Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Sony Is Coming but with More Stutter than Swagger

Based on a recent article on Road to VR, Sony reduced its P25 Sales forecast for 2022, and the PSVR 2 delayed to 2023:

Estimated sales through EOY will be around 30M units. Assuming an additional 15M units for 2023 we can estimate PSVR 2 capture at a high, mid, low sales volumes.

45M PS5 Sales EOY 2023 - PSVR2 Sales expectation assuming no production delays:

Low (5%) 2.25M
Mid (10%) 4.5M
High (20%) 9M

That said, given their current ability to produce consoles -- which is a strange failure on their part to predict Semicon constraints, strange since they are famously building a commercial EV -- it's unlikely Sony can produce sufficient numbers of units. A revised number accounting for production delays could significantly lower their sales potential for PSVR2 through 2023:

Low (1%) 450K
Mid (2.5%) 1.17M
High (5%) 2.25M

Either way, this places PSVR2 squarely in the top seat along with Meta's HMDs and pits the companies head-to-head for dominance in the VR market moving forward. However, considering the laggard pace of console development versus the break-neck speed of Meta's device rollout (new ware every two years), Sony's got its work cut out for it. PSVR2 will no doubt make a dent in Meta's share of the HMD market (currently 70% or thereabout), but a better question perhaps is can Sony pivot to an independent "Metaverse Console" that can match the pace of innovation? Naturally, they have the capacity to do so as demonstrated by their mobile phones division, but whether or not they can transfer that capacity to this new market remains unclear and, frankly speaking, doubtful.