Sony has announced the price of its upcoming Virtual Reality headset.
Project Morph- sorry, PlayStation VR will cost you £349 of your Great British Pounds, $399 if you live in the pre-Trump meltdown USA, or €399 in that funny European monopoly money when it launches this October.
Which, on the face of it, doesn’t seem too bad. Hell, it’s a crapload cheaper than Oculus Rift and HTC Vive – on the face of it, at least.
However, there’s a bit of a “but” hanging over the price announcement.
For starters, Sony has announced that a PlayStation camera will be required in order to use the headset. That will set you back around another £40/ $60/ €60. Remember the PlayStation camera? If you already own a PS4 or PS3, you may have one somewhere, silently gathering dust next to an Xbox Kinect camera.
But wait! That’s not all! PS VR will also be best experienced with dual Move controllers (though thankfully they’re not essential). So add around another £70/ $120 to the price.
That’s starting to look a bit pricey… and that’s assuming you even have a PS4 to begin with. If you don’t, then suddenly we’re into “better start saving money now” territory with a total entry cost of around £800 to Johnny Layman on the street. Hell, for that money you can actually build a PC that’s more powerful than a PS4, buy an Oculus Rift, and still have it work out cheaper.
Sony has, admittedly, said that there will be a bundle at launch containing the headset and camera – though it’s currently only confirmed for North America (assuming the country survives the 2016 election). But they’ve so far declined to stick a price tag on it.
Sony has released a photo of all the kit you can expect if you pick up the headset (minus the camera and Move controllers). If you’re scared of cables, look away now.
Is VR great? Yes, it’s fantastic. It’s progressed in leaps and bounds from the horror show that was the passing fad in the early nineties (just, for the love of God, don’t play Alien: Isolation with VR if you value your underwear).
Will it hit the mainstream at these prices? I’m doubtful. I have a feeling we’re looking at a good couple of years before prices come down and the dev industry supports it en masse for it to be a train worth jumping on.