Ready for Christmas but perhaps a quarter later than Sony had hoped, the much-anticipated Playstation VR is now official and we’ve got Aussie pricing and availability for you.
Confirmed with an announcement in San Francisco today, Sony have revealed a pretty impressive price for what could be the biggest selling VR headset of the year.
The VR market is already fragmented, with VR “goggles” for Smartphones now almost common-place including Samsung’s Gear VR and even Alcatel putting their Idol 4 inside a VR headset as packaging.
However at the higher end of the market there are three clear players today. Oculus and the Rift, HTC and their Vive and now Sony’s Playstation VR.
While the Oculus and Vive will be well over $1,000 Aussie dollars, the Playstation VR will hit our stores for $549.95.
Just like the Oculus and VIVE there is a hardware requirement. With those two you’re looking at needing a solid gaming spec PC. Playstation VR of course works directly with any of the almost 1,000,000 PS4s already in Australian lounge rooms.
The one additional system requirement is the Playstation 4 camera which does not come with the VR – you’ll use your existing camera or buy one (they are under $100).
In terms of setup, the Playstation VR is a tethered headset, we’re a long way from a lag-free wireless solution but Sony certainly has the easiest to setup and configure fully functional headset on the market.
HTC’s Vive for example requires the room to have two laser-like sensors setup and configured so it can “see” the headset and controllers. Sony’s Playstation VR requires just the Playstation Camera to work – and it works fast – and well.
The VR headset will come with headphones which plug into a small adaptor on the cable which runs from your PS4 to the headset.
In between the PS4 and your headset is a small box which basically provides the higher frame-rate output the VR goggles need to ensure you don’t feel sick using it.
I’ve used Playstation VR now several times – it’s amazing. As I’ve said before the key reasons for my excitement about this product are simple:
- Movement – you can walk around the space in front of your TV (and camera) and the VR environment can move with you – in games or experiences where that is programmed in. Of course – in many you are static, and seated, but you can still lean left right front and back to give a full movement based interaction.
- Hand Controls – Using the basic Playstation Move controllers you can interact with the environment. The best example of this – while violent – is shooting. you can have guns in each hand, or ammo in one hand and a gun in the other – and when you look around in the VR world you can see your hands and move your hands – its ridiculously immersive.
- Simplicity – As I’ve said, a PS4 – tick, millions of people have them, the PS4 camera – many do, if not its a small expense to get what you are going to get from this experience.
And while $549.95 is not cheap, it’s by far and away the most affordable “all motion” VR option on the market with interactivity.
Michael Ephraim, Managing Director Sony Computer Entertainment Australia and New Zealand says: “Innovation is in our DNA at PlayStation and PS VR is the single biggest step change in technology I’ve seen in over 20 years at PlayStation. There’s a huge amount of excitement around VR in Australia and I am really pleased that we are in a position to share this news with our fans.”
Pre-orders are opening today, and the device will be available in October.
Trev is a Technology Commentator, Dad, Speaker and Rev Head.
He produces and hosts two popular podcasts, EFTM and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He also appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the resident Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show each day and appears regularly on A Current Affair.
Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave.