According to chain retail store, GameStop, there will be no PlayStation VR until fall, which seems to have set virtual reality enthusiasts in a whirlwind. Why? Because that is far off course from Sony’s initially announced release date.
- Sony announced PlayStation VR for the summer of 2016
- It will be the last VR platform to launch this year, behind Oculus Rift and HTC Vive
- GameStop CEO hinted at a possible delay for the fall of 2016
- GameStop went back on the claims, and Sony made no confirmation
GameStop CEO, Paul Raines, offered a bit of an insight on what their company will be doing this year with virtual reality. It’s edging closer, with VR titans like Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR looming on the horizon. The interest in the market is certainly there around both the gaming community and developers. In fact, experts claim the industry will reach $80 billion by 2025.
But now, the race is on and the crowds are waiting to see which developer will provide the superior headset. In the first year, the battle will likely be fought a little differently. Gamers might focus more on the cost versus benefit aspect of each VR headset. However, we still know very little. Oculus Rift is the only one with a clear set price tag, of $599, now available for pre-order and to be released on March 28th. It has been confirmed, and shipping will definitely start next month.
The same can’t be said about the rest of them. HTC Vive has a vague release date set for April of this year, but no price tag yet. Analysts have suggested that the cost will reach to $1,500, which is a very significant difference from Oculus Rift. So, most would expect HTC and Steam to make up for it through incredibly huge differences in either performance or titles available.
Sony’s statements have been even more ambiguous. The anticipated PlayStation VR is said to launch at some point in the summer, with no price tag announced. That means that Sony’s virtual reality platform will be the last of the three major headsets to launch this year. Now, it seems that the date will be pushed even further back.
Raines announced that they’re currently in talks with all three major players of virtual reality. He mentioned that Oculus Rift will be ready at launch in March, HTC Vive in April, and PlayStation VR in the fall. It is possible that the CEO misspoke, or that it meant GameStop in particular will not have Sony’s VR headset in their stores until the third quarter. However, it is also possible that Raines inadvertently spilled the beans.
After the statement, GameStop stepped forward to mention that “Sony has not officially announced a release date for PlayStation VR”. Sony, understandably, backed those words by claiming that “GameStop was speculating”. However, it would not be farfetched for both to deny all implications of a potential delay. It could place Sony’s headset even further behind the race for virtual reality. If fans hear they might need to wait an additional three to six months, they could deflect to other VR headsets.
It is possible that there will be a delay. Or it’s a simple misunderstanding.
Sony still has one major advantage that a possible delay will not nullify. While Oculus Rift and HTC Vive will require some pretty powerful PCs, PlayStation VR will work with an already familiar console. There will be no need to purchase a snazzy new computer, as it will only require a PlayStation 4. Additional rumors also set the headset’s price in a particularly low range.
Sony announced that their upcoming VR platform will be equal to the cost of a console. That could mean between $300 and $400, which will make it the cheapest one there is. So, the advantage is there. If all those details are true, the perhaps a delay will not make such a major difference. However, these are mere speculations.
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