The Sony PlayStation VR (PSVR) is one of the hottest gadgets of 2016. It's the one device that has the biggest potential to change home console gaming forever. Mass market virtual reality adoption is getting its first chance through the PS VR. If Sony fails to the new virtual reality hype will suffer a big set back. So far though, it looks like Sony is doing everything right with the PS VR, because it is sold out since months.
Update 10/12/16: Best Buy and GameStop break Sony PSVR release embargo deadline and sell the Sony PlayStation VR online now ahead of the midnight launch today. Amazon is taking pre-orders for both PSVR bundles. GameStop offers a variety of PSVR bundles. Find all PSVR buying optons.
Sony will release the PlayStation VR on October 13. The Sony PS VR headset went up for pre-order on March 22. If you have pre-ordered the PS VR you will start receiving it on Thursday, October 13. If you have not pre-ordered the PlayStation VR, then you are so far out of luck. Best Buy will have the PS VR in stock on October 13 and will have special midnight launch sales events starting 9pm PST in select stores.
We do though expect a big shipment of PS VR in time for the Holiday shopping season. Sony is the only video game console maker with a virtual reality offering this fall. Microsoft and Nintendo are just onlookers.
Sony is focusing a lot on the PlayStation VR game launch line-up. The PS VR game line-up includes all-new Star Wars Battlefront gaming experience and games like PlayStation VR Worlds, Batman Arkham VR, Eve Vakyrie, Golem, Farpoint and RIGS Mechanized Combat League. Find the complete PSVR game line-up below.
The Sony PlayStation VR is sold as core package and launch bundle. The $399 PS VR core package is for PS4 owners that already have the PlayStation Camera and two PlayStation Move motion controllers. The $499 PS VR launch bundle is including these accessories necessary to use the PlayStation VR.
The first generation Sony PlayStation VR CUH-ZVR1 renders images on a 5.7-inch OLED panel with a resolution of 1,920x1,080px. For each eye a resolution of 960x1,080px is available. The supported refresh rate is 120Hz and the Field of View (FOV) is about 100 degrees. The 610g weighing PS VR has a six-axis motion sensing system (three-axis gyroscope, three-axis accelerometer) built-in.
Users have to connect the PS VR to the Sony PS4 via the included processor unit. The external processing unit takes care of 3D audio processing and offers to run a "Social Screen." A social screen is a TV or monitor that can display with mirroring mode what the PS VR user is seeing. The processing unit also supports separate mode and cinematic mode. In separate mode one player is using the PS VR as display and the other one the TV connected to the TV. This is a powerful feature as you do not need to use split screen mode anymore.
The PlayStation VR Core package is packed with a VR headset, Processor unit, VR headset connection cable, HDMI cable, USB cable, Stereo headphones (with a complete set of earpiece), AC power cord and AC adaptor.
The PlayStation VR headset was engineered to be balanced, comfortable, and completely adjustable. Sony has setup PS VR experience stations across the United State where you can try the VR headset.
The Sony PlayStation VR headset comes with the PlayStation VR Worlds Game Disc. PS VR Worlds lets you journey through five unique PS VR experiences.
Games that support the Sony PS VR are marked on the cover with a blue label that reads "PlayStation VR."
The PS VR launch game line-up includes:
EVE: Valkyrie ($59.99)
Until Dawn: Rush of Blood ($19.99)
Batman: Arkham VR ($19.99)
RIGS Mechanized Combat League ($49.99)
PlayStation Worlds ($39.99)
Star Wars Battlefront Rogue One: X-wing VR Mission (free for owners of Battlefront)
Most of the Sony PS VR launch games are available for pre-order on Amazon.com.
Upcoming Sony PS VR Games include:
Eagle Flight VR, Nov. 15, $39.99
Star Trek: Bridge Crew VR, Dec. 6, $59.99
100ft Robot Golf
Ace Combat 7
GT Sport, 2017
Here they Lie
Resident Evil 7, 2017
Super Hype Cube
The first accessories for the Sony PlayStation VR have been revealed. RDS Industries offers a PS VR carrying case if you want to bring your PS VR to a friend for a battle in virtual reality. Collective Minds and BD&A offer charging stations for the PSVR and controllers.
So far the Sony PS VR could only be tested at trade shows and at PS VR demos in stores that Sony has setup. Media outlets have just received PS VR review units. Expect a series of PS VR reviews to be published in early October.
The first hands-on PS VR reviews are promising. More expensive systems like the Oculus and HTV Vive are offering better specs, but it is going to be the games that will win it or lose it for Sony.
The first Sony PS VR unboxing videos have been released. Initial reactions to the Sony PS VR include that the headset is very comfortable to wear and easy to adjust. The required cabling is extensive. Users have to connect a bunch of cables between the PS VR processor unit, headset and TV to get the PS VR to work. Only the reviews will tell if the cabling effort pays off.
The first official PlayStation Reviews have been released by tech publications on October 5. The overall sentiment is very positive. The PS VR is comforatble to wear and comes with great games right from the launch. The lower resolution and narrower field of view compared to the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are compensated by much lower cost of ownership.
A valid question is how long the PS VR will be on the market before there is an upgrade. If the PS VR is a success than Sony will likely introduce a better model with better FOV and resolution in a year from now.
Sony has announced the more powerful Sony Playstation 4 Pro. The new $399 PS4 Pro will be released on November 10 supporting 4K game play and HDR. Sony has been not very force coming about the benefits of using the PS4 Pro with the PS VR.
Some experts believe that the PS4 is to under powered for the PS VR. If Sony is not revealing more about the PS4 Pro and PS VR then we have to wait until November 10 to see side to side comparisons between PS4 and PS4 Pro using the PlayStation VR.
Update: The Sony PlayStation VR is on sale since 11:30pm PT, Wednesday Oct 12 on BestBuy and GameStop. Find out where to buy the PlayStation VR now in our PlayStation VR Buyer's Guide.
At this point we cannot confirm if stores will have Sony PS VR inventory at launch. We do expect it though. It makes a better impression to also have some inventory that is not locked up by pre-orders available on launch day. Sony PS4 fans are already thinking about camping in front of stores to get their hands on a PS VR.
Best Buy will have the PS VR in stock on October 13 and will have special midnight launch sales events starting 9pm PST, October 12 in select stores. The retailer announced the PS VR midnight launch events taking place in 350 stores across the nation on September 29.
It is now clear that Sony is prepping a massive launch on October 13 with new inventory. We have seen many stores showing an in stock date for October 13. Besides Best Buy, you will be able to purchase a new PS VR on launch day online at Amazon.com, Walmart.com, GameStop.com, target.com, newegg.com and more. Stores that wil offer the PlayStation VR include Best Buy, Walmart, GameStop and Target. We expect GameStop and maybe also Walmart to also jost midnight launch events for the PS VR.
The PlayStation VR requires some setup before you can immerse yourself in virtual reality game sand worlds. Besides the extensive wiring between the PS VR, processor unit, PS4 console and TVs require some patience. You also need to prepare your environment for using the PS VR.
Sony suggests that users sit while using VR headsets. The height of the play area equals to height of area captured by the camera. For width and depth measurements refer to the picture below. You need to stay within 3 meters distance from the PS4 camera and you can move 1m to each side of the camera.
Virtual Reality is not for everybody. Some people react with nausea using the virtual reality systems and the PS VR is no different. Sony goes as far to recommend to first test a PS VR at a store before bringing one home. Sony also sets the minimum age for using the PS VR to 12 years. Kids under 12 are not allowed to use VR headsets according to Sony.
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Manfred "Luigi" Lugmayr (Google+) is the founding Chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 25 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets, tech and online shopping. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology news and tech and toy shopping hub.
Luigi can be contacted directly at ml[@]i4u.com.