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Virtual Reality Blues: Sony Hits Pause on PlayStation VR2 Production

Sony, the mastermind behind the PlayStation empire, seems to have hit a roadblock in the virtual realm. Reports are buzzing about the temporary halt i...

S. Dent

Mar 18, 2024

Virtual Reality Blues: Sony Hits Pause on PlayStation VR2 Production


Sony, the mastermind behind the PlayStation empire, seems to have hit a roadblock in the virtual realm. Reports are buzzing about the temporary halt in production for the highly anticipated PlayStation VR2. Rumor has it that this decision stems from a buildup of inventory that Sony is itching to clear before diving back into manufacturing.

Since its grand debut in February 2023, the PS VR2 has been shrouded in mystery. Sony has remained tight-lipped about sales figures, leaving us all to wonder about the fate of this virtual reality wonderland. Whispers of lackluster sales have echoed through the gaming grapevine, hinting at an inventory conundrum caused by a lukewarm reception.

Oh, how the mighty have stumbled! Sony's latest VR headset celebrated its first birthday not too long ago, but the road to success has been rockier than an intense boss battle. Despite receiving praise from reviewers, the PS VR2 faced an uphill battle from the start. With a modest lineup of launch titles and a price tag that made wallets tremble at $549.99, it had the audacity to be more expensive than the PS5 itself, which it requires to function. No wonder only a fraction of the 54 million PS5 owners have taken the plunge into virtual reality. It seems that the PS VR2 is performing worse than its predecessor, which achieved a million sales within seven months of its late 2016 release.

This lack of commercial momentum has reportedly forced Sony to pump the brakes on PS VR2 production. According to the ever-reliable Takashi Mochizuki of Bloomberg, the gaming giant finds itself sitting on a mountain of unsold headsets. Insider sources claim that Sony has shipped over 2 million units to retailers, but the number of those actually in the hands of eager consumers remains a mystery, shrouded in the fog of uncertainty.

Sony's recent revelation that they are exploring the possibility of making the PS VR2 compatible with PCs seems to align with the notion that the headset hasn't been flying off the shelves. By broadening its horizons and allowing PC games into the virtual fray, Sony hopes to cast a wider net and lure in a larger audience. It's a clever move, like acquiring a shiny new power-up in the midst of a challenging level.

But wait, there's more! Another sign that Sony is reevaluating their VR strategy emerged when they made the surprising decision to close down the PlayStation London Studio, which had been exclusively dedicated to virtual reality titles since 2016. It's as if they stumbled upon a secret level that turned out to be a bit too difficult to conquer.

As expected, Sony has yet to comment on Bloomberg's latest report. They usually keep their cards close to their chest when it comes to rumors. However, they did break their silence once, denying Mochizuki's claim about reducing PS5 production numbers before the console's release back in 2020. And they did it again when he suggested that the PS VR2 production target was lowered due to disappointing pre-order figures. So, who knows what surprises Sony has up its sleeve?

For now, we eagerly await May, the month of revelation. It is then that the gaming giant is expected to unleash its Q4 and full-year earnings for fiscal year 2023, shedding light on the commercial performance of their virtual reality brainchild. Will the PS VR2 rise from the ashes like a phoenix, or will it be consigned to the realm of missed opportunities? Only time will tell, my fellow gamers. Stay tuned and may your virtual adventures continue to be filled with wonder, regardless of the headset you choose!

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