PlayStation VR price will undercut Oculus Rift and HTC Vive

16 Mar 2016

PlayStation VR demo image via Sony

Virtual reality (VR) fans and PlayStation 4 owners looking to get their hands on the much-anticipated PlayStation VR can relax a little bit knowing that Sony has given us a release month of October and a price of €399.

The confirmation of the price and release month of the PlayStation (PS) VR reveals that Sony is really looking to undercut its biggest rivals, such as Oculus and HTC, in the soon-to-be competitive gaming VR space, with both its rivals releasing their own headsets in the coming months.

Having first promised to release it in the first half of this year, Sony has now scaled back its plans to later in the year in order to have a large catalogue of games that will be VR compatible, believed to be somewhere in the region of 50 titles.

What is abundantly clear from the price Sony has announced is that it will undercut the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive by some distance, with those being priced by their companies at $599 and $799, respectively.

PlayStation VR headset

However, while the PS VR will be ready for players to mess around with in October, the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive will have already been out a number of months.

This, of course, doesn’t take into account that these headsets will not be playable on the PS4, which so far has sold more than 35m units worldwide, with Sony’s expectations being that 1.6m will be sold before the end of 2017.

So, the question is, what is the PS VR missing compared to its competitors that can allow it to cost hundreds of euro less?

PS VR demo 2

How is it cheaper?

Well, for a start, the PS VR’s resolution of 1920x1080p is expected to be slightly less than the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, which are both known to be 2160x1200p.

Additionally, the PS VR has a slightly more restricted field of view of 100 degrees, compared with the other two’s 110 degrees.

The PS VR also has fewer sensors than the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, coming with just an accelerometer and gyroscope.

What the PS VR certainly has in its favour, however, will be dedicated development on the one platform, which should, in theory, make more stable games utilising VR, rather than working with multiple developers, which could require a game to be formatted to suit on, say, Windows 10.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic