Sony is undercutting competing headset vendors with an aggresive pricing of its new PlayStation VR: The device will cost $399 when it ships in October. There was no word on whether and when consumers may be able to pre-order PS VR. Also still unknown is the cost of the controllers, which will ship separately.
Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Andrew House announced the price and ship date at a press event in San Francisco on Tuesday. “VR is a big part of the future of games,” he said, adding that all 36 million PlayStation 4 game consoles that are being used in consumers’ homes will be compatible with the VR headset.
The device that will be available to consumers looks very similar to the prototypes the company has been showing off in recent months, and the specs of the device also match what we’ve been hearing from leaks and official announcements: PS VR will come with a 5.7 OLED screen with a combined resolution of 1920 x RGB x 1080 pixels, which equals 960 x RGB x 1080 pixels per eye. The screen will feature a 120 Hz refresh rate, about field of view of 100 degrees and less than 18 ms latency.
House said that Sony has already signed up more than 230 developers to build games and experiences for the device. Sony expects that 50 titles will be available by the end of the year. Some of the games specifically called out by House included “Uncharted 4” and “The Last Guardian.” Sony also plans to make its Internet-based TV service PlayStation Vue available through an app on the PlayStation VR.
House also teased an exclusive Star Wars VR game, but details on that title won’t be available until later this year. This will be separate from the cinematic VR experience Lucasfilm’s ILMxLAB first showed off in San Francisco earlier this week.
The $399 price tag makes PlayStation VR significantly cheaper than its key competitors: Facebook-owned Oculus is going to start shipping its Rift VR headset for $600 next week, and HTC is following with the $800 HTC Vive next month.
But those two headsets still require a high-end PC, which can easily cost another $1,000 or more. PlayStation VR on the other hand works in conjunction with a PlayStation 4 and its PlayStation Camera sensor, which can be had for around $450.
House said Tuesday that Sony started to work on virtual reality in 2010, when a few teams within the company started laboring away on what he called passion projects. “It’s been a long road for virtual reality,” he said, adding that the excitement for the new device within the company now reminds him “of the anticipation we all had when building the original PlayStation.”