Earlier this year, research group SuperData put out a report that estimated that PlayStation VR sales would reach 2.6 million units sold by the end of 2016. Now, the firm has updated that figure substantially downward. The company is expecting PlayStation VR sales to be less than 750,000 for the year, down significantly from the previous forecast.
It's not just Sony's headset that SuperData is updating its sales expectations for, as its estimates for Google's Daydream is now 261,000 (down from 450,000). Projections for other leading headsets, including HTC Vive (450,000), Oculus Rift (355,000), and Gear VR (2.3 million) have not changed. Overall, SuperData is predicting that the VR market will be the "biggest loser" of holiday 2016 when it comes to gaming, according to GI.biz.
SuperData's Stephanie Llamas told GI.biz, which obtained the new figures, that "supply inconsistencies" and "lack of marketing" led to its downward projections for PlayStation VR. Messaging could be an issue, too, she said.
"[Sony has] also pointed out that VR looks even better on a PS4 Pro than a standard or slim PS4, so the message to most gamers is: Get the Pro now, then the PSVR later," she said. "As a result, we won't see them break 1M shipments until well into the new year."
Llamas went on to say that Sony "can afford to take it slow" with PlayStation VR right now due to a relative lack of competition. Chief competitors Microsoft and Nintendo do not have VR headsets and haven't announced plans to make them. Microsoft has its HoloLens VR/AR headset, but it is not on sale publicly.
PlayStation VR came out in October. The headset alone is priced at $400, and it also requires a PlayStation 4 and a PlayStation Camera, which are sold separately.
Sony has not said how many PlayStation VR headsets it's sold, though the company said in October that sales are "on track." PlayStation executive Jim Ryan said in October that PlayStation VR is expected to sell "hundreds of thousands" of units at launch.
GameSpot's Jimmy Thang reviewed PlayStation VR, saying it's not a must-buy at the moment.
"As a VR fan, I want PSVR to succeed, but it trips up too many times to wholeheartedly recommend at this point," he wrote. "Many of the launch titles will make a large percentage of people sick, and it may lead to the false impression that VR has to make you nauseated. If you have a PS4 and are dying to get PSVR, then I'd recommend the $499.99 bundle which includes the PlayStation Camera, two Move controllers, and PlayStation VR Worlds.
"If you have a PS4 and are simply curious about VR, I'd hold out until more titles are released. While there are a handful of fun titles, there's nothing that I've played at launch so far to indicate to me that the PSVR is a must-buy right now. For everyone else, I'd recommend saving up for a better reality."