The Playstation VR core system today became available for pre-order. The $399 Playstation 4 accessory costs and officially launches in October of this year. The pre-order is available now from several major retailers including Walmart, Best Buy, Target and Gamestop.
Your $400 dollar investment here will only grant you the actual headset, necessary cables, and a pair of basic stereo headphones. To run properly, Playstation VR also requires two Playstation Move controllers and the Playstation Camera as well not to mention the actual PS4 that is necessary to run the hardware and the games you’ll need to buy separately.
A more complete “launch bundle” was made available at Best Buy, Amazon, Target, Gamestop and Walmart for $499, but those sold out in only a matter of minutes. The bundle seems to be back in stock at Target, Best Buy and Walmart. That set comes with the headset, the necessary additional hardware, and a game but also lacked the PS4 which currently retails between $350 and $400 for a new console.
All told, the Playstation VR will run you near $1000 just to get started. This may seem steep but its a pittance when compared to the Oculus Rift ($599) and HTC Vive ($799) both of which require high end PCs to function. Those PCs alone can cost $1000 each. The all-in cost of the PS VR seems like a veritable steal when compared to its competitors, and a robust launch library of around 50 slated titles makes it a very compelling VR purchase especially when the holiday season rolls around.
Mass market VR is happening this year. The Oculus Rift launched on Monday and although that product is still a ways away from being available on Amazon or purchasable at your local Best Buy, those days almost assuredly lie ahead. Now that performance and packaging has been determined for each of the big three HMDs, the name of the game for achieving supremacy in the market for each company will be pricing, content, and distribution.
PS VR has the lead on price, Sony definitely knows how to make great content, and the fact that this pre-order is available through major retailers – and not through a proprietary website like the Rift – means that the Japanese giant is almost assuredly going to dominate the distribution channels as well.
All signs seem to be pointing toward a Sony dominated VR market by years end. If you agree, make sure you snag your pre-order now. They may not be available for much longer.