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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Sony pauses PSVR 2 production amidst unsold stockpile

Sony halts PSVR 2 production to address unsold stock, amid challenges of matching high hardware costs with compelling content.

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In a surprising turn of events, Sony has decided to halt manufacturing its PlayStation VR2 headsets, a move that has caught the attention of the virtual reality community. After rolling out over two million units of this advanced gaming gear, Sony is taking a step back to address the accumulating unsold stock, a situation first reported by Bloomberg. This decision reflects a broader challenge within the VR industry as companies grapple with balancing innovation and market demand.

A challenge of content

Launched last February at a hefty price tag of US$549, the PSVR 2 was poised to revolutionise gaming for PlayStation 5 users. However, despite its compatibility with high-calibre titles such as “Horizon Call of the Mountain,” “Gran Turismo 7,” and select “Resident Evil” games, alongside an assortment of indie games, its sales have not lived up to expectations. The headset's cost, surpassing even that of the PS5, set high expectations among consumers for an expansive and engaging gaming library. Bloomberg's report suggests that this mismatch between price and available content has led to dwindling shipment numbers each quarter since its launch.

Notably, Sony isn't the only company facing these hurdles. Other tech giants, including Meta and Apple, have encountered similar issues, indicating a widespread challenge across the VR industry to produce a compelling content catalogue that justifies the in high-end hardware.

Impact on Sony's workforce

The ramifications of this decision extend beyond production lines and into Sony's studios. Recent have affected teams and studios integral to developing VR titles, including the closure of its London Studio and downsizing at Firesprite studio, known for its work on “Horizon Call of the Mountain.” These layoffs, impacting around 900 employees or 8 per cent of Sony's workforce, underscore the company's broader strategy adjustments in response to the PSVR 2's market performance.

Exploring new horizons

To bolster the appeal of the PSVR 2, Sony has announced plans to test PC compatibility, aiming to widen the library of games available to headset owners. This move could potentially open doors to a vast array of PC-based VR content, thereby enhancing the PSVR 2's value proposition for existing and prospective users. Details on the extent of PC support remain sparse, but the initiative is scheduled to roll out later this year, signalling Sony's commitment to expanding its VR ecosystem.

This strategic pivot highlights the ongoing challenges within the VR industry, including aligning technological advancements with compelling content and user expectations. As Sony navigates these waters, the future of PSVR 2 and virtual reality gaming remains a keen interest and speculation topic.

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Gabriela Gavrailova
Gabriela Gavrailova
Gabriela is a freelance news editor at Tech Edition, where she writes about technology and often does listicles and product reviews. Based in Austria, Gabriela is a person with many and diverse hobbies. If you don't find her reading a book at home or baking something, she will probably be out hiking or taking some classes to learn a new skill.

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