As the dust begins to settle on GDC 2016, one major takeaway is that the advent of virtual reality – having been teased for so long – is now looming on the horizon. First up, we’ll have HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift debuting in April and May, respectively, before Sony rolls out its own hardware, the PlayStation VR, in October.
Priced at $399 USD (£349/€399/$549.99 CAD), PSVR will have one major advantage of its chief competitors in the form of the 38 million strong install base of the PlayStation 4. With this, Sony has a genuine shot at breaking into the mainstream, and though the added PlayStation Camera ($40 on average) does bump the price up, there’s no doubting the device’s affordability.
When quizzed about PlayStation VR by Eurogamer, Sony’s Head of Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida spoke briefly about the company’s strategy of getting the hardware into as many homes as possible.
It’s going to take time and money and effort to do that – and we’re willing to do that, bringing PS VR to as many consumers as possible at roadshows and such. I totally believe that Oculus, Vive, Valve, HTC and ourselves are helping each other bring high quality VR experiences to new consumers. Anything we do, or they do, is helping each other create more awareness of VR.
Launching a few months after the Rift and Vive, PlayStation VR will be releasing into a market that will, at the very least, be a little more acclimatized to the onslaught of high-end VR devices come October. Breaking into the mass market is the ultimate goal for Yoshida-san and Co., of course, and the secret to that will be a diverse library of software – just don’t expect those titles to perform below 60fps.
We are super excited about the things happening around VR. Every week we see new games announced and people get excited to try new demos. We are showing what we call our social VR demo – it’s a tech demo which allows people to be in the same space and interact with VR. Developers will continue to come up with interesting reasons to try VR tech.