Do you want to replace all your worldly possessions with a virtual reality headset, specifically one made by Sony for the PlayStation 4 gaming console? October 13th is your lucky day — that’s when the PlayStation VR ships and hits store shelves.
To be clear, there are reasons to hold off on PSVR, whether that’s for a few months or a whole generation of hardware. Sony promised 50 games by the end of the year, but only around 30 of these are out at launch. The Move motion controllers are distinctly subpar. Sony has promised that the upcoming PlayStation 4 Pro will give PSVR a performance bump, but it’s not coming out until November 10th. VR in general is an unproven, experimental format. And even if it’s cheaper than the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, the PlayStation VR still costs several hundred dollars.
But as we noted in our review, the headset also has a lot of strong points: ease of use, incredibly comfortable hardware, and some good launch games. It hits a sweet spot of accessibility and performance, and is probably the best option right now for mass-market VR gaming. So if you want to get a PSVR, and you didn’t preorder earlier this year, here’s how to buy one.
First of all, which one do you want to buy? In our review, we suggested the $499 launch bundle, which comes with the headset, its accompanying video and audio processing box, a PlayStation Camera, and two PlayStation Move controllers. It also includes a copy of PlayStation Worlds, an otherwise $39.99 collection of minigames that contains one of our favorite experiences, "The London Heist."
If you already have the camera and motion controllers, you can go for the $399 "core" bundle, which only includes the headset and processing box. Both bundles come with an eight-game demo disc, which has samples of titles like Battlezone and Driveclub VR.
Make sure you have a PlayStation
And if you really want to, you can save a little money by just buying the core bundle and camera separately, eschewing Move. While the camera is required just to get PSVR working, a lot of its upcoming titles can be played with the PlayStation 4’s standard DualShock controller, including some of the ones that have people most excited — like Resident Evil 7. The camera costs between $40 and $60 depending on where you buy it, which knocks a little off the total cost. Just keep in mind that if you want to add the Move controllers later, the list price is around $100 for a pair.
It should go without saying that you also need a PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 4 Slim.
If you want to pick up a PSVR in person, GameStop is opening around 1,600 of its roughly 4,400 US stores at 9PM ET tonight, taking orders for a few hours, and handing the units out at 12:01AM ET. It’s selling both bundle options, but each store will have "limited quantities" of headsets. You can find a local store here.
Best Buy is also opening 350 of its roughly 1,400 stores for the launch — customers can get in at 12:01AM ET nationwide, right at the release time. It’s not totally clear how many headsets will be on hand, but the company promises limited quantities will be available the next day, and online sales will start up after launch.
Amazon lists the launch bundle on its site, but says it’s sold out its allocation of them already, and the best you can do is sign up for email updates in case it comes back in stock. You’ll have better luck if you’re buying the camera, the Move, or various games.
Walmart, Toys R Us, Target, and other stores all have PlayStation VR listed online, although they’re not taking preorders. Toys R Us' product page notes that it’s being sold in stores, and Walmart confirmed to The Verge that PlayStation VR will be appearing in "more than 2,000 stores." We’ve emailed Target for more details about in-store availability. Newegg also has the PSVR listed, but it’s predictably out of stock.
Sony Square, NYC
If you happen to be in New York, Sony is having an official midnight PSVR launch at its New York showroom, Sony Square. Attendees can begin lining up at 7PM ET, and Sony Interactive Entertainment America president Shawn Layden will sell the first one at 12:01AM. Sony says it will have 300 PlayStation VR units at the event, along with games and peripherals. We’re not sure how great an option this is for buying a headset, but it is a thing that exists, and that some people will probably want to attend.
Outside the US
We’re focusing on US options here, but a Sony spokesperson tells us that PlayStation VR will also be on sale in Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Poland, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Russia, the Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, China, Thailand, and the Philippines. You can check local retail stores for pricing and availability.
Update 2:45PM ET: Added statement from Walmart and updated country list from Sony.