rift for a year now and I’m able to do 99% of the titles flawlessly for extended periods of time. You slowly grow more resistant and you have to take your time getting used to it. When you feel the nausea- take a 5 to 10 minute break, drink some water, come back. You’ll get there- I did the same.

  • Ira Weinberg

    I am a pretty tech savvy guy who picked up a PSVR this weekend solely due to news it will be adding 3D Blu Ray viewing in next update. Once I actually tried the VR side out I was blown away. In particular the demo disk ocean experience and the rollercoaster horror game included in bundle were amazing introductions to VR and how totally different it is that the google cardboard version. I fully realize the resolution and tracking may not be up to the Vive and Oculus but much prefer starting small and then deciding if worth getting one of those in a year or so. Right now I cannot wait to get home and try PSVR again.