Sony has finally announced that the PlayStation VR will cost $399, and it will be available in October 2016. The company shared the news this afternoon during a short keynote at the 2016 Game Developer Conference in San Francisco, CA.
That price could almost be considered cheap if you already own a PlayStation 4, and even if you don't, the total cost is much less than Sony's VR competitors. The Oculus Rift starts at $599 and Valve's HTC Vive will sell for $799, but both of those headsets require powerful PCs that can cost much more than the $299 PS4.
But there are a few catches: the base level PlayStation VR doesn't come with the company's Move controllers, and it also doesn't come with the PlayStation Camera — which is required to use PSVR. A Sony rep tells us this is because many PS4 owners have already bought the camera. PlayStation VR bundles will be sold, and those would likely include things like the camera and the Move controllers, but Sony declined to share any more detail.
Sony confirmed that the consumer version of the PlayStation VR will have the same technical specs that we've heard about: the main 5.7-inch OLED screen is capable of displaying games at up to 120 frames per second, and has a resolution of "1920 x RGB x 1080," meaning each pixel gets full RGB color.
The company also promised that 50 games will be released between the October launch and the end of the year. Sony didn't give us a ton of details beyond that, but it did announce that there would be a VR version of Star Wars: Battlefront that will be exclusive to the PlayStation VR.
Modest resolution, but 120 frames per second gaming and very little lag
Unlike the Oculus Rift, which we've seen grow from a duct-taped Frankenstein's monster of a device to something that actually looks consumer-ready, not much has changed since PlayStation VR was announced two years ago at GDC. (Back then it was known as Project Morpheus.) Some of the internals have been improved in that time, but the overall look of Sony's consumer VR project remains the same: a visor-like strap holds the white and black headset in front of your face, and users can play games with PlayStation's Move or DualShock 4 controllers.
The headset has nine LEDs for 360-degree head tracking, and Sony claims it has latency of "less than 18ms." The big question is whether those specs, when combined with the PlayStation 4, will be powerful enough to drive experiences as good as what you can get on the Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive. The PlayStation VR experience may not be able to live up to the quality of the ones offered by its competitors, but Sony is slotting in at a total price point that’s significantly less.
Our first look at the PlayStation VR