The PlayStation 4 has had a good run, but PlayStation VR disappoints SIE’s new head honcho.
Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) today took part in a financial analysis event, the Sony Investor Relations Day 2018, held in Tokyo. During the event, John (Tsuyoshi) Kodera, President and Chief Executive Officer – who took over the role when former SIE Global CEO Andrew House stepped down in October 2017 – stated that the PlayStation 4 was ‘finally entering the end of the console life cycle’.
The new comes via finally entering the end of the console life cycle Wall Street Journal reporter Takashi Mochizuki, who attended the event and live tweeted much of the action. According to Mochizuki, Kodera is less convinced about the potential for the PlayStation VR than Shuhei Yoshida, President of Sony Worldwide Studios. Kodera openly stated that the PlayStation VR head-mounted display (HMD), ‘continues to sell, but the market-wide growth rate is below market forecasts.’
As if to knock the install base even further, Kodera suggested that realigning targets for the PlayStation VR hardware was perhaps the best strategy: “In the future, we aim for healthy growth with a realistic outlook.”
No updated sales figures for the PlayStation VR have been released since late in 2017 – before the busy holiday period – at which point the HMD had surpassed an impressive 2 million unit sales. Exactly what SIE’s internal forecasts for the expensive console add-on were has not been revealed.
Indeed, the PlayStation VR is arguably the most successful of all virtual reality (VR) hardware available to date, significantly outselling PC-based rivals Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, and while perhaps not achieving the same install figures as the Samsung Gear VR the user retention is undoubtedly significantly higher. And it’s this last attribute that Kodera suggests is important to SIE as the PlayStation 4’s twilight years set-in, with the PlayStation VR standing aside eSports and the PlayStation Vue service as opportunities to increase user engagement.
What comes next for the PlayStation VR is not currently known, however the current rumours suggest that a revised HMD and input solution could launch alongside the PlayStation 5. A document released today which coincides with the Sony Investor Relations Day 2018 makes note of an Operating Profit forecast which suggests a 2020 target release for the PlayStation 4’s successor, though no further information has been made available.