HTC's long-awaited Vive VR headset was launched back in April but until now the company has stayed quiet on sales numbers. Now, though, it appears HTC has decided to open up about how its VR headset is doing and the figures a far from disappointing when considering how niche the product is at the moment.
As virtual reality is still a relatively new market, nobody expects a huge number of headsets to be sold, but according to HTC's chairman Cher Wang, the Taiwan-based company has sold over 140,000 Vive units, which is far from a poor figure. As well as this, the number also represents a further 40,000 units sold since August, when HTC's China president of VR claimed that 100,000 units had been sold worldwide. HTC faces tough competition from the likes of the Oculus Rift and Sony's recently released PlayStation VR system, but it's clear that for a first generation headset the HTC Vive is still selling pretty well. In comparison to Sony's PlayStation, though, it's true that HTC is lagging significantly behind, with the PlayStation VR selling 50,000 units in Japan in just three days, while worldwide sales for this year alone are expected to be over 2 million units, though this is largely due to the fact that there are over 40 million PlayStation 4 consoles in homes, something that HTC can't take advantage of, as well as the fact that Sony's offering is nearly half the price of the Vive.
PlayStation VR isn't really HTC's closest competitor, though, with that title going to the Oculus Rift. It's been rumored for some time now that parent company Facebook wanted to sell 400,000 units of the Rift by the end of 2016, but so far no sales figures have been released and neither company has confirmed these targets so there is currently no way of knowing how well it's selling. With the HTC Vive representing the high-end of the VR market, there's very little chance that it will suddenly start shipping millions of units like the PlayStation VR, but the company may choose to adopt a similar strategy to Oculus and develop a standalone headset which would be sold at a more accessible price and would remove the need for a powerful PC. Either way, with the company facing such tough competition, as well as the likes of Google and Samsung heavily investing into VR, HTC may need to change it's strategy in order to become an industry leader in the long run.