News Article

Pachter: PS4's Virtual Reality Headset Is a 'Really Bad Idea'

Posted by Sammy Barker

Not a fan, then

Ever the outspoken one, industry analyst Michael Pachter has chimed in with his opinion of Project Morpheus during a discussion with the prolific DualShockers – and it’s not overwhelmingly positive. While the Wedbush Securities executive admitted that the virtual reality headset itself sounds "interesting", he doesn’t believe that the market is anywhere near big enough to make the PlayStation 4 peripheral a success.

“I think that it’s a bad idea for multiple participants to chase [virtual reality], and I think that it’s a really bad idea for Sony,” he explained. “I have 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 going to be hard for anybody to make money. And I don’t think that it’s going to be a big market.”

The affable suit added that one million sales may thrill Oculus Rift, but that’s a drop in the ocean for the Japanese giant. “A million sales is a huge success for Oculus Rift,” he continued. “It’s just a hiccup for Sony. I think that people believe that Sony validated the concept by offering something of their own. [But] a million of this for Sony... they’re better off spending that money on marketing for the PS4.”

We can certainly see the analyst’s point, though we do take issue with the insinuation that the platform holder shouldn’t even attempt to push the industry forward if there’s a risk that the rewards will be small. Our biggest issue with Project Morpheus is the sheer number of pieces involved, which is going to make it very difficult for developers to design around. Do you agree with Pachter’s opinions about the peripheral? Act angry in the comments section below.

[via dualshockers.com]

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User Comments (45)

MadchesterManc

#1

MadchesterManc said:

I long for the day when people stop giving this guy a voice for him to puff out his chest with asanine opinions that barely come to fruition..but hey...thats just me :P

MoleZandor

#2

MoleZandor said:

NO!!! Pachter can suck one with his nonsensical dribble. They won't need to advertise the PS4 if they are advertising Virtual Reality that only works with the PS4. I think it will have a big market and it will change things.Oculus too. The ps4 has the added reliability that windows and random hardware won't have. Which should help it to be a great place for "Experiences" and "Presence" and additional buzzwords used by the industry to try to entice us into the future with open arms even though its usually all been done before at some point.

NathanUC

#3

NathanUC said:

This guy....

In his defense though, I'm not so sure I believe VR is going to take off in the 'near future'. It's all about the stepping stone, and that's still extremely important in my opinion (just like 3D was).

rjejr

#6

rjejr said:

I think if you ad the words "for Sony" at the end of the title it gets truer to his point. Pachter writes for stock investors, and stock owners would probably wish Sony spent all its R&D $ on games rather than a VR headset.

Pachter is a stock market analyst of game companies, he only cares about stocks and whether their value goes up or down, he doesnt care about yhe experiences, that's not hisjob.

Alex840

#9

Alex840 said:

Patcher just straight up hates Sony. He lauged when they predicted 5 million by 31st of March. Looks like they'll do over 7 million...

BornOfEvil

#10

BornOfEvil said:

@rjejr "Pachter is a stock market analyst of game companies, he only cares about stocks and whether their value goes up or down, he doesnt care about the experiences, that's not his job."

That explains why he's so out of touch with the community.

rastamadeus

#11

rastamadeus said:

@Alex840 Ask Nintendo fans and they'll tell you Patcher loves Sony and Microsoft. Ask Sony fans and he hates Sony but loves the other two. Guess what Microsoft fans will tell you on the subject? Second half of last year there were quite a few people on here saying Patcher was always right when he was (continuously) slagging off Nintendo, saying they were doomed, yet the same people now say he's an idiot for saying a few things negative about Sony...

Simple truth is the man is coming at it purely from a stock angle but is still a moron who occasionally stumbles on one truth which he then uses as proof of his greatness. This is likely to be his one moment this year.

eaglebob345

#12

eaglebob345 said:

@rastamadeus It's part of the hypocrisy that no one acknowledges that much. Quite sad that it's normal to beat up on Nintendo, but wrong for Sony or Microsoft. When everyone predicts doom and gloom for Sony or Microsoft, and dogs out every product they release for two straight generations, THEN they will understand. Until then, they are just hypocrites.

On a happier note: Pachter predicts it is a bad idea. That means it is doomed for widespread success. XD

Kaim86

#13

Kaim86 said:

I don't think it's a bad idea as much as it is bad timing. I rather of seen them shift that money to their first party studios that are constantly laying off employees.

Shaolin

#14

Shaolin said:

Pachter's strategy is simple and it works (perhaps unfortunately though for everyone who has to listen to him). He lives by saying controversial click-bait type things which have at least a small element of obvious truth to them which he can later call upon to claim he was right. It's a rather cunning technique actually and is helped in no small part by websites like this who give his quotes the extra publicity that he thrives on.

thedevilsjester

#15

thedevilsjester said:

@eaglebob345 I actually agree with his stance on the VR. The difference is that I want it to succeed because I love Sony, but feel that it won't. Not the least because I am a hard core gamer that loves gadgets and early adopts everything (bought launch PSP, Vita, PS3 and near launch PS4, I have the Move and the PS4 Camera) yet I have zero interest in getting this headset. If they can't convince me...well, they are going to have a hard time convincing the masses.

eaglebob345

#16

eaglebob345 said:

@thedevilsjester I hate to say it, but I agree with him to. I think if the VR headset was the PS4's gamepad or kinect 2.0 (bundled for better or worse) then it would be a different story. If they had PSR (Play Station Reality) or something like that as the name and the PS4 console as the base with the VR headset, then it would probably catch on a lot better. Adding it in as a peripheral is not a good way to start a new trend in video games. Now it is doomed to live the life of the PS Move. Heck, Sony could have waited until 2014 for the PS4, with how awful the XB1 and Wii U are doing now XD. JK, but, if Sony wanted to bundle the VR headset with the PS4, they probaly should have done just that.

BornOfEvil

#17

BornOfEvil said:

@eaglebob345 Its actually more normal to see Sony on the receiving end. They were laughed at for the PS3, laughed at for the Vita, but now the PS4's success has shifted that negativity to Nintendo.

I'm not saying it's a good thing, but that's how this industry seems to work.

@rastamadeus Like 99.99% of his other "predictions" I trust that this'll blow up in his face.

N711

#18

N711 said:

Dont understand why everyone keeps refering to him and his simplistic statements .. oh well yea I understand the kind of click bait sensational news for sites to post

Cyrso

#19

Cyrso said:

Usually I think Pachter gets a lot of undeserved hate and I think he's mostly captain obvious and reasonable at the same time. He definitely know something about the commercial side of the video game industry.

But he's pertty clueless about the rest.. He's not the one who can gouge popularity about video games at all.

I think he's wrong here in this case too. People who have tried VR seem very excited and the reactions from people trying it for the first time are awesome. I imagine the word of mouth of VR could spread like wild fire if it's really well done and it could be a huge hit with the casuals, kinda like at the start of the Wii generation when people swung the Wii Remote in Wii Sports Tennis for the first time and are amazed, except the effect could be even bigger with VR since it really is much more immserive and has complete motion tracking, not just the tennis racket you would be holding.

The only thing is, they'll need to get people to try VR and the price could be a barrier too.

I don't think Pachter deserves to be quoted in articles anymore, he has been wrong too many times and he is pretty clueless in the actual design of video games etc. (heck there's a compilation on yt on all his quotes about PC gaming etc and he seems really clueless lol.

And I'm not saying this just because he's pessismistic about VR (I'm open-minded about it, but I don't think I would be the first to get into it either), he's just been wrong so many times already that he holds little credibility imo.

eaglebob345

#20

eaglebob345 said:

@BornOfEvil Yeah, but Sony brought that on themselves. Sony shot themselves in the foot with the PS3 ($1000+ console for $600 was a bad idea, any way you slice it). The Vita needs more support, and less expensive proprietary memory to take off. Nintendo was laughed at for the DS, Wii, 3DS, and now Wii U. Each time they proved the naysayers wrong (not yet for the Wii U). Even now that the 3DS is successful, sites are STILL reporting on how it is not outpacing the DS. Nintendo consoles have been ragged on since the 90's. Sony fell on hard times because they thought taking heavy losses was a good idea.

thedevilsjester

#21

thedevilsjester said:

@eaglebob345 Its not even about bundled vs adopting peripheral tech for me. VR is primarily a first person perspective technology, with limited application outside of first person. I have no desire in first person games, and the Playstation platform's non first person library dwarfs its first person library.

Alpha

#22

Alpha said:

Idk, i think if done right, this could be an awesome addition. IF Done Right......

AVahne

#23

AVahne said:

He actually makes a bit of sense this time, however.... BURN PACHTER BURN

eaglebob345

#24

eaglebob345 said:

@thedevilsjester Point taken. My least favorite types of games are first person perspective games (FPS are the worst, IMO). I see the VR headsets having very limited uses, as well, maybe just for FPS Horror, and exploration games?

AeroZeppelin

#26

AeroZeppelin said:

@eaglebob345 VR go's beyond just gaming movies Tv shows books games theme park rides etc.. the possibilities are almost limitless you think Sony intenze to limit VR to just PlayStation? You'd be a fool to think so considering how much money they've put in VR they intent to milk as much money out of VR as they possibly can

thedevilsjester

#27

thedevilsjester said:

@eaglebob345 My point exactly. Not only is the first person perspective only a small subset of games, but many Sony fans are on this platform because they like many game types, the least of which tend to be first person (which has historically been the province of the Xbox)

@DaftPlayStation While that is definitely true, the PS4 is the stepping stone for Sony to get there. If we don't buy into the technology on the PS4, then it will likely never gain traction and Sony's push will fall flat. Pachter is right in that one million sold for Sony is not worth the time and effort, where one million for the Rift is a great success. If Sony can't convince gamers that its a useful technology, then they wont sell enough in the other markets to make it worth their effort. Likely the Rift guys will eat up all of the "other uses" because selling on such a small scale to them is a step up.

Holydiver85

#29

Holydiver85 said:

@SimonAdebisi while I do not know what a twonk is, I will defend to the death your right to use that word.Haha

In all seriousness this guy is clearly looking at one piece of the puzzle and underestimating the potential a peripheral like this could have in a market like this. I think that sony has learned enough lessons along the way with fad technology and gimick accessories that they could have a real winner on their hands here. I may be romanticizing the notion of virtual reality but there is a lot pointing in its favour. I will remain cautiously optimistic that virtual reality has come the distance it should have over the last couple decades.

Bad-MuthaAdebis

#30

Bad-MuthaAdebis said:

@Holydiver85 to be un pc and somewhat misogynistic I will say Sony has balls and pachter has mushy brains. He's the Al Gore of 'business' ever the pessimist, the thing is climate change is more predictable than his random warblings. Pack it in.

Diddy_kong

#31

Diddy_kong said:

I love Michael Pachter. As somebody who admires university education I think it’s seriously impressive that he has four degrees. He’s an analyst whose job it is to share his informed opinion about the gaming industry. I don’t always totally agree with he’s saying, but I do always respect what he has to say.

Personally I do not care about VR. Just like I do not care about motion control. To me gaming is done with me sitting on my butt in front of my TV with a controller in hand. The Wii and most notably the Wii U are what started to push me away from Nintendo after a lifetime of only owning Nintendo systems. I don’t care about unique control schemes that are going to “change the way we all play games!!” or whatever. Just give me a DualShock and let me play games like they’re meant to be played.

JaxonH

#33

JaxonH said:

As usual, it's not that he's wrong, it's just that he's looking at things from a business perspective, and as gamers, we couldn't care less about that. We care about the enjoyment of the product, something HE couldn't care less about. Our interests are at odds. So, like I always say, it's not that he's wrong, it's just that his opinion is irrelevant to us gamers.

JaxonH

#34

JaxonH said:

@Diddy_kong

To each their own. Personally, there's not much difference between holding a Wiimote and nunchuk and a traditional controller though. Contrary to what many say, most games you just rest your hands on your lap like a normal controller, maybe quick wrist movements here and there, but that's not a far cry from a quick thumb movement. As for the gamepad, well, that's exactly the same as having a "Dualshock in your hand", as you put it. It just happens to have a screen on it. But the actual controls and buttons are the same. Fortunately, most every game has 3+ control options, so you're covered any way you like to play- Wiimote, Gamepad or Pro Controller. Even if I didn't prefer one of those methods, that would never be enough to keep me from Nintendo games that I love. Not even close.

As for the VR headset, I like the idea. I mean, you would have never known you liked playing games with a controller and TV screen until you tried it. Likewise, you may never know how much fun VR is until you actually try it. Heck, in 10 years you may be saying "to me, I hate all that TV and controller nonsense, just give me a good VR helmet and I'm good to go" lol. You don't know, know what I mean? Like I always say, don't knock it til you try it!

rjejr

#36

rjejr said:

@JaxonH - "Heck, in 10 years you may be saying "to me, I hate all that TV and controller nonsense, just give me a good VR helmet and I'm good to go" lol."

Sounds like what I've been saying about touchscreen controls. Kids today growing up w/ smartphones and touchpads in 10 years will be all like - "hey old man keep your dualshock, a real gamer just needs his fingertips and a screen." Sad to think about, but probably as accurate as any prediction Pachter is likely to make :-)

Gamer83

#37

Gamer83 said:

For once I agree with Pachter. A company that is bleeding money, having layoffs left and right yet somehow the PS4, despite no advertising, at all, is selling great and Sony would rather spend money it doesn't on more useless products. It's a cool idea, it's one that's going to end up just like the Move. Rather than wasting money on this how about going after some third party, AAA exclusives to counter MS? Or, at the very least, advertise PS4 like MS does Xbox One. I can't watch tv without seeing a bunch of X1 commercials. MS has been holding a party for Titanfall, a third party game, since E3 2013 on the flipside I didn't see one, not ONE, commercial on tv for inFamous: Second Son a great first party game that its publisher clearly had no faith or pride in. Pathetic... Sony needs to get it together all the way around. The PS4 is having early success, not because of Sony, but in spite of it. Can't help but wonder how it'd be doing if it wasn't a product of a company that is a sinking ship.

T7L3R

#38

T7L3R said:

Can't say VR is something I'm interested in but I don't see this being a complete failure either. There's an audience for it just like there was an audience for motion controls at one point. How long will it take for the newness to wear off like it did with motion controls is the real question.

Kage_88

#40

Kage_88 said:

@Diddy_kong - " I don’t care about unique control schemes that are going to “change the way we all play games!!” or whatever. Just give me a DualShock and let me play games like they’re meant to be played."

That kind of attitude is what's causing the industry to stagnate. Videogaming needs innovation - and it needs 'gimmicks' - if it is to evolve.

But considering you just openly admitted to loving Michael Pachter, I guess I shouldn't be taking you seriously.

rjejr

#41

rjejr said:

@SimonAdebisi - "23 million Facebook shares, they'll get dumped straight away"

Facebook share - $62.65
Sony share - $18.19

Maybe Sony could have kept the FB shares and dumped their own shares instead ;-)

rjejr

#43

rjejr said:

@SimonAdebisi - I know, I was joking, hence the ;-)

We all know Facebook is a fad, and Sony is a solid company w/ household name recognition like Kodak and Polaroid. And another ;-)

AD-80

#45

AD-80 said:

SOOOOO EXCITED FOR VR!! Ever since i was 5 and took my old school VR (red laser VR) into my closet so i could see it better, have i dreamed of full HD VR. Done correctly, i would throw my money at it in a heart beat. "Niche" market? Umm yeah if by niche you mean WHAT [mostly] EVERY GAMER WANTS TO DO ANYWAYS. Lulz, just saying...

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