Skip to main content

Sony wants 500,000 players to try PlayStation VR in 2016

PlayStation VR
The upcoming PlayStation VR headset may be trailing behind its rivals, the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive, in terms of its October release date, but Sony has plans to let prospective buyers test out the hardware ahead of its launch. PlayStation VP of Marketing John Koller has stated that the company expects to show off the headset to 500,000 potential customers before the end of 2016.

Koller’s comments came at a GameStop Investor’s Day presentation that was held last week. Koller described this effort to familiarize consumers with the tech prior to launch as “critical,” according to a report from Ars Technica.

Related Videos

“We need people to pick this up and play it. We need them to be transported,” Koller said at the event, emphasizing the experiential nature of virtual reality — something that even the most slickly produced trailer can’t really communicate. He went on to add that trials are “unequivocally the best thing we can do for the technology and the platform.”

This marketing push will seemingly set PlayStation VR apart from the Rift and the Vive. While those headsets are currently building awareness via word-of-mouth, neither looks likely to have anywhere near as large an in-store presence as that being planned for PlayStation VR.

Given that most PC gamers will typically used online storefronts like Steam to purchase new releases, brick-and-mortar retailers are now more interested in the console market. That’s reflected by comments made during the presentation by Gamestop COO Tony Bartel, who stated that Sony’s VR outing will have the “strongest launch titles” as well as the largest install base for the new technology.

While other headsets have already taken off among enthusiasts, it’s mainstream audiences that will decide the fate of the VR boom. It’s smart for Sony to give anyone on the fence an opportunity to test out the hardware in-store — but there’s plenty of work to be done if PlayStation VR is to really compete.

PlayStation VR is set to launch in October 2016, and will retail for $400.

Editors' Recommendations

I’m already pining for PlayStation VR2 to get Half-Life: Alyx
half life alyx vr details feature

I haven't played Half-Life: Alyx, but I really, really want to.

Last month, I picked up the PlayStation VR2 as my first virtual reality headset and have been enjoying a wide range of games on it since then, from Zombieland: Headshot Fever Reloaded to Horizon Call of the Mountain. Although the lack of exciting new titles in PSVR2's launch window library doesn't bother me that much as this is my first VR experience, I do still recognize that there are only a couple of games that are pushing the PSVR2's technology and giving Sony's second VR outing a clear identity.

Read more
The best PSVR2 games
Horizon Call of the Mountain key art.

The newest VR headset on the market, the PlayStation VR2 is packed full of top-of-the-line tech to make your gaming experience as immersive and comfortable as possible. But what are killer specs without fantastic games? PSVR2 has quite the library of great VR games already available, with more on the way. Whether you're a VR expert looking to check out your favorite VR games on the latest headset or a newcomer diving into VR for the first time, you can't go wrong with these steller titles on the PSVR2

Horizon Call of the Mountain

Read more
Final Fantasy 16: release date, trailers, gameplay, and more
Shiva in Final Fantasy 16.

Final Fantasy 16 is finally on its way after a prolonged gap from the previous numbered entry. While numerous major titles have seen delays in the past couple of years, we're glad to finally know the game is nearly upon us. There are still plenty of mysteries about the new adventure, but here's everything we know so far.

Further reading

Read more