Breathing heavily, Agent 47 puts his sniper rifle on, on the roof of a huge skyscraper in Dubai, takes aim and pulls the trigger.

Direct hit, job done.

Feel like a hired man for once and simply turn off unloved target persons - these days this is made possible by the action game "Hitman 3", a video game series about a super killer bred in the laboratory.

And its missions play more intensely than ever before.

Because for the first time, the creators have given the game a VR mode.

This stands for "virtual reality" and brings video players with the appropriate accessories completely into foreign worlds.

As a rule, glasses with built-in screens are necessary for this.

Scenes then play out right in front of their own eyes and gamers see nothing else but the digital world.

There is only one problem: the VR breakthrough simply does not want to succeed, even though it has been prophesied for years.

Because the corresponding equipment costs, in addition to a game console or an upgraded gaming PC, usually several hundred euros.

In line with the poor sales figures, the supply of games is also poor - the market is too small to justify the development of expensive games.


You know that at Sony, the company behind the Playstation 5 - actually.

One could get the impression that VR is considered a little-loved stepchild there.

There have hardly been any large VR games for the Playstation in recent years, and the company's own "PSVR" headset only runs on the latest Sony console with an adapter and a suitable game version for the previous console.

The industry was accordingly certain: there will be no new VR news from the group for the time being.

But in an interview with WELT, Playstation boss Jim Ryan now confirms: "Today we are announcing a new VR system for the Playstation 5." The company will "work with the latest technologies", promised Ryan.

The manager explained that we had learned from working on the previous headset - "be it that we are moving to a much simpler connection with just one cable or that we are further reducing the requirements for game developers."

The first copies are to be sent to developers shortly.

According to Ryan, the group sees virtual reality as a strategically important growth area.

Accordingly, this should not be a simple upgrade of old hardware;

When asked, Ryan described the product as "next-generation VR".

Planned sales doubling by 2032


The move is at least partially surprising.

While the PlayStation 4, which came onto the market in 2013, has sold around 115 million times so far, Sony has only sold around five million VR headsets since it went on sale in 2016.

That is only around four percent of the number of consoles sold.

In view of the retail price of 399 euros, this is still a good result, but Playstation VR does not play a real role in Sony's marketing measures.

None of the announced PS5 exclusive games so far rely on VR.

After all: Experts continue to assume that VR has what it takes to become a product for the masses.

While in 2020 3.2 billion US dollars were sold in the consumer market, it should be 6.2 billion in 2032.

Revenues in Germany have also increased significantly in recent years, but they are still in the low three-digit million range.


If you believe a study by the management consultancy PwC, then the VR market is likely to grow by an average of 19 percent per year until 2023.

The revenues generated in this country would be 280 million euros in two years.

According to the study, the second greatest potential after the video industry is already in the games industry.

Playstation boss Jim Ryan should think exactly in this time horizon.

The start of sales for the new glasses is still unclear, but when asked, Ryan at least denies media reports that the headset should appear in 2023 at the earliest.

A previous start of sales would therefore be possible;

So far, no official comment has been made on an appointment.

The so-called “Dev Kits”, prototypes of the device that game developers use to create content, would be sent “very soon”.

However, Sony is still likely to have another problem: The Japanese company has not yet succeeded in supplying all of its fans with new Playstation 5 consoles.

“We very much understand the frustration of our fans.

We are grateful for the high demand and I would have liked that everyone who was interested would have received a console, ”explains Ryan.

The main reason for the difficulties were, among other things, delivery problems in the pandemic;

for example on the semiconductor market.

Success even in times of crisis

A problem that car manufacturers and cell phone manufacturers are currently struggling with.

“We're working very hard to expand production so we can have a console for anyone who wants a Playstation 5,” promised Ryan.

The aim is to supply the European markets with more consoles as quickly as possible.

Nevertheless: The market launch of the new game console should go down in the books of the group as the most successful product launch: "By the end of December we had sold 4.5 million PS5 consoles," said Ryan.

The launch was thus more successful than it was with the Playstation 4 seven years ago.

25 percent of the new console buyers had not previously owned a previous console, 50 percent of them are new members of the so-called Playstation Network, the Group's paid online service.

These figures actually speak for the great success of the Sony console, even in times of pandemic.

After all, with prices starting at 399 euros, the devices are a high-priced investment and finding new buyers for the consoles is considered difficult in the gaming market due to its already broad fan base.

Until every interested party is taken care of, Sony tries to smooth things over and sends its own “Play At Home” initiative into the second round.

On the one hand, the group gives its customers free games to entertain the community at home and, on the other hand, invests in a fund to help small game developers get through the crisis if they have financial difficulties.


After the start of the project last spring, the new edition will now be more comprehensive, Ryan promised WELT.

"We will start by giving away the game 'Ratchet & Clank', which was released in 2016 for the Playstation 4."

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“Everything on shares” is the daily stock market shot from the WELT business editorial team.

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