• PlayStation VR will launch this October for £349/$399/€399/¥44,980
• Price significantly undercuts Oculus Rift and HTC Vive
• 50 games will be released between launch and the end of 2016
• PlayStation 4 console & camera is required to use it 
• Cinema Mode will allow you to view movies and non-vr games as if they are on a giant screen

Andrew House, the head of Sony’s PlayStation division took to the stage at the Game Developers’ Conference in San Francisco to reveal the much anticipated launch details for their foray into the new virtual reality market.

The PlayStation VR (PSVR) headset will be released in major worldwide markets including the UK, Europe, Australia, the USA and Japan this October. It will retail for £349/ €399/ AUD$549.95 /$399/ ¥44,980.

Sony's Andrew House reveals PSVR price and launch date
Sony’s Andrew House reveals PSVR price and launch date

To use PSVR a PlayStation 4 console is required as well as a PlayStation camera which is used to track the position of the headset. Games are controlled using the DualShock 4 controller however it will be easier to play in VR games using the optional PS Move controller. In some territories Sony will be offering a PSVR with the camera and two Move controllers included.

The price is relatively cheap when compared to the Oculus’ price of £499 ($599) and the HTC Vive price of £689 ($799.99) – these require the use of a high specification PC and graphics card.

PSVR and camera and move controllers
The PSVR headset, PlayStation camera and two Move controllers

 

PlayStation VR Tech Specs
Display Technology: OLED
Screen Size: 5.7″
Resolution: 1020 x RGB x 1080 (960 x RGB x 1080 per eye)
Refresh Rate: 120Hz, 90 Hz
Sensors: 360° tracking / 9 LEDs
Field of View: 100 degrees
Latency: Less than 18ms
Input: DualShock 4 & PS Move

The resolution of the PSVR is lower than both the Oculus and HTC Vive so the detail level will be less sharp, however it is expected that most games will run 120Hz so motion should be very fluid which helps negate the risk of motion sickness.

Also included with the PSVR is a Breakout Box. This is used to create a 2D image of any VR footage which can be displayed on a regular HDTV which Sony refer to as being a ‘Social Screen.’ This can be viewed by people not wearing the headset so they can interact with the VR wearer in multiplayer VR games.

There are currently over 230 developers who are working on software for PSVR – if they each complete a project that is an enviable library of over 230 games. Sony made clear that between the October launch and the end of the year there will be over 50 titles released for it.

One of the titles revealed is The Star Wars Battlefront Experience based on EA’s best selling FPS game.

In the standard PSVR box you will get the following contents (as pictured below):

  • PlayStation VR headset
  • Processor unit
  • Stereo earbuds
  • HDMI cable
  • USB cable
  • AC adaptor and power cord
  • PS VR headset connection adaptor
A picture of the contents of the PSVR box including the VR helmet, breakout box and all the cables
PlayStation VR box contents

Additionally there will be a Cinema Mode which will allow you to view movies or play traditional 2d games as if you are in a virtual theatre looking at a giant screen.

After the PSVR press event Sony released a video where PlayStation President and CEO Andrew House directly shared the news with the public.

What with the launch of three major VR products being released this year it certainly seems that they are all helping each other in promoting the conversation of virtual reality and creating a real sense of momentum for this new frontier of interactive technology.

Sony will be revealing more about their plans for PlayStation VR at their E3 conference in June.

The PlayStation VR box
Early mock-up by Sony of the PSVR box