Sony today announced the final pricing and availability of its much-hyped PlayStation VR (PSVR) virtual-reality headset. Coming this October for $400, the PSVR will cost $200 less than Facebook’s Oculus Rift and $400 less than HTC and Valve’s Vive.
Unlike the Rift and the Vive, the PSVR doesn’t require a high-end gaming PC. Instead, you connect the headset to your PlayStation 4 and are ready to dive into the world of virtual gaming.
To be fair, though, the PSVR’s price is a bit misleading, as it doesn’t come with the PlayStation Camera required for the system’s head tracking functionality, which is currently priced at $60 through Best Buy.
You’ll also need to get Sony’s PlayStation Move motion controllers if you want to complete the experience. Those are listed at $50 on Amazon. That adds an extra $160 to the cost of the PSVR, which still puts it below the Oculus Rift (by $50) and the Vive (by $240).
The PSVR features a single 1920 x 1280 display that is split across both eyes. That means each eye sees a screen resolution of 960 x 1080. That’s lower resolution than the Rift and the Vive, which offer screen resolutions of 1080 x 1200 per eye. In other words, games will look a bit sharper on the Rift and the Vive.
But it’s what the PSVR doesn’t need that makes it such an attractive buy for consumers. Rather than a dedicated gaming PC, the PSVR runs on the existing 36 million PlayStation 4s already on the market. What’s more, a PlayStation 4 currently costs $350 with a game and controller.
So figure you’d pay $910 for the PSVR, the PlayStation Camera, Move controllers, and a PS4. That’s still far less expensive than the Rift and the Vive, which run $1,500 and $1,800, respectively, when you add in the price of the high-end PCs needed to run them.
Sony also seems to have an early advantage in the number of games that will be available for the PSVR. According to the company, there will be 50 games available for the headset by the end of the year.
Will the PSVR’s gameplay experience be as good as those we’ve seen with the Rift and the Vive? Stay tuned for our hands-on to find out.