At a Game Developers Conference press event Wednesday, Sony announced that its PlayStation VR headset would launch in October 2016 for $399 / £349 / €399 / 44,980 Yen. That price does not include the PlayStation Move camera needed to track the headset, or the PlayStation Move hand-tracking controllers needed for many games.
The finalized announcement comes nearly two years after Sony's virtual reality headset was officially unveiled as "Project Morpheus" at the 2014 Game Developers Conference. Sony announced a "first half of 2016" launch window for the headset at last year's show, but recent statements from GameStop CEO Paul Raines had suggested that date might slip.
The price comes in well below the $599 Oculus is asking for the Rift, and the $799 HTC is asking for the SteamVR-powered Vive headset, both of which will ship to early orderers in the next few weeks. Those headsets also require a decently powerful PC that can cost $1,000 or more—PlayStation VR users only need to invest in a $350 PlayStation 4.
The PlayStation VR sports a single 5.7-inch, 120Hz OLED display with a 100-degree field of view, running at a reported 1920×1080 resolution (960×1080 per eye). That's a bit faster than the 90Hz refresh rate on the Rift or Vive, but also a bit lower than the 2160×1200 resolution on those headsets. Sony's Richard Marks addressed concerns about the resolution in an interview with Tom's Hardware a few months back, noting that "not every 1080p screen is the same. Ours has three subpixels per pixel, which means true RGB for every pixel; some of the other displays actually don’t have the full RGB for every pixel, so they have less subpixels per pixel."
Sony says a latency of less than 18ms between physical movement of the player and the image on the headset screen. The company did not discuss the specific weight for the final consumer headset. The headset will include a free download of The Playroom VR tech demo. Players will be able to play standard PS4 games on the headset through a "cinematic mode" that displays a standard flat screen in front of players at three different zoom levels.
50 compatible games will launch alongside the hardware, and over 230 developers are developing content for PlayStation VR, according to Sony's Andrew House. "VR is a big part of the future of games, and everyone wants to author their own page as we open the next chapter in gaming."
Elsewhere in the presentation, Sony announced that the PlayStation 4 has now sold 36 million units worldwide.