The virtual reality market is getting hotter by the day, it seems, with news and upcoming releases just waiting around the corner. And the competition is fierce. Oculus Rift is ready to launch later this month, HTC Vive in April, and Sony just announced their VR headset’s pricing and release date. It will be a treat for console gamers.
It has been said that 2016 will be virtual reality’s year. The gaming community will be getting, at least, three major players in the market, with two of them to launch in the span of one month. So, there’s just a little time left for those interested to upgrade their PC and make sure it meets the high requirements of virtual reality. Both Oculus Rift and HTC Vive will demand rather high-end systems.
But what about console gamers?
Sony has them covered. The Japanese tech giant has been preparing and announcing their VR headset for a long time. It was only recently that the last nails were put into the deal with an official launch date and pricing. Now, console gamers enthusiastic about virtual reality have been announced when they can start pre-ordering PlayStation VR and a bundle that places its pricing into a whole different perspective.
Initially, Sony’s VR headset was announced for an incredible $400, which was a lot cheaper than the PC headgear developed by Oculus or HTC. Oculus Rift’s price tag reads $600 and HTC Vive’s $800, which would make PlayStation VR the most affordable option. But not really.
The basic order will include the VR headset, but that won’t be enough to get the complete virtual reality experience that Sony has planned. It does not include the camera and PlayStation Move controllers that are so crucial in most games when using the device. Most would agree that using a regular PlayStation controller for virtual reality would just take you out of an otherwise immersive world. The Move controllers are optional but highly recommended. So, the company created a bundle.
For $500, gamers will be getting the full deal of PlayStation VR, which will include the headset, cables, stereo headphones, VR Demo Disc, camera, Move controllers, and the disc for VR Worlds. Now, that is the actual deal that Sony is offering for their version of a virtual reality experience, and it’s undoubtedly inching closer to Oculus Rift’s pricing. Strategically, it does make sense for the company to have the “cheaper option” first announced, but that wasn’t the whole story.
In reality, the price is set for gamers who already have a PlayStation 4 to power the device. If not, there will be an additional $350 for the actual platform. That will round up the price at $850 for the entire deal, which suddenly paints a clearer picture that PlayStation VR is not the bargain some might’ve thought it was. Not to mention the fact that the gadget is more expensive than the system that powers it.
However, it’s still an excellent deal for those who prefer consoles or actually own them, and there are millions of them that Sony is banking on.
Pre-orders for the bundle will start in a few days, on March 22nd, and the VR headset will arrive at some point in October. According to Sony, they also have around 230 developers around the world who are working on content for their device. So, they’ll have ample titles ready by the time of launch. It remains to be seen if their boast of 100 games upon release will be true.
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