Following the Black Friday shopping period, analysts report strong sales for the PlayStation VR headset in the UK, possibly furthering Sony’s install base lead among tethered VR headsets.
In a summary of Black Friday videogame and hardware sales analyses, UK-based CfK Chart-Track, citing “retail/web sales where the data is captured electronically each day via EPoS systems,” says that PlayStation VR had a “huge” week in the UK. According to the summary, PSVR unit sales during Black Friday week were “on par” with the headset’s launch week back in 2016. Furthermore, the firm says that the sell-through rate—the percent of units shipped to retailers that were then sold to customers—is “equivalent [to] the past 18 weeks [combined].”
The firm notes that the action was largely driven by a range of newly available PSVR bundles which included various configurations of the headset and its peripherals, along with popular games. VRFocus noted earlier this week that the headset for a time found itself in the #1 position on the site-wide Amazon.co.uk Top Sellers list.
Sony’s success in moving PlayStation VR headsets—with an estimated 1.5 million unit install base as of October 2017, according to analytics firm Greenlight Insights—has certainly been made possible thanks to the well-liked PlayStation brand name, a huge pre-existing base of PS4 consoles capable of running the headset, and a well designed product. But the sales traction this week appears primarily driven by cost and bundled games.
Leading up to Black Friday week, Sony announced several new bundles—most shipping with a refreshed version of the PSVR headset which offers small but welcomed tweaks—each containing a VR game from well-recognized gaming franchises (Skyrim VR, Gran Turismo Sport, Doom VFR) and seemingly targeted across a broad range of gamers. On sale between $300 and $350 (depending upon the bundle) the Black Friday period was the cheapest the headset has ever been.
Though PlayStation remains the cost-leader when it comes to ‘all in’ price (the headset & controllers and the system to run it), looking at just the headsets & controllers themselves, both the Oculus Rift and the cheapest Windows VR headsets have largely achieved price parity with PSVR at $400. VR still needs to be cheaper for mass adoption, but that seems to be happening rapidly. The ~$400 non-sale price of these headsets hopefully represents the new norm for high-end VR.