Sony, one of the three significant companies in the gaming console industry, has finally offered a launch timeline for its next generation, motion tracking virtual reality (VR) gaming headset, the PlayStation (PS) VR 2. The new headset was unveiled by the company in February this year, but since then, word on the ground was slim regarding when would gamers be able to get their hands on the device.
Sony’s latest PlayStation generation has been plagued with availability issues — with keen buyers struggling to get their hands on the gaming console. Even Microsoft’s new consoles, the Xbox Series X and Series S, have had very limited market availability.
While an early-2023 launch timeline gives Sony some headroom to stock up units, the PS VR 2 will also need to be tethered to a PS 5 console — thus essentially compounding availability woes. Reports on the matter argue that the supply crisis of chips around the world could ease up over the coming months, it remains to be seen if Sony might be able to get the console into the hands of enough buyers.
The PS VR 2 comes at a time when multiple industry reports have tipped VR gaming to grow at a steady pace. A report by Indian enterprise market research firm, Fortune Business Insights, published in September last year said that the global market for virtual reality in gaming — which includes hardware as well as games and tournaments — was valued at around $6.3 billion in 2020.
Between 2021 and 2028, the report projected that the VR gaming around the world could grow at a compound annual growth rate of 31.4% — to be valued at $53.4 billion, six years from now.
Fortune’s report further added that a “rising adoption of advanced VR hardware and accessories among gamers” would be the primary growth driver for the VR gaming industry around the world. “Innovative software and content offerings”, by new startups and established companies alike, could also help push the industry forward.
To be sure, India already has a nascent industry for virtual gaming experience zones, with service offerings such as Smaaash and Microgravity, among others. In January this year, Mint reported that the latter was roped in by the London mayor’s office to set-up a VR gaming arena in the capital city of the United Kingdom.
As of now, it is not clear if the deal went through.
The new-gen Sony PS VR 2 has cameras on the headset itself, instead of using a centrally located camera on the console. Such a design upgrade is expected to help Sony offer an upgraded VR viewing experience, since it would also help users view and map their surroundings for an augmented reality experience.