Sony exec Jim Ryan said he was surprised by the traction the PlayStation VR mode of 'Resident Evil 7' had for players. Sony

Since its launch last fall, the PlayStation VR virtual reality headset has been a sleeper success for Sony. But when it comes to the headset’s launch and traction so far, count Sony among those who’ve also been surprised.

In an interview with, Sony head of global sales and marketing Jim Ryan said the company didn’t expect the PlayStation VR to have the traction it did on the PlayStation 4 and Resident Evil 7. The latest title in the long-running horror franchise is set in Louisiana and the whole title can be played inside the PlayStation VR headset.

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“We are still in our infancy in terms of understanding,” Ryan said to “We had no idea that VR would play such a significant part in the success of Resident Evil 7. The percentage of people who played that game on PS4, and then in VR, was in double digits. It wasn't 10.1 percent, either. That was a big surprise to us.”

While Ryan didn’t go into details on the exact number of PlayStation 4 users who played the game in VR, developer Capcom’s own tools give some idea about the VR mode’s success. Capcom’s stat tracking service for the game reports that around 235,000 users have played the game in VR. Considering, as UploadVR points out, that the service requires players to opt in before their stats are shared, it’s likely the number of players who’ve played the game in VR is slightly higher.

Later in the interview, Ryan admitted it’s still early in the PlayStation VR’s life cycle for Sony, but that the company is more than willing to experiment with the platform to see what works.

“Whether its other full game modes, or portions of full games ... Gran Turismo or Doom or Elder Scrolls ... that might accelerate the VR demand, or if it will be the shorter form stuff, we don’t know yet,” Ryan told

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As the only major console accessory for virtual reality, the PlayStation VR headset isn’t without its technical limitations, but this hasn’t been a major hurdle for many PlayStation 4 owners. Despite its $399 price tag and launch late last year, the headset has already sold more than 1 million units. According to an IDC analysis of the first quarter of 2017, the headset was also the second most popular headset on the VR market and surpassed only by Samsung’s Gear VR.

Technically, the headset requires less of an investment than traditional high-end VR headsets like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. These headsets cost more than the PlayStation VR and need to be paired with a gaming-capable computer. By comparison, the PlayStation VR only needs a PlayStation 4 or PS4 Pro to run. Sony has maintained a steady stream of titles and content to the PlayStation VR, including the first-person shooter Farpoint.