We've known about Sony's VR project for a while now, and today the company has finally announced that it will set you back $399 to own a PlayStation VR kit, and the soonest you'll be able to play with one is October 2016, according to Sony Entertainment CEO, Andrew House.
The $399 price is clearly cheaper than other VR solutions out there such as the $599 Oculus Rift and the $799 HTC Vive, as both require significant investments towards a powerful PC in addition to them. It definitely sets a lower barrier of entry for VR gaming enthusiasts, especially if you already own a PlayStation 4 (which you do need in addition to the PSVR kit), and a few accessories not included in the PlayStation VR kit.
So what do you get in the PlayStation VR kit? Well, you get a PSVR cable, an HDMI cable, a USB cable, a pair of headphones with a "complete set of earpieces", an AC power brick and cable, the add-on processor box, and - of course - the PSVR headset. Here's the catch: you actually need a $60 PlayStation camera too (or $44 on Amazon at the time of writing), and plenty of games will also require Sony's Move motion controllers, which cost $29 apiece for a limited time (usually $50).
Sony says that between the earliest time you get your hands on a PSVR kit and the year's end, there should be at least 50 games that come out for it, including titles such as Tumble VR, PlayStation VR Worlds, Gary the Gull, Rez Infinite, EVE: Valkyre, Xing: The Land Beyond, as well as AAA titles like Star Wars Battlefront.
The company also touted that there are more than 230 developers working on bringing more content for the PlayStation VR. In terms of specifications, the headset offers a 960x1080 resolution per eye, by virtue of a 5.7 inch, 1920x1080 OLED display, capable of a 120Hz refresh rate. It weighs 610 grams without the cable, and features a six-axis motion sensing system and several LEDs that help with the head movement tracking.
The PSVR's 100-degree filed of view and "3D audio processing" can also be leveraged for non-gaming experiences such as watching video and social experiences, by using the PSVR in "Cinematic Mode", or accessing the "Social Screen".
The PSVR may not be a high-end VR solution, but Sony might be banking on a particular advantage that the competition doesn't have: 36 million PS4s out in the wild. It doesn't matter that not all of those users will spring for the PSVR, but the fact that those gamers already own a piece of Sony's VR puzzle could help it achieve critical mass in case VR becomes "the new black".