Sony, like its competitors, has always sought to be named the company with the best and most impressive technology available. While Nintendo was releasing the GameBoy Advance SP, and the handheld systems that followed, Sony tried to compete with the less-popular PSP and PlayStation Vita. Motion technology such as the Nintendo Wii and the Xbox Kinect prompted Sony to create the PlayStation Eye in order to keep up. Now, with the imminent release of the Oculus Rift, a virtual reality headset designed to work with Microsoft consoles and computers, Sony has announced that their own virtual reality headset will also be released. The PlayStation VR is Sony’s newest innovation, which may help to increase PS4 sales.
The VR’s only competitor, the Oculus, is set to work on Windows computers and with an Xbox One controller, meaning that the PS4 still has console competition. But there will be certain game releases that will work for the VR and not the Oculus, meaning that if a player wants access to any of these games, they need to purchase a PS4 and the VR. The VR could also encourage Microsoft or Nintendo fans to look into Sony products, in order to have this experience.
The PlayStation VR has been said to have a tentative release date of the first half of 2016, which is roughly the same time the Oculus is set to reach a consumer market. It will be fully functional with the PS4 and Vita systems, with a 1920×1080 display and the capability of running content at 120fps. It will also offer an unwarped display on the television, to allow others to watch a player’s gameplay, or it can create a separate display screen that allows other players to join in the game, without seeing exactly what the VR user is seeing.
Already, there is a considerable list of upcoming compatible PlayStation VR games, and in a variety of genres. From the horror game Paranormal Activity VR, to the puzzle game Q.U.B.E., to first person shooters such as World War Toons, games have been announced that will suit a variety of gamers, and offer many different virtual reality experiences.
Compared to the Oculus, the PlayStation VR either matches its specs or is right behind, and without a set release date, there could be future updates and additions made to boost up to the Oculus’s level closer to its release. As of now, there is little projected difference between the two headsets, meaning that the VR won’t fall behind as a more technical piece of equipment takes the field and steals Sony’s thunder.
Of course, using the PlayStation VR requires either a PS4 or a Vita system. But especially since the prices of both systems have gone down from their original releases, getting either one has become more affordable. Many second-hand game stores have used consoles that are even cheaper than the new ones, and many of these stores are offering deals on the consoles and game bundles.
Obtaining a PS4 now is a lot easier than it was when it was first released, and the VR could help sway customers who have been indecisive about making this purchase. The VR’s price is currently unknown, but being able to purchase cheaper systems should be an additional selling point for any player who wants the VR but doesn’t currently own a PS4. The release of the PlayStation VR will likely see an increase in PS4 sales, as well as games, and Vita sales could potentially increase as well. The only factor that could potentially make or break this sale increase now is the VR’s final price.