With the cost of both Oculus Rift and HTC Vive announced weeks ago, it was only a matter of time before Sony revealed the price of PlayStation VR. That time has come: Sony announced at GDC that its PlayStation VR headset will cost $400. Though cheaper than its competitors, is PlayStation VR something that gamers or casual consumers will be willing spend their money on? Our editors share their thoughts and opinions below.
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments. And once you've read our responses, check out our opinions on the Oculus Rift pricing.
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Randolph Ramsay, Managing Editor
In a scene reminiscent of E3 2013, Sony announced pricing for an upcoming piece of hardware last, and again undercut the competition by a significant margin. The $399 sticker price for PS VR is--on the surface--far more attractive than the roughly $600 price of the Oculus Rift and the $800 price of the HTC Vive. Of course, the real price of PS VR is probably closer to $500 once you factor in buying the separately sold camera and Move controllers, but it's still well below the other VR offerings hitting consumers this year. Cinematic mode, too, is an extremely interesting addition, and being able to play "normal" PS4 games and watch other video content is PS VR is a nice touch. But as with the other VR devices out there, the real value of it lies in the games. The few demos I've played in PS VR have been extremely immersive, but I'm not yet convinced that a long, involved gameplay experience will be suitable (or comfortable) in VR. Of course with that low price point, I'm definitely much more willing to try out PlayStation's version of VR when it releases in October this year.
Eddie Makuch, News Editor
I have a PS4 but no PlayStation Camera or Move controllers, so the starting price for PlayStation VR for me would be north of $460. It's not as expensive as the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, and the $400 starting price is in line with what I thought it might cost. But I am not yet convinced about VR overall and don't plan to buy in right away. Undoubtedly, the VR space is alluring and exciting, and it's been fun to watch the developments unfold and learn how studios are building brand new genres and modes of play. But I personally have no strong feelings about PlayStation VR--or the market overall--so I'm going to hold back for now.
Ty Root, Video Director
$400 is a nice entry price point to VR. At the same time, I'd like to see Sony be a little bit more honest about what a true VR experience is going to cost. If you add the PlayStation camera along with two Move controllers, you're looking at around $500, which is still $100 less than the nearest competitor. Still something to be very proud of. Just tell it like it is.
Justin Haywald, Senior Editor
I'm not an early adopter. I don't have to have the first run of any of the latest gadgets because I know that waiting a year or two will not only get me a better version of the same thing, but I'll probably be able to get it at a deep discount. So when the price of a peripheral for a console costs more than the console itself, my knee jerk reaction is to say, "I'll pick that up on Black Friday. In 2017. Maybe."
But virtual reality has won me over. I haven't found a game on its own that marks the hardware as a must-own, but the individual experiences I've had add up to an irresistible whole. Virtual reality isn't the only path for entertainment in the future, but it's going to be an important one. And at $400 with the power of PlayStation games library behind it, I'm ready to pick up a PlayStation VR unit now. It also helps that I seem to be part of the minority who already have both a PlayStation Camera and set of Move controllers. I'm practically halfway to VR already!
Zorine Te, Associate Editor
At $550 Australian dollars, PlayStation VR sits at a price point that almost hits the luxury point for someone on my level of pay. Add on purchasing the necessary PlayStation camera, as well as the Move controllers, and it's a hefty investment. I'd like to see beyond the first wave of available games and discover a definitive VR game or experience that allows me to justify the price tag. I imagine quite a few gamers will be in similar situations. However, relatively speaking, I do believe that PS VR is in the prime position to succeed among its competitors solely because of its attachment to the PlayStation 4. With over 36 million consoles sold worldwide, the hardware has a lower barrier to entry when compared to its PC-dependent rivals.
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Rob Crossley, Editor
Like with the PS4, the success of PlayStation VR begins with a remarkable feat of engineering. The cost of the unit is $200 cheaper than its nearest rival, and yet, it sells at a profit. That's an unbelievably generous position to be in. Such a unique condition gives Sony, at the very least, more freedom to be aggressive with sales and production. Before the PS VR price reveal, I didn't think premium virtual reality had a chance to become mass-market anytime soon. Now I'm not so sure. Sony's institutional know-how of affordable electronics manufacturing has resulted in a premium device that is markedly cheaper than its rivals--with a fixed console platform and first party support too, it could become the breakthrough device for VR .
Scott Butterworth, Editor
Despite Sony’s disingenuous exclusion of the required $60 PlayStation camera from the PS VR package and price point, $460 dollars is an undeniably attractive price. I’m not confident my desktop PC can handle Vive or Oculus, but my PS4 is a PS4. According to Sony, that’s all it needs to be. Clearly Sony’s perfectly positioned to win the price war, so the question really becomes: can PlayStation VR match the quality of the experiences produced by its more expensive competitors? So far, the answer seems to be yes. I’ve played games on all three major VR contenders, and in my experience, PS VR isn’t noticeably lacking. During these early days when VR software is just starting to take shape, it seems like PS VR will have no problem keeping up. But how will it handle the larger, more demanding games that emerge as the medium matures? Will more expensive systems actually offer greater longevity? Now those are much tougher questions to answer.
What do you think of the announced price for PlayStation VR? Will you be buying one, or are you waiting until the price drops? Sound off in the comments below!