The launch of the PlayStation VR later in 2016 is going to be a very important moment for the entire industry. It's the first time a console has been paired with new hardware to interface with virtual reality and it will also represent basically a new console release just three years after the original launch.
Sony PlayStation will have a lot to contend with to get it out the door to a potential audience of 40 million plus PS4 owners, and it's not even that simple. VR is new, and we literally have no idea how much interest there is going to be from the console crowd.
The launches of the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive aren't all that helpful in that regard because they're massively expensive units which only really appeal to PC power users who can afford top of the line rigs.
So it's not surprise that Sony is going to be wary about the opening act of their VR future. Talking to CNBC, Sony SEO Andrew House had this to say:
"We have growing confidence that we'll be supply constrained with this product, but we'll do our very best to meet demand. Virtual reality is a medium that's in its infancy. With such a nascent, very new form of storytelling, it's difficult to predict what user uptake is going to be."
It's careful wording, which makes sense so early in the game, but it seems pretty clear that Sony doesn't want millions of units of the VR sitting on shelves in warehouses around the world. They're getting an idea of interest with pre-order sales that are frequently selling out on sites like Amazon, figures which will help them to figure out how many consoles to have ready for the launch.
That's going to be quite the balancing act, and the powers that be will also be very much aware that shorages also create demand, something which will be of huge interest in the run up to Christmas 2016.
The PlayStation VR goes on sale on the 13th of October, 2016 for around €400.