It’s been more than two years since we first started hearing about the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR. During that span, Facebook purchased Oculus Rift and Mark Zuckerberg began talking about Oculus Rift as the future of Facebook and the internet itself. All through this waiting period, we didn’t even have a good look at this next-generation virtual reality in the gaming context.
That is finally set to change, as Sony has set a release date for its next biggest thing, the PlayStation VR. Sony held an event on March 15, when it made several announcements about the VR projects. PlayStation VR will be released in October 2016 and will begin at $338 US. The console will render virtual screen equivalent to five meters and play movies and 360 degree photos.
Sony is developing many different bespoke virtual reality games, but the PSVR system software will render all standard PS4 games playable within the VR headset too. That doesn’t mean all games will be rendered in VR of course, but they will be playable on what will be the same as a flat screen within a virtual space headset. That means the PSVR is a viable second screen option.
Sony explained that “Users can enjoy content on a virtual screen up to 225 inches (5 meters in width) at a distance of 2.5 meters.”
Living up to the promise of VR, users can also view movies within this virtual space too. Other PS4 features, like Share Play and Live from PlayStation, will also be compatible within the headset. According to Sony, “Users will also be able to enjoy 360 degrees photos and videos that are captured by devices such as omnidirectional cameras on PS VR via PS4 Media Player, which will let them feel as if they are physically inside the captured scene.”
Sony says it has more than 230 developers working to develop original VR games to supportPlayStation VR. At least 160 projects are already in development. So far the following games have been announced for PSVR:
Star Wars Battlefront
PlayStation VR Worlds
Until Dawn: Rush of Blood
RIGS: Mechanized Combat League
The PSVR will release in October 2016 in Australia, Europe and the UK as well as America. It will cost you €399 in Europe, £349 in the United Kingdom, $549.95 in Australia, and ¥44,980 in Japan. Please note that the base PSVR package doesn’t include Move controllers or the PlayStation Camera. The controllers retail for about $40/£40, while the PlayStation Camera will set you back $50/£40.
Its main competitor, the Oculus Rift, is pricier at $600 to start. Oculus Rift operates only with PCs. It includes an Xbox One controller, a sensor, and free copies of Eve: Valkyrie and Lucky’s Tale. Like the PSVR it comes with head tracking and controller tracking.
The HTC Vive on the other hand will retail for $800.00. Unlike the other two, HTC encourages its players to stand up as well as sit down when moving in virtual space. It comes with IR emitters that let you make a wide range of movements. The front-facing camera also gives you the chance to see the real world around you, so you don’t bump into your couch while you maneuver in VR.