PlayStation VR: What You Need To Know
Following yesterday’s PlayStation VR event, it seems appropriate that I dedicate today’s entry to Sony’s VR headset.
Let’s kick off with the big piece of information that everybody wants to know: ‘how much is it going to cost’ and ‘when will it be available?’ The answer to those questions were revealed by Sony, with the price being set at £349 and the release being scheduled for October 2016. There is however a slight caveat to that price: in order for PlayStation VR to function you will need a PlayStation camera, which will set you back an additional £40. However even with this additional cost it does put Sony’s VR experience at a significantly price point than that of the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. I have said all along that they couldn’t price it above the price of the console and this price reflects the launch price of the PS4. Consider me sold!
Unfortunately supply on the PlayStation VR appears that it will be severely limited at launch. The headset went on sale today at 11am and had sold out on Amazon UK within minutes of going on sale, despite limiting sales to one unit per customer: I tried to order my headset at 11:15 AM and was out of luck! Amazon did continue to take pre-orders after the initial wave but they may not guarantee a release day delivery. In a statement, Amazon UK said:
“Based on our initial allocation we cannot guarantee release day delivery if you ordered after 11:45 AM GMT, Wednesday 16 March, 2016. You will be notified via email of the expected delivery date closer to the time. “
Considering I managed to eventually conclude a pre-order at 11:30 AM, I still hold out hope that I may get a headset on release day. The statement almost confirms that stock will be severely limited at launch, you have to assume that the delay from a summer release has been to allow additional manufacturing time. I’m sure we will speak about PlayStation VR several times in the coming months so we will be sure to update you on the availability.
We already know that that the PlayStation VR will be providing us with a brand new gaming experience when it launches later this year. However I do want to give a shout out to an additional feature that many people may overlook. Sony has confirmed that thanks to the new “cinematic mode” all PS4 games will be playable with the PlayStation VR headset. As part of the press release it was noted that it would be the equivalent of a “virtual screen up to 225 inches (5 meters in width) at a distance of 2.5 metres.” It won’t just be limited to games either, movies and features such as Share Play and Live from PlayStation will also be compatible. Even without the VR I think this feature would sell me: the headset will feel more immersive than your normal living room experience. If that doesn’t sell you, how about the prospect that you will no longer have to endure arguments with your other half about you playing video games and them watching TV.
The headset would be nothing without games and it appears that plenty of games are in the works for PlayStation VR. The folks over at GameSpot have compiled a list of all games that are currently in development for the virtual reality headset. I have spoken before about how RIGS looks like a very promising game, and definitely one that I am keen to experience, but let’s focus on another game that is on that list: Star Wars Battlefront! Yes, EA has confirmed that they are partnering with Sony in order to bring a “cinematic gaming experience” based on the popular first person shooter. I think I can hear the collective cry of joy from the millions of Star Wars fans: being a Jedi is definitely on the bucket list!
Another game that maybe worth some attention is PlayStation VR Worlds. I personally consider this closer to collection of tech demos, but London Studio has confirmed that the game is “a collection of five different VR experiences that have all been built from the ground up exclusively for the PS VR headset.” The collection will include:
- The London Heist
- Into The Deep
- VR Luge
- Danger Ball
- Scavenger’s Odyssey
You can read further details on each of these games on the PlayStation Blog, or if you prefer visual aids then you can check out the trailer below:
With Sony confirming that 50 titles in total will be available at launch and my pre order (hopefully) in place, October can’t come soon enough!