Sony has initially announced its virtual reality prototype for PlayStation 4, initially code-named Project Morpheus before officially being named as PlayStation VR, at Tokyo Game Show 2015. It has been in early development for more than three years, according to Sony Computer Entertainment research and development engineer Anpton Mikhailov. But it’s finally ready to take center-stage now.
How it all started
During Games Developers Conference(GDC) 2014, PlayStation VR was finally presented by PlayStation Head, Shuhei Yoshida, however it was in early development then. At the conference panel, Yoshida said – ” [virtual reality] may well shape the future of games” – and we believe, he is indeed correct. Around the same time, Sony had also indicated that a number of software developers including Epic Games and Crytek, were already working on PlayStation VR.
Then this happened…
Sony, at this year’s GDC held on March 16, confirmed the expense for PlayStation VR – which is going to be $399 / ₹27,000 approx, and will start shipping from October, 2016. But don’t get your hopes unless we get confirmed Indian prices.
The retail box for PlayStation VR will incorporate the headset, HDMI and USB cables, a processor unit, a VR headset, headphones and a power supply.
Additionally, all PlayStation VR owner will get The Playroom VR, which include six games that can be enjoyed with friends and family, and will be available as a free download from PlayStation Store at launch.
Andrew House, Product and Development CEO, spoke out to his readers in a blog post.
“Today more than 230 developers are building content for PlayStation VR, from smaller independent teams to larger studios at the industry’s top publishers. We expect to have more than 50 games available from launch in October 2016 until the end of the year.”
The games accessible at launch includes names like Apollo 11 VR Experience, Ark: Survival Evolved, Dead Or Alive Xtreme 3, Final Fantasy 14(demo), Paranormal Activity VR, recently announced Star Wars Battlefront VR-exclusive game, Trackmania Turbo among others.
As reported by IGN in accordance to Sony, PlayStation VR will also include a Cinematic Mode, “which let’s users enjoy a variety of content in a large virtual screen while wearing the headset”. Cinematic Mode will support standard PS4 games plus videos, and will allow users to “enjoy 360° photos and videos that are captured by devices such as omni-directional cameras on PlayStation VR via PS4 Media Player, which will let them feel as if they are physically inside the captured scene.”
“Ever since we unveiled PlayStation VR at the 2014 Game Developers Conference, we’ve received a tremendous response from gamers and developers alike,” House said in a statement. “To make sure that we are able to prepare and deliver enough units of PlayStation VR and a wide variety of software titles to consumers worldwide, we have decided to launch PlayStation VR in October 2016. For those who are looking forward to its launch, we would like to thank everyone for their patience and continued support. We are beyond excited to deliver to consumers the amazing experience that PlayStation VR offers.”
PlayStation VR team is committed to deliver “amazing experience”. And for that say, SCE’s Senior dev support engineer Chris Norden express the crucial role of framerate for PlayStation VR. during one of his chats/interviews at GDC as reported by VG247, Chris highlighted the importance of framerate for developers who intend to create experiences for the PlayStation VR.
“Frame rate is really important; you cannot drop below 60 frames per second, ever. If you submit a game to us and it drops to 55, or 51…we’re probably going to reject it. I know I’m going to get flak for this, but there’s no excuse for not hitting frame rate.
It’s really hard, and I’m not going to lie to and say it’s extremely easy…it’s really difficult. 60hz is the minimum acceptable framerate. Everybody drill that into your heads.”
Where do We stand now.
Sony is taking things related to VR, seriously. And why not, games are the only thing that going to give the platform a step to success.
On the off-chance, that you decided to get one, let me remind you there’s a serious catch. PlayStation VR will need PlayStation Camera to run which is available to buy separately at a cost of $60[approx ₹4000 ], assuming that you’ve PlayStation Move controller. But if you didn’t have the Move controller, it also available individually at a price tag of $30[approx ₹2000].
So, that means you’re going to pay roughly $500[approx ₹33,400] for a full package, if you end up buying the Camera and Move controller separately.
Tech Insider reports that there will be a bundle containing the basic PS VR package, along with a PS Camera and one Move controller.
Comparatively, both, Oculus Rift (costs $699 | ₹46,700) and HTC Vive(costs $799 | ₹53,300), are major competitors for PlayStation VR. But their price point slightly keep them aside from being comparable with PS VR.
Apart from the price, our main concern is not only the number of games we get but also the experience to expect after buying one of those. Its pretty too early to speculate which one would be better? After all, we’ll have to wait until their launch to breakdown things in specific order.
PlayStation VR is set to deliver from October, whereas the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive can be purchased from March 28 and early April, respectively. Where do you fall in this new war for Virtual Reality. Let us know in the comments.