The rise of online retailing has brought about an end to the days of long queues to pre-order products in the west, but that culture seems to be alive and well in Japan.
According to Japanese news outlet ASCII (to which image credit goes to too), around 500 people gathered in Tokyo’s central gaming hub to lay down an early order for Sony Interactive Entertainment’s (SIE’s) hotly anticipated VR headset, PlayStation VR on Saturday, June 18th. As pictured above, fans lined up outside the Yodobashi Camera store in the Akihabara district. The street itself is famous for multiple gaming arcades and stores, including the famous Super Potato store that specialises in retro games and consoles.
It’s a good indicator of just how anticipated PlayStation VR is in Japan, where the kit is set to go on sale for 44,980 yen (about $430). That’s slightly higher than the $399 that the base unit will be available for in the US. Last week we reported that the country would be getting its hands on the device at the same time as the US release that was announced at E3; October 13th 2016. In fact the company is planning its first ever simultaneous hardware launch across territories like Japan, North America, Europe and Australia with the device.
SIE Japan is actually providing an essential component of the PlayStation VR launch; everyone that buys a unit will be getting the internally developed Playroom VR for free on the kit. The minigame collection highlights a number of aspects about the device, including its social screen applications in which other players outside of VR can compete with those using the HMD in party games. That said, it’s been widely reported that the PlayStation 4 console with which the headset runs hasn’t had the same stunning level of success in Japan that it has elsewhere. Will this effect sales?
There’s just over 100 days to go until PlayStation VR is finally with us. A total of 50 games will be releasing for the kit between launch and the end of the year. There’s still a lot to learn about the system, though, including how the new, more powerful PlayStation 4 will impact it.