The Playstation VR (PSVR) is set to hit the shelves in October of this year, but it’s hardly the first time Sony has dabbled in consumer-oriented virtual reality (VR). Old-school gamers may recall its first foray into the VR space with the 32-bit Virtual Boy, circa 1995.
Now that Sony has finally revealed the full launch details behind its new VR offering—the Playstation VR—PS4 owners and fans can finally get the lowdown behind one of this year’s most anticipated VR launches.
Listed below are 11 important details about the Playstation VR that may inform your buying decision come holiday season.
1. Every game is set to run at 60 frames per second.
Sony has set 60 FPS as the minimum standard for all games on the PlayStation VR. This is in line with the minimum requirement for preventing VR-induced nausea and ensuring a pleasurable gaming experience.
2. Over a dozen games will be available at launch.
Out of the gate, gamers will have access to titles such as BattleZone, Headmaster, Tumble VR, and RIGS, just to name a few. If these games do not ring a bell, it’s likely because they were developed by smaller, indie game developers specializing in the nascent VR gaming space. Titles are likely to cost $39.99 or less.
3. The PlayStation VR requires a PlayStation Camera.
Despite being a critical component of the PSVR—the VR unit in fact won’t function without it—the PlayStation Camera is not include in the $399 sticker price. This means that the actual price of the PSVR is $459.99 for those who didn’t buy a PlayStation Camera with their initial PS4 purchase.
4. Move controllers are optional and not included.
Sony has confirmed that all PSVR games natively support the default DualShock 4 controller. However, the Move controllers allow for free movement, better immersion, and a better VR gaming experience overall. Sadly, they aren’t included in the $399 box.
5. The PlayStation VR is the cheapest entrant to VR gaming so far.
Technically, the Gear VR is still the cheapest VR unit on the market. However, when it comes to high-end VR headsets, the $399 PSVR is hands-down the most economical option. And unlike the Oculus and Vive that sell for $599 and $799, respectively, the PSVR doesn’t require a powerful high-end PC to function.
Note: As mentioned earlier, you’ll still need to purchase a PlayStation Camera in addition to the PSVR base unit. You’ll also want to invest in a couple of Move controllers for a more immersive VR gaming experience.
6. The PlayStation VR is the most widely supported VR Headset on the market.
With reportedly more than 230 studios working on games for the PlayStation VR, Sony’s VR offering is currently the most supported VR headset available to consumers.
7. PSVR users can play with non-VR gamers.
Simply put, a person wearing the PSVR can play with others that are using the regular DualShock controllers alone. Sony has stated that this is one of their primary design goals for the PSVR: to make VR more social and acceptable to non-hardcore gamers.
8. Sony is serious about maintaining the quality of VR games.
Sony is so committed to delivering a high-end VR experience that they have bad practices videos available for VR developers. The video tells developers what standards and design goals they should strive for, as well as what to avoid.
9. All PS4 games can be played on the PSVR.
Sony has made the PSVR compatible with existing PS4 games on a virtual screen—similar to what Oculus Rift offers for the Xbox One.
10. The PSVR is bundled with Playroom.
The software suite known as Playroom seems like an ideal fit for the social VR experience that Sony is marketing with the Playstation VR—despite being less-than-perfect for the PS4.
11. The PSVR is already available for pre-order.
Several retailers started accepting pre-orders in the days and weeks following Sony’s launch date announcement, despite the official October launch timeframe. In fact, Amazon.co.uk and EBGames Australia completely sold out their pre-order bookings within minutes.
By the look of things, the PSVR will be one of hottest—if not the most sought after gift item this holiday season. Most of the preceding 11 facts validate Sony’s position as a formidable gaming platform provider, VR or otherwise, but a few are gotchas (e.g., the requisite Playstation Camera) that will better inform your R headset buying decision.