E3 2016 is all about VR and how it’s being incorporated into video games. Sony announced that their PlayStation VR product will be available on October 13, 2016, for $399. Andrew House, president and group CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment told CNBC that they are expecting shortages when the new hardware hits shelves this Fall.
"We have growing confidence that we'll be supply constrained with this product, but we'll do our very best to meet demand . . .”, said Andrew House. It seems Sony will be playing it safe and producing the VR headset in small amounts before they have a better idea of how it will sell. The affordable price point compared to the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive however, may boost the products sales and popularity with gamers.
Indie and AAA titles like the Batman and Final Fantasy franchises are both getting the VR treatment with upcoming games. "Because the sense of immersion is so impactful, even simple game concepts become more powerful and magical than they would be in a traditional TV game experience”, explains House. Offsetting the huge price point of the PlayStation VR peripheral the average PS4 VR game is expected to be between $20-$40.
Although the PlayStaion VR headset may be more affordable than its competitors, it isn’t as powerful. The PS4 is powerful enough to handle VR so gamers can set up and play as soon as VR devices make it into their hands. Yet, with Microsoft announcing their updated and VR ready new console Project Scorpio PlayStation fans are wondering what the future holds for Sony, especially after the confirmation of the project Neo rumors.
"It's (Neo) a higher end version of the PlayStation 4," he says. "We will absolutely have a single community of players. All of the games releasing within this life cycle [of consoles] will absolutely be playable on the standard PS4 … This just offers the consumer another option. If you are looking for the highest graphics performance, if you recent bought a 4K TV and you're looking for content, then Neo is going to be great option for you. But it is that – an option – rather than saying the cycle has moved on.",says House.
A time-frame for the release of Neo is still a mystery but House commented that the time gamers will need to wait between new consoles is going to be shorter. It’s also going to be more iterative, with more overlap than getting an all new console that’s not compatible with preceding peripherals and games like past generations of consoles. VR is changing the landscape of video game and console design and Sony is working to be at the forefront of that.
PlayStation VR will be available October 13, 2016. The headset will cost $399 and a launch bundle including PlayStation VR Worlds and motion sensors will be $499. Pre-orders for the PlayStation VR headset are now closed but will open again sometime over the Summer, if you don’t you might not get one.