PlayStation VR Pricing Drops, Sort Of

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Steve Anderson
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PlayStation VR Pricing Drops, Sort Of

It's easily one of the biggest developments around, and the word about the PlayStation VR headset is enough to keep anyone's attention focused. But now, word from PlayStation president Andrew House suggests just how pricey the PlayStation VR will be when it emerges, and the news is a mixed bag at best.

Word from House about the PlayStation VR--formerly known as Project Morpheus--comes with good news and bad news. The good news is that the platform will have over 10 titles ready to go at launch, so gamers will have no shortage of potential virtual reality experiences ready to go. Good news? You bet.

But the bad news will hit players in the wallet like a thunderbolt. The headset will be priced as though it were "a new gaming platform," and though there were no more specifics than that offered up price-wise, that's got some thinking that the VR experience on Sony will run about $300 to $400 just for the headset.

That's still pretty good compared to the initial costs for the appropriate setup for the Oculus Rift, which we took a look at earlier as coming in at about $1500. But it's worth noting that the costs will likely come down for the high-end gear required for the Oculus Rift, while the PlayStation 4's pricing will probably stay fairly stable.

This in turn will pose some interesting questions for games. Essentially, Sony has full-bore VR gaming ready to go, and will likely have more in the background. Microsoft, meanwhile, is still kind of working on it; though reports suggest that the Oculus Rift will work with the Xbox One--to the point where Xbox One controllers are included with every Oculus Rift--the early going for VR on Xbox One will be comparatively limited. It becomes an interesting question; are gamers willing to pay more for a full, ready-to-go experience, or are gamers willing to pay much less for a minimal experience and wait an unknown amount of time for a fuller experience? Or will gamers start crossing a lot of boundaries for multiple experiences?

It's an exciting question, and one that might get answered sooner than expected. I'm certainly looking forward to the era of home-based virtual reality gaming, but there may well end up being several paths to get there. That makes determining just which is best in the long run a more challenging prospect than I expected.

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