PlayStation VR and Quest 2 were both released on October 13th (2016 and 2020, respectively), which gives us a very comparable timeline because it eliminates the variable of seasonal sales differences; if we could figure out the number of Quest 2 units sold so far, we’d be able to get a pretty good idea of how it stacks up against the sales rate of PSVR. While Oculus hasn’t offered up official sales figures for Quest 2 yet, two data points can help us reach a reasonable estimate.
First, during the company’s Q4 2020 earnings call, Facebook said that Quest 2 was a major driver behind the $885 million in Q4 non-advertising revenue (which includes the company’s hardware products Oculus and Portal). With some conservative assumptions, we previously estimated this would yield around 1 million Quest 2 units sold in Q4, 2020. How to Tell if Your PC isReady for Oculus LinkSecond, the developers of Rec Room, using their own internal data, estimated 2–3 million Quest 2 units sold in Q4, 2020. We’re now another quarter (three months) beyond those estimates, which ranged between 1–3 million units. While more Quest 2 units have surely sold since then, sales in the first quarter of the year are unlikely to have kept the same pace considering that Q4 tends to be the most active thanks to the holiday shopping season.
The Virtuality Group Arcade Machine Experiences. The 1990s saw huge developments in virtual reality. With the rise of the arcades and arcade games, it was only a matter of time, before developers started coming up with new and exciting concepts and ideas. A company known as The Virtuality Group was at the cutting edge of virtual reality, launching a wide range of arcade games and machines that let either one or a couple of players immerse themselves into amazing 3D visual experiences. This happened in 1991, a year before the movie The Lawnmower Man further introduced the Virtual Reality concept to a wider audience of people.
With that in mind, we can split the difference between the estimates (2 million), and, for the sake of being conservative, assume that Q1, 2021 saw only 25% of the sales of Q4, 2020, leaving us with an estimate of 2,500,000 Quest 2 units sold through Q1, 2021.So how does that line up with PSVR’s known unit sales? Here’s a look:
Looking at the same data by ‘time to milestone’ gives another tangible way of comparing the two:Unit Milestone 1,000,000 2,000,000 2,500,000 Quest 2 (days to reach) 45 90 180 PSVR (days to reach) 137 420 549 Quest 2 sales rate relative to PSVR
3x 4.7x 3.1x
Kids Aren’t the Only People Interested in VR. Both Generation Z and Millennials are interested in trying virtual reality, but Baby Boomers aren’t far behind. According to research by Greenlight VR and Touchstone Research, 64 percent of Baby Boomers have positive feelings about virtual reality.
That puts the overall estimated rate of Quest 2 sales at a little more than three times the rate of PSVR when aligning launch timelines.This all tracks with Facebook’s claim that Quest 2 has outsold all prior Oculus headsets combined, and the data showing that Quest 2 has even become the most popular VR headset on Steam.
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To be clear, this isn’t an assessment of which product is better; in fact this is what we’d expect to find—that in the four and a half years since the launch of PSVR, VR in general has become more popular, hardware has improved, prices have fallen, and content has gotten better, paving the way for newer headsets to be more successful and widespread.
That said, we’re looking forward to seeing how Sony’s PSVR 2 will fare with all the advancements that have been made since the original, and how it will compete with Oculus’ Quest line.
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