Sony opens PlayStation VR pre-orders
March 16, 2016 // 10:46 a.m.
Sony has officially opened up pre-orders for its PlayStation VR headset, and it's taking an aggressive pricing stance at just £349.99 - though many PlayStation 4 owners will need to shell out for additional hardware.
Unveiled as Project Morpheus, PlayStation VR is Sony putting its hat into the virtual reality ring. Where the competition is priced at the very top of the scale - and requires a high-end gaming PC to operate - Sony has opened pre-orders for the PSVR at just £349.99 - less than half the price of the HTC Vive. That price, though, hides a few missing parts: while the device plugs into a PlayStation 4 through a bundled processor unit box, it will only operate with systems that have a PlayStation Camera; PS4 owners who do not have a PlayStation Camera will have to buy one in order to use the PSVR.
The device also comes without any bundled controller, where the Oculus Rift offers an Xbox pad and the HTC Vive a pair of custom-made motion-tracking VR controllers, with Sony developing around the perfectly reasonable assumption that PS4 owners will already own at least one DualShock 4 control pad. The bundle does, however, include everything else you need bar the PS4 itself: the headset, processor unit, stereo earbuds, HDMI and USB cables, a connection adapter for headset use, and an AC adapter to power it all.
Speaking at the Game Developer Conference (GDC), Sony's Andrew House claimed that his company was working on more than 160 games supporting the PlayStation VR. The device will also include a 'cinematic mode' for non-VR content, which displays a large-scale virtual screen suspended in space in front of the user - echoing the company's earlier head-mounted display products which focused on 2D video functionality.
The PlayStation VR is due to launch in October this year, significantly after its PC-based competition.