Sony reveal release date for PlayStation VR, alongside game information, pricing, hardware and contents.
Although Sony hasn’t said whether or not the system will be released on the same day globally, they have given it a release date of October 2016, as President of Sony Entertainment, Andrew House writes on the PlayStation Blog
“With the annual Game Developers Conference in full swing, I’m pleased to give you an exciting update on PlayStation VR. Today, we are announcing that the PlayStation VR headset will launch in October of this year…That is a bit later than the timeframe we previously stated, and I want to thank everyone for their patience and continued support…”
“Today more than 230 developers are building content for PlayStation VR, from smaller independent teams to larger studios at the industry’s top publishers. We expect to have more than 50 games available from launch in October 2016 until the end of the year… Additionally, The Playroom VR… will be available as a free download from PlayStation Store for all PS VR owners at launch. The Playroom VR will include six games that can be enjoyed with friends and family, demonstrating why we believe VR can also be an impactful experience when it’s shared.”
So to summarise it for you:
- The PlayStation VR headset will launch in October 2016.
- More than 230 developers are working on content for PSVR.
- There should be more than 50 games by the end of 2016.
- It will come with Playroom VR, which includes 6 games that can be enjoyed with friends and family.
Sounds pretty decent right? I mean as long as Playroom VR isn’t forced onto the system like its predecessor The Playroom, which was for the PlayStation camera, I think it may please the majority of PlayStation users as long as they can afford it, which leads us on to our next topic…
Sony has said since they announced PSVR that it would be priced as a new gaming platform, so it doesn’t surprise me that the price will be £350 for the standard headset bundle (it’s rumoured that there’ll be bundles with the PlayStation Move, which isn’t required but seems it would be better with it, and a bundle with the PlayStation Camera, which is required. Maybe there’ll be a bundle with both as well?).
So how does this price against its competitors? Well Oculus Rift will launch being £150 more expensive (£500) and HTC’s Vive Headset will be almost double the price of PSVR at a whopping £689. So to me, the obvious one to buy would be PSVR, however, we’ll have to see about that once all three launch seeing as Oculus will easily have a lot more games.
One thing to consider will be the price of the games as that could be the difference between spending a little or a lot.
Since its reveal in 2014, the PlayStation VR headset hasn’t changed that much on the design front. The main body of the headset features a black curved visor with white, LED-illuminated edging and LED positional trackers. Unlike the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, the PlayStation VR is held on by a headband that allows for the headset to rest upon the top of your head, instead of the more standard overhead strap.
The headset was initially supposed to include bone-conduction headphone technology in the headband, but that appears to have been scrapped. Instead of providing built-in headphones, Sony thinks it’s best to let users plug in their own headphones or opt to play using sound from the TV, so as not to become so immersed in what you’re experiencing that you don’t hear the room around you.
Despite a rear-mounted set of lights to help track your head, PlayStation VR is sleek, well designed and visually appealing. It’s incredibly light compared to the likes of the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive and, thanks to a gap between your face and the visor, you don’t feel hemmed in when playing, helping reduce the feeling of motion sickness.
PlayStation VR utilises a Full HD 1080p OLED display, with a resolution of 960 x 1,080 for each eye. The headset itself connects to a PlayStation 4, which processes the games and streams them to the device. There’s also a separate, smaller box that connects to the PS4 to handle the nuts and bolts of rendering fully immersive 3D.
This smaller box can then be connected to a separate TV or monitor to have an undistorted, “normal” view of what’s happening in-game. It’s a nice touch, and should make PlayStation VR more living-room-friendly than devices such as the Oculus Rift.
The PS4 can follow the position and movement of PlayStation VR thanks to accelerometers and the LED side lights mentioned above, which it detects using a connected PlayStation Camera. Sony claims the camera can track the headset up to 1,000 times per second, delivering a seamless experience.
Users can also turn their heads through a full 360 degrees while playing, in order to experience every angle of view. This is accomplished through the sensor on the back of the headset, which lets the PlayStation VR know when you’re looking behind you.
Games on PlayStation VR will be played primarily via the DualShock 4 controller, which – in addition to having a familiar layout – is motion-sensitive and can be tracked by the PlayStation Camera, thanks to an embedded light bar. This will allow developers greater scope in creating immersive, intuitive VR games.
However, games can also be played with the PlayStation Move batons. Part of a failed motion-control system from a few years ago, these peripherals allow players to control their characters with movements and gestures rather than button presses.
Here’s what’s included in the box.