The CEO for the UK’s largest dedicated video game retailer GAME has warned potential buyers of virtual reality technology that the devices won’t be as widely available as you may expect. During the company’s half-year financial results, GAME CEO Maryn Gibbs warned that the likes of PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive won’t be available on the same scale as the likes of a new console launch, saying that there simply “won’t be stock available” if you leave it too long.
We are very well adverse to dealing with products in high demand and low stock, and we would assume that virtual reality will fall into that category. So I don’t think you should assume that there will be millions of units available from day one, and if you want one I would get one quick, because we’re seeing some trajectory of stock input into the market will be as fast as they can be manufactured. But you’re not going to see a build like Xbox One and PS4. There just won’t be the stock available.
Gibbs also briefly touched on how software for VR devices will be delivered to consumers, but declined to go into detail due restrictions from NDA agreements, only suggesting that the method of delivery will specifically benefit retailers in some way.
We know a little bit more than we can probably say at the moment. [We’re] under NDAs with our supply partners. But however the content is accessed we believe it will be a significant opportunity for us. When you look at our digital sales as they are at the moment, and when I look at our sales of the likes of Season Passes and such, be it physical or digital there will be a significant opportunity for us within that space.
How big of an impact virtual reality technology will have on the games industry as a whole remains to be seen. Analysts have been musing over the topic for a while now, but until the technology becomes officially available to the public, no conclusions can really be drawn. As luck would have it, the first of the big three devices – Oculus Rift – is due to release next week, March 28. HTC Vive follows in April, with PlayStation VR due several months later in October.