The Financial Reality of Virtual Reality

I don’t even like VR. Not yet at least

Hear me moan,

On this week’s Out of the Xfire Podcast we discussed the price of Sony’s PS VR. The price of the Oculus Rift was recently revealed, coming in at $599 (£499), which was subsequently followed by a leak that the PS VR would cost even more – $800, or approximately £770.

There are a few reasons why I think the alleged price is nothing more than a mistake.

1.) I don’t think Sony would charge more for a peripheral than they would for their console 2.) I doubt PS VR has better tech than the Rift 3.) The target audience are gamers

If the alleged price happens to be true then Sony are essentially asking you to buy a brand new console. If that’s your perspective on PS VR and you don’t consider it to be a peripheral that still doesn’t justify the price. Quite frankly the Rift feels more like a console to me because you don’t need a console to operate it on. You could argue that a PC is a console but the home computer is so much more than that – the PS4, at best, is a console AND a TV box.

Also, the Rift is potentially more powerful. The Rift depends on a PC to play its games. PCs are fully customisable. By upgrading your parts you’re going to be more likely to push the Rift further. PS VR is limited to what the PS4 is capable of. Sure, it comes with a power brick that might also be upgradeable, but until Sony pulls back the curtain we still don’t know.

Sony are also sitting in a great spot to launch PS VR because they have more than 35 million PS4s sitting in peoples’ homes. They don’t have to convince you to buy a console WITH PS VR. Sure, bundles will be available, but that shouldn’t be Sony’s concern. Their goal is to sell virtual reality to gamers – and, as a gamer, my money feels stretched as it is.

You might be assuming I’m trying to convince you that VR needs to be cheaper but that’s not the case at all. In fact I’m not surprised by the price. Technology is expensive, especially when it’s brand new. My laptop, TV, PS4, mobile phone and Blu-Ray player were all close to £400 before I got my hands on them so why should VR be any different?

And I don’t even like VR. Not yet at least. Its prospects don’t excite me, especially in the gaming space. Hearing the doorbell or the phone ring when I’m taking a shower is bad enough, I can only imagine how much worse it’ll be with all this cool shit clogging up my senses.

Here’s my plan: wait for all the rich dumb fucks to test VR first so that the initial kinks can be ironed out. Or, worst case scenario, 2016 might be the year virtual reality crashes and burns and I can watch it unfold without spending a penny.

And if you are a poor asshole like me there are other alternatives. I can’t afford a Maserati but I can still drive a Ford Fiesta.

Want to retaliate? Post a comment. I lament once a week but you can follow me on Twitter @LeeLaments where I moan every day.
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Ross worked here once? what ever happened to him?
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