Has the Sony PSVR been a success? That depends on how you look at it. More than 100 million PS4 consoles have been sold at this point and about a million PSVR units to go with them. That’s a small percentage, but in absolute terms that’s still an install base of respectable. At the same time Sony have ensured there is no shortage of quality, AAA PSVR titles. So anyone can buy a unit with confidence that they will have more than enough games to play on it.
The standard PS4 (and even the Pro version) are really only equal to mid-range PCs, but through optimization and Sony wizardry the public can get AAA VR at a total cost of ownership far less than the PC options out there. A PS5 is most likely going to drop in 2020 or later and I’d bet at least a dollar that the PSVR will be forwards-compatible with the much more powerful console that will replace the PS4. So honestly Sony is in a comfortable position to expand their VR division over the years to come. So why hasn’t their biggest competitor put in their own VR solution? Well, they were going to, but have now changed their minds.
Late to the Party
Microsoft’s Xbox One has really taken a beating in this console generation. A number of missteps, PR blunders and pricing woes have seen PS4 sales numbers utterly crush the Microsoft console.
Microsoft has made up some ground in the intervening years and promising VR support for their hardcore Xbox Scorpio upgraded console was part of the image repair project. That was back in 2016. Since then the Scorpio has come to market as the Xbox One X.
Now in an interview with Gamesindustry.biz the chief marketing officer of the company has basically indicated gamers should look to the PC as the VR platform of the future.
The MS MR Revolution
It’s hard to disagree, given that Microsoft is building a truly revolutionary mixed-reality ecosystem on Windows PCs. I had a chance to try out one of their mixed-reality headset developer units earlier this year and came away very impressed.
We also have to remember that unlike Sony, Microsoft was only going to offer VR on the Xbox One X. A niche product that was never going to sell in enough numbers to create a good install base. Add on to that the immanent end of this console generation and a complete lack of titles announced and it all makes sense.
That doesn’t mean the next Xbox, which will be much more powerful, won’t simply be compatible with the Microsoft mixed-reality headsets already out in the wild. That seems to be the most logical path and I’d be surprised if that isn’t what Microsoft ends up doing after all.