Sony's PlayStation 2 (PS2) sold some 155 million units over the course of its 12-year lifetime but its title of best-selling console ever could be under threat from the PlayStation 4 (PS4), which has already become the world's fastest-selling console.
Speaking to the Financial Times, Andrew House, president and chief executive officer of Sony Computer Entertainment, said the company's Black Friday sales broke all records and it was “now trying to benchmark against the success of the PlayStation 2 -- or exceed it if possible.”
Sony last month announced that in the two years since the PS4 has been on sale it had passed the 30 million-unit mark, with a recent boost in sales thanks to the opening up of the Chinese market for the first time in 14 years. While House said he was "hesitant to predict" that the PS4 would top the 155 million PS2 sales record -- due to the increased innovation cycle people demand these days -- Sony will add to the PS4's appeal in 2016 with the launch of its virtual reality gaming headset known as PlayStation VR.
At the PlayStation Experience 2015 event in San Francisco, Sony showed off 17 previews of VR games it will be releasing, including "Driveclub VR," "Harmonix Music VR" and "London Heist: The Getaway." Speaking about "London Heist," House said it was while playing this game that he finally grasped the power of VR. “I had that amazing moment where I tried to put the controller on the table," he said, only to realize the table existed only in the virtual world of his headset.
Virtual reality is seen as the next major innovation in video games with companies like Oculus and HTC competing against Sony with their Rift and Vive headsets, respectively. Sony is well-positioned to become a leading player in the VR gaming market and will look to leverage the large PS4 customer base and its exclusive deals with games developers like Activision Blizzard in order to grab a large slice of the 2.5 million VR headsets market research company IHS expects to be sold in 2016.