We’re only a few months into 2016 and we’ve already had major leaps and strides towards real, consumer level VR. Between options like the Oculus Rift (soon to launch for around 599 USD) and the HTC Vive blasting into the consumer market in just a short amount of time, the tech stage seems all but set for the new age of virtual reality. The main barrier between the average every day person and an all new VR experience? Actually not the price point, but the PC/tech spec requirements.
While the mainline VR price points are indeed high, the real barrier to entry for anyone trying to get into VR are the PC specs required to actually enjoy them. Performance wise, high level VR (for gaming, movies, and other things) will require quite the hefty PC performance, especially if you don’t want to get yourself a headache after only an hour of use. Frame/refresh rate, graphical fidelity, and performance all need to be taken into account. And that means $$$. Building a proper VR pc is a huge price of its own, costing well into the thousands to make an appropriate build, raising the overall investment cost of Virtual reality well beyond the hundreds you initially spend. This is of course to be expected with new technology, and hopefully prices will drop as more and more companies adopt and adapt virtual and augmented reality gear. But in the meantime, there is one cheaper option: the Playstation VR.
Sony’s recently announced VR platform will be compatible with its popular Playstation 4 platform which will frontload the performance costs of the VR system. Anyone with a PS4 will be able to enjoy the offerings of virtual reality provided by Sony, for the base cost of $399 for the base model and $499 for a bundle that will include games and a few controllers. Overall this is a pretty good deal for those of use who already own the Playstation 4 console, and its relatively small price of $399 compares vary favorably with the startup costs of its VR rivals. Current news even speculates that the Playstation VR, in addition to being cheaper than both the Vive and the Rift may even one day gain general PC compatibility, meaning a greatly enhanced software library. Any way you look at it, there are options out there for those of us interested in the bright future of augmented reality, and whether or not you pick the Oculus Rift, the HTC Vive, or the Playstation VR, if you’ve got the equipment to run it, you’ll come out a winner.