“In a sense we are not helping the others as much by going late in the year.”
Sony probably understands the advantage of getting a head start on the competition- all of their products that sold the best, such as the PlayStation, the PlayStation 2, or the PlayStation 4, were products that managed to get out of the gate before the competition. On the other hand, Sony products that launched after competing products had already launched, struggled- products like the PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, and PlayStation Vita.
So does it worry them, then, that the PlayStation VR will be launching several months after the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift? That the first mover’s advantage will work against them in a category as nascent as virtual reality? In an interview with The Verge, Sony Worldwide Studios’ Shuhei Yoshida stated that the PlayStation VR launching the last out of all the major VR products does not worry him.
“It takes a lot of effort to get people to try, so every time anyone of our three companies have events and gets lots of people to try, we are helping each other to get more people to try good VR. It doesn’t have to start with PSVR. Someone’s first experience might be with the HTC Vive, and if that person gets excited about VR, that’s great for all of us. That’s how we see it.
“In a sense we are not helping the others as much by going late in the year,” Yoshida continued. “Because of the launch of the consumer versions of Oculus and HTC Vive, more and more people will try it, and that helps everyone. I’m very excited about having Oculus and Vive coming out in the next few weeks. That will help us. I’m serious. Is that surprising to hear that?”
In a sense, Yoshida’s statement makes sense- a rising tide helps everyone after all, and for a burgeoning new format like VR, good word of mouth and publicity generated by the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift may in fact help sell even those who would otherwise have been skeptical on the PlayStation VR.