While it’s no surprise that HTC’s Vive is a relatively niche product, we were alarmed when the company’s China Regional President of VR stated that they had sold over 100,000 units back in August of this year. That is an absolutely substantial amount of products for something this niche, as we were expecting a much faster adoption of VR after the kinks had been worked out in the first generation. And while the Vive and Rift continue to blow the minds of people who have never tested the technology before, $800 and a gaming PC are a bit of a tough pill to swallow for most everyone excluding the most excited early adopters. This is why we were surprised when this month an HTC representative publicly stated that the company had sold over 140,000 units.
Now we know you’re probably saying, “but David, the iPhone sells 667,000 units per day!” While that may be the case, this is the Vive we’re talking about here! People don’t often go and buy one of these things for leisure. Either you are a developer looking to create on the immersive platform, or an early adopter looking to make the most of the new technology. There may only be 140,000 Vives out in the wild right now, but for something this niche and expensive, that is an absolutely massive amount.
So now begs the question, what happened over the past 2 months that led HTC to sell so many Vives? We’ve been consistently reporting on new industries picking up the technology, but has there been a big VR revolution that we are unaware of? We’re not so sure. Tech Crunch is guessing that Vive sales are much like those of 3D TV’s, which sold very few units at launch, but picked up once there was a substantial amount of content. This seems a bit sketchy, however. Even with the absolutely massive amount of VR content that has been added since launch, it’s hard to imagine that consumers would be swayed enough to drop $800 on the Vive.
Regardless of how that number came about, it is nothing but good news for the VR industry as a whole. The more units that are sold, the harder these companies will work to pump out the next, awesome iteration. Personally I’m waiting for the Vive 3, which will port our brains into our computers wirelessly.
What do you think if the cause of the surge? PlayStation VR? Oculus Connect?
Let us know