We now have a better idea on when exactly the PlayStation VR will release. I’ll let GameStop CEO Paul Raines take it from here.
“We are right now preparing for the launches of the major VR products. We’re in discussions with Oculus, HTC, and Sony. It’s a big launch, we’re getting ready for it. We will launch the Sony product this fall and we are in discussions with the other two players,” said Raines in an interview during Fox Business’ Mornings with Maria.
Fast forward to 2:48 for Raines’ VR comments. Or listen to the whole thing for how to make doing taxes fun. Yeah, if I’m getting a refund…
We’ve known PlayStation VR is coming in 2016, but Raines comments shrink the timetable a tad. And by a tad, I mean anywhere between September and December. We will have to wait until E3 for Sony to give out the specifics on release date and more.
I have one request Sony. Don’t live demo PSVR at E3. It doesn’t come across well at all. Just get some PSVR units out in the wild and let us try it ahead of launch. You’re not going to sell people on why they need VR by showing them. They have to try it for themselves. Countless YouTube videos prove this. People don’t look at someone in VR and think it looks incredible. It’s not until they try it themselves that they are sold.
How big can the VR industry be?
Besides PlayStation VR, Raines also talked about the overall VR industry. He freely admits it’s “really hard” for GameStop to get a handle on VR’s potential market size. He goes on to talk about different numbers from research firms and cites one in particular. A report by Goldman Sachs suggests the VR category would reach $80 billion by 2025.
Yeah, I’m with the person whistling in the background. 2025 is still a long ways off, but $80 billion? That’s insane. Let’s put that into some perspective. This GamesIndustryBiz article says the gaming industry was worth $91.5 billion in 2015. Other reports peg it around $100 billion. And that’s all of it. Everything from the PlayStation 4 to your iPhone. From The Witcher 3 to Game of War.
And Goldman Sachs isn’t the only one bullish on VR’s prospects. Look at any research report you can find, and most of them end in billions of dollars.
Right now, the biggest obstacle for VR is price. But, that’s an issue with any new technology. The hardcore gamers and gadget lovers will buy into VR now, and the casual consumer will pick it up as prices come down over the next few years.
Can PlayStation VR lead?
A lot of people believe Sony is in a good position with VR. And for good reason. The barrier to entry with Sony’s VR solution should be much lower than the Oculus Rift. Oculus VR costs $600, plus you’ll need a high-end PC to use it.
You can grab a PlayStation 4 for $350 and whatever the PSVR ends up costing. There’s a big ‘but’ here, though. The recommended PC for Oculus VR includes a Nvidia GTX 970. The PlayStation 4 does not have graphics even approaching that. That means VR experiences should be better on Oculus VR. But at the end of the day, it’s up to developers to create compelling software to make VR worth it.
Sony does have an opportunity here. With the right price, (and the right software) they can start out on top in the VR space. Plus, they have an install base of around 37 million consumers already. For them, the barrier will be much lower than other VR products.
E3 is going to be real interesting this year. Sony’s going to be busy covering their usual slate of games and also selling consumers on why they should pick up PlayStation VR.
What price point do you think Sony should aim for with PlayStation VR? Do you think $299 is feasible or wishful thinking?