Last week at GDC, Sony officially unveiled Project Morpheus, the project name for its virtual reality headset for the PlayStation 4. The company is calling it "the next innovation that will shape the future of games." Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter, who never shies away from offering his expert analysis on the video game industry, is calling it a "really bad idea."
"I think it's a bad idea for multiple participants to chase it, and I think it's a really bad idea for Sony," Pachter told DualShockers.
Pachter explained that he has "no problem with the Oculus Rift" because "they're a startup and that's a very small market and if they dominate it that's great, but if it's a small market and there are multiple players, it's gonna be hard for anybody to make money."
"And I don't think it's gonna be a big market," he added. "It sounds interesting, but I don't think there will be enough content to justify making the capital investment to create the headset. I think it's a chicken and egg. If there's no content you're not gonna buy a virtual reality headset, and if you don't buy a virtual reality headset, there won't be any content, because no one will make a dedicated game for a very small audience."
"The Oculus Rift guys are making some games themselves, and they hired some pretty impressive people. Sony certainly is capable of doing the same, and if you wanna think about Sony’s success here, remember all the big 3D games and how those did. Nobody cares. So I think it’s just a super super small market."
Pachter concluded by presuming Oculus would be "happy with a million sales," but that would be "just a hiccup for Sony."
While VR is certainly a risky move for Sony, it's also something that could truly revolutionize gaming if it catches on. Unfortunately, Pachter is correct in his chicken and egg statement, as evidenced by the Wii U. And even if Sony does develop some games that support VR, will it be enough for consumers to buy into the peripheral?