Hear me moan,
It happened at 9pm on a Tuesday. We were wrapping up Episode 14 of the Out of the X Fire Podcast when Andrew House took to the stage to reveal PlayStation VR’s price and release date. I watched the event unfold on my phone, thanks to someone in San Francisco streaming the show on Periscope.
You might already know that I’m not particularly excited for VR. I have Google Cardboard but none of the games/experiences have lived up to the promise that the VR giants are making. There’s no doubt in my mind that I will convert once I have had my first taste of quality, entertaining virtual reality but now that PlayStation VR is within my grasp I’m still not reaching out to experience it in a hurry.
PlayStation VR will cost £349 which is an extremely attractive price, especially when you consider it’s cheaper than Vive VR and Oculus Rift. It’s important that people don’t confuse PlayStation VR for an accessory though. On the surface it seems like a peripheral for the PS4 but in reality it’s a brand new console.
And that’s probably why I haven’t been scrambling for a pre-order; I’m not looking for a new console. There’s plenty of content on PS4 to keep me tied down till the next generation.
What You Get
The £349 price tag will get you the headset, earphones, an external processing box and a shit load of wires. What’s not included but which are necessary to play a single VR game are the PS4 console and the PS4 camera. The console is needed to power the damn thing, and the camera is needed to track the headset’s position.
I already own a PS4 so it’s not a problem for me and it’s not a problem for 4 million other owners. Sony aren’t idiots though and must know not everyone owns the camera or Move controllers so bundles inevitable. So in a way you’re only getting 1/3rd of PlayStation VR for £349. For the whole package you’ll have to fork out more dough.
The Release Date
October is the perfect launch window because it gives everyone a chance to discover the pros and cons before Christmas. The Vive VR and Oculus Rift should have already launched by then and this offers Sony a tiny window of time to make tiny changes; not to the tech, but to the marketing. Sony will have a chance to gauge what the other giants did right or what they did wrong, and also how consumers responded.
The Lack of Games
Just like at the start of every generation there is always a wave of terrible games. PS4 had Knack for example, and VR will have pointless, self-indulged, physically-restricted demos. At this point in time there isn’t a single VR game that I can honestly say I want to play and from what I’ve seen there aren’t many ‘games’ to speak of. Sony intend to have 50 games available at launch but Yoshida has already said that Sony are going for bite-sized experiences and not triple A 10 hour campaigns.
And bite-sized games aren’t a problem. From what I’ve read VR is difficult to experience for long stretches of time. I’m no stranger to short games either as I regularly play games on my phone but at the moment I don’t need another console for bite-sized games that haven’t caught my attention.
PlayStation VR Can Wait
Ultimately I can wait for PlayStation VR for the same reasons I can wait for every other piece of consumer technology. The early adopters will quickly realise the limitations and problems that new hardware is plagued with. Then it’s only a matter of time, maybe a year from now, that the tech is improved. Further down the line the device will be cheaper. The longer I wait the longer I can save. The longer I wait the more quality games there will be to choose from.
A green alien once gave me solid advice. “Patience”, he said.
So what are your plans? Are you going to wait for PlayStation VR or are you going to be an early adopter? Sound off in the comments below or tweet me @LeeLaments (The Grumpus). Stay up to the date with everything PlayStation with Out of the X Fire, the PlayStation podcast by the players for the players.