Since the launch of PlayStation VR, it’s been nigh on impossible to buy the peripheral in Japan and that’s because it looks like it sold out its entire first shipment. The initial sales figures also put the new virtual reality peripheral ataround 50,000 units sold, which is not bad at all.
To give that figure some context, in the same period the PS4 was the best-selling console with 30,154 units sold for the week. In general, the PS4 has been selling similarly for a while now. So to have PlayStation VR shift 51,644 units in its first week is good for Japan.
Sony may have underestimated demand in Japan though, as it’s very hard to come by the peripheral now (at least in Tokyo anyway).
If those numbers still seem a bit low, it’s worth realizing that that Japan is now the smallest region in terms of overall PS4 sales currently, at around 3 million.
Compared to the U.S. at approximately 15 million and Europe at 17 million, it’s clear that the PS4’s strength is in the west in terms of its market share. In that sense, it makes sense if Sony prioritized those regions over Japan in terms of PlayStation VR stock.
As an aside, while the market share is obviously smaller Japan still exhibits large sway over content creation for gaming consoles. However, much of this is tied to the domestic success of any given console.
Currently the PS4 is popular globally, so Japan is aligned with that and that is good for PlayStation VR and the PS4 as a whole.
The response to PlayStation VR has mostly been positive in Japan but the lack of available stock is something that hasn’t gone unnoticed.