Virtual Reality has been a hot topic in the first two months of 2016 as the commercial release of the technology draws ever nearer.
First Oculus announced the price of the Rift when preorders went live in January, coming in at a whopping $AUD1104 including shipping (base price $US599). Then earlier this week, HTC revealed their Vive VR headset will cost a similar amount of $US799 ($AUD1110) before taking shipping into account. These prices have sparked many a debate about whether or not the cost is too high or will the pricing effectively kill VR as an industry for being too niche.
Regardless of where you stand, it is clear all eyes are now on Sony and Playstation VR as to what their pricing will be. And it turns out we may not have long to wait, as IGN reported this morning that Sony are inviting press to Playstation VR event in San Francisco on March 15.
There aren’t any details yet as to what is being shown at the event, but given Sony has previously discussed launching Playstation VR in the first half of 2016, it isn’t too much of a leap to assume they will be announcing pricing and release dates. And presumably they’ll be revealing the consumer version of the headset, something I’ve been curious about since my hands-on time with it as the amount of cabling would have been a death trap without the supervision of the Sony rep.
As to what kind of pricing they are likely to announce, it’s tricky to say, especially now as $US600-800 has become the industry standard. The Playstation VR headset has lower specifications compared to the Vive/Rift, with a combined 1080p screen compared to 2160×1200 resolution etcetera, but that may not warrant to big a drop in the overall value. Regardless, I still stand by what I said back in January, where if Sony keeps to their word and prices the headset at a similar amount to the PS4 itself ($US400 on launch, $AUD549) then it has much more of a chance to make VR a home entertainment product.
And at least now we have some semblance of a time when all this speculating can end.