In a world where Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone for another year, Sony sprung an unexpected surprise on us. Among the biggest issues to consumer adoption, when it comes to VR, is getting people to try it out and strap it on to their heads. Enter Sony and its innovative solution.
Free PSVR, anyone?
The company tested a PSVR Trial Bundle with a select number of PlayStation Plus subscribers. For those who were among the lucky few, they were sent an email with a promotional code and a link to a website to register their interest. After inputting their promo code and personal details, they were sent a PlayStation VR headset, a Skyrim VR, two PS Move controllers, a PS camera, and the PSVR Demo Disc 2.0. Essentially, they received a Skyrim PSVR bundle.
There’s just one catch: it was only theirs for 14 days.
Or a bargain, at least
The rules stated that should they have failed to return the bundle in excellent condition within ten days of the trial ending, they would be charged $299.99. This would still be a bargain, however, considering that it typically costs $449.99, $150 more than the fee charged for failing to return it.
This means that for those who were among the lucky 1,400 that claimed the promotion before it ended, they received the bundle at a saving of $150. They will have had to have paid the $299.99 up front, but that was removed once the item had been returned. That prevents anyone from cancelling their card once they had received the headset.
While the fee for failing to return the item seems strangely low, it’s ultimately a spark of genius from Sony. PSVRs can be tried at various stores right now for those who don’t yet own one, but this was the first loaner program designed to tempt prospective buyers. It makes sense for Sony to target PlayStation Plus subscribers since these customers had already shown that they are willing to spend extra on PlayStation products and content.
AR/VR is everywhere
The jury is still out whether or not PlayStation fans enjoyed their VR experience, but one thing is very clear: AR/VR is here to stay. It is still in its early days when it comes to entertainment, but the movie world is already beginning to embrace the mixed-reality genre, with Warner Brothers having recently patented an AR/VR system in just one sign of things to come. Another industry that is seeing a meteoric growth is live casinos. The live dealers make users feel that they’re playing in Vegas itself, when playing their favorite live casino games, such as European Live Baccarat and Bet on Poker. Users can play these games at VegasCasino and experience the future of online iGaming with technology that may even make them forget to look away from the screen.
But what about the video games industry and just how successful was Sony’s experiment?
All good things must come to an end
The program is now full and no more signups are being accepted.
No other big players in VR equipment had launched such a program. However, if the numbers prove to be successful, we can expect to see other companies start their own in-home trial. It may just see more enthusiasts and users considering making a purchase of a premium VR headset. It’s also noteworthy that Prize Logic administered the trial period, as well as the signup website. Sony has worked with the company on previous promotions.