Sony's US$399 PlayStation VR headset rolls out October 13, backed by dozens of games

Sony's PlayStation virtual reality headset comes out October 13 for the current PlayStation 4 with a whole lot of games.

After months of slowly rolling out information, Sony has finally announced the final crucial details you need to know about the PlayStation VR. Sony’s new VR headset will roll out on October 13 and there will be 50 VR-friendly games released for the PlayStation VR in 2016.

Sony announced pricing back in March and reiterated it during E3. The headset as a stand-alone device costs $399, but to actually use it you also need a PlayStation Camera ($40-$60) and a set of PlayStation Move controllers ($25) bringing the real price closer to $500. You’ll also need a PlayStation 4 console, naturally.

That’s why Sony also came out with a $500 VR bundle that includes the headset, a PlayStation Eye, the PlayStation Move controllers, and a game called VR Worlds. Pre-orders for the bundle were made available in March and sold out in hours.

Further reading: Everything Sony revealed at E3 2016

Looking just at the E3 presentation, PlayStation VR is shaping up to be a serious contender for future VR gaming dollars. The platform has a strong launch game catalog that includes exciting top tier titles such as Resident Evil 7, Star Wars Battlefront: X-Wing VR Mission, Batman: Arkham VR, and a new space adventure called Farpoint. The headset, meanwhile, likely delivers visual quality that falls somewhere between the Samsung Gear VR and Oculus Rift.

The story behind the story: The big unknown right now is how well VR will run on the current PlayStation 4. Virtual reality on the PC requires an Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 or a Radeon R9 290—firepower that the PS4 can’t match. Of course, the Oculus Rift pumps out 2160-by-1200 resolution at 90 frames per second. The PS VR, meanwhile, offers a more modest 1080p resolution and anywhere from 60 to 120 fps using reprojection.

It’s worth noting that early Oculus Rift development kits with 720p and 1080p resolution displays suffered from a “screen door effect,” revealing the lines between the pixels since the screen’s so close to your face.

New hardware

Even with lower resolution requirements than a PC, virtual reality will still be taxing on the current PS4. That’s probably why Sony is coming out with the so-called PlayStation Neo—a future upgrade to the PS4 that Sony confirmed last Friday but did not discuss at E3.

Not wanting to be left behind, Microsoft is also coming out with a more powerful Xbox One to deal with the demands of VR and 4K resolutions. Currently dubbed Project Scorpio, Microsoft’s Xbox Chief Phil Spencer said during E3 that the upgraded Xbox One would offer “true 4K gaming” and “high fidelity VR.”

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Ian Paul

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