PlayStation VR at GDC ’16

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Sony has had its fair share of gimmicks in the past (I’m looking at you Eye Toy) that has comparatively made the Nintendo Wii controller look like divine revelation. But, for every DDR dance pad and PlayStation Move wand, there’s a chance of some new, innovative hardware to mix up an industry that gets very comfortable settling into it’s status quo. 2016 is finally the year, after all kinds of talking, demoing and developer’s kits, that the virtual reality market hits close to home, and brings the Novel-Soon-To-Be-Spielbergian-Film Ready Player One a massive stride closer to reality. Just imagine! A world where everyone can sit on their chairs and enjoy the view of beautiful vistas, beautiful people, stars and oceans and things that you never thought you’d dream to see in your life. All in complete, not nausea inducing 360* clarity! Meanwhile the world continues to crumble outside due to negligence. It’s that uplifting dystopia that you Hunger Games and Fallout fans always dreamed of!

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Sony took the stage at Games Developer’s Conference 2016 in San Francisco this week to provide the public with details on the PlayStation VR hardware set to release this upcoming October. In the year of virtual reality invading homes on a consumer level, the PlayStation VR headset will be the most affordable option out there, and the broadest instal base at the price point of $399, and is to be compatible with all PlayStation 4 console hardware. It was revealed later on, however, that the PlayStation Camera, a $60 dollar peripheral previously used mostly by serious Twitch streamers, is required for the headset’s compatibility with the console, and provides optional support for the nearly forgotten PlayStation Move controllers back when the industry felt the need to duplicate the success of the Nintendo Wii for a couple of years.

Despite the added peripherals, the affordability of the PlayStation VR set may prove to be enough for its success if early adopters are receptive prior to Holiday 2016, and having a six month grace period after the release of Oculus and the Vive will allow the software teams to work out kinks and complaints that will no doubt flood the internet once the competition releases in less than a month’s time from now.

The Oculus Rift launches later this month and comparatively costs $599 for the device, and the recommended specs for a PC to run the Rift averages $800 for a custom built desktop. Soon after, Valve, the creators of the digital retail app Steam, and of Portal and Half Life, are releasing the HTC Vive, which will be required to run on a PC with similar requirements, but will charge $799 for the device.

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The new PlayStation peripheral will have a selection of games available at the time of launch this fall, including several highlighting the technical capabilities of the hardware, but also ports and remasters optimized for the Virtual Reality experience including Star Wars Battlefront, Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin, Tekken 7, Ace Combat 7, Ark Survival Evolved and several others that aren’t high profile for me to include in this SEO focused shortlist, and Sony has stated that over 160 projects exclusive to the PlayStation VR are in progress from developers that have expressed interest in the hardware. Additionally, the hardware will render all existing content available on the PS4, as described in the official press release, as 225 inch wide, comparable to the perspective of watching something on a movie theater screen.

The PlayStation VR is available for Pre-Ordering now.
Has PlayStation put themselves in a position to win the supposed “Year of VR” just based on price point? Will the interest in this hardware die come October? Sound off below and tell us what you think!

Boston, Massachusetts: Evan is a 23 year old college graduate with a degree in English and Journalism. He's had a lifelong passion for film, games and reading things. A living movie quotation machine, and obsessively analytical, Evan will always give an honest and fair opinion with an insertion of wit where appropriate. (Who are you kidding? It’s always appropriate.) Additionally, he is an aficionado of the superhero genre, old video games and (yes, subjectively) awesome movies.