News by Lindsay M.
Mirroring their initial announcement two years ago at the same event, Sony has used San Fransisco’s annual Game Developers Conference to formally announce several details relating to the impending release of its PlayStation VR, including price, pre-order information, an initial specification sheet, and an estimated release date.
PlayStation VR is designed to take the PlayStation 4 to the next level, and will launch in Japan, North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand in October of this year. There are over 200 developers and publishers currently working on software titles for Sony’s new hardware, including some DDnet favourites such as Atlus, Bandai Namco, Idea Factory, Koei Tecmo, Spike Chunsoft, and Square Enix. While certain staff members are drooling over Miku VR, I’m imagining an immersive Danganronpa. Only only time will tell what titles are on their way, but we do know that over 50 titles should be launched by the end of 2016, including Ubisoft’s Eagle Flight and Frame Interactive’s Headmaster. I expect to see new titles announced at this year’s remaining major gaming conferences, namely E3 and the Tokyo Game Show.
Related reading: PlayStation VR’s main competitor, the Oculus Rift, will cost over $800 USD plus the cost of a powerful PC to run it.
The Australian retail price has been set at $549.95 AUD. That will get you one VR headset, a processor unit, connection cable, HDMI cable, USB cable, headphones with earpiece, power cord, adapter, and a download of The Playroom VR. The Playroom VR is a collection of six games designed for all users to enjoy, including Monster Escape, Cat and Mouse, Ghost House, Wanted!, and Bedroom Robots (one hasn’t been announced yet). In addition to games, PlayStation VR has a Cinematic mode that allows users to take in content on a large virtual screen (and I mean large: up to 225 inches at a distance of 2.5 metres). Content that can be used in Cinematic mode includes all PlayStation 4 games and videos. Users can also view 360-degree photos and videos captured by omni-directional cameras.
Considering the base price of a PlayStation 4 in Australia is currently $479.95, the $550 price tag on the PlayStation VR may seem steep. However, there are other factors to consider, the main being that the technology is still brand new (I’m sure I’m not the only one who remembers when a 32” LCD TV would cost $1,000). This combined with the amount of content available at launch and at no added cost, such as your current PS4 games and The Playroom VR, the price of the unit itself is still costly — but completely reasonable at the same time. We have every reason to expect it can (and will) be popular with consumers despite the price tag.
– Lindsay M.