Sony PlayStation VR headset is up for pre-order and it's more expensive than you'd think

Three years since Sony’s announcement of the PlayStation VR (PSVR) headset, the final device is now available for pre-order.

Three years since Sony’s announcement of the PlayStation VR (PSVR) headset, the final device is now available for pre-order.

Officially, the PSVR is available for pre-order for, wait for it, $549.95 (around Rs 37,000); the devices will ship starting 13 October. As with the Oculus Rift, the price is a bit of a disappointment. Sony was expecting to ship the device at $400 (Rs 27,000) and considering that the Rift sells for $600, the PSVR feels a tad too pricey.

This headset is, in fact, more expensive than the PS4 Pro ($399).

 Sony PlayStation VR headset is up for pre-order and its more expensive than youd think

The $550 PSVR bundle nets you the following:

  • VR headset
  • Processor unit (more on that later)
  • Stereo earphones (not headphones, sadly)
  • VR demo disc
  • Required cables and accessories

The headset features a 5.7-inch, 120Hz OLED screen with a resolution of 1920x1080 (a far cry from the 2K resolution on the Rift and Vive). The lenses give a field of view of 100 degrees. Onboard sensors include an accelerometer and gyroscope. The entire unit weighs 610g.

The Processor Unit is interesting. You essentially plug your PS4 into this unit and then your headset to the same. The Unit’s primary job is processing 3D audio, we’re guessing that this is where the VR headset’s accelerometer and gyroscope come into play.

Headtracking happens via the PS4 Camera, which isn’t bundled with the PSVR by default. The camera is another Rs 4,500 purchase, adding to the overall cost of the VR system.

How does it work?

The PSVR headset works like any other VR headset. Images are streamed to the display, the PS4 camera tracks the headset by keeping an eye on the 9 LEDs on the headset and the processing unit manages the audio.

Those who’re lucky enough to have received a pre-launch model state that the headset is very comfortable. The headband stretches to accommodate all variety of heads and there’s a knob at the back to tighten the band. The display unit can also be moved back and forth at the press of a button, allowing you to peek at your surroundings without pulling the headset off.

The bundled earphones can be plugged into a cable that extends from the Processor Unit, but you’re not limited to the bundled headphones and can use whatever headphones you prefer.

What’s cooking at Xbox?

Show above is the Xbox One console.

While everyone’s busy talking about VR and falling over themselves to release a headset of some sort or the other, Microsoft is strangely quiet about their VR plans.

Microsoft has said that a 6TFLOP Xbox Scorpio will come next year, but they made no mention of a headset. All their marketing in the Xbox department is around 4K HDR gaming. They’re also not saying if the Xbox will get Oculus Rift and HTC Vive support.

It seemed for a while that Sony would simply walk away with the VR crown. They were expecting to offer a VR bundle that was much cheaper than anything on PC. The recommended spec for Sony’s VR offering now demands that you spend at least $1000 on the whole setup (PS4 Pro, PSVR bundle, PS4 Camera).

This is still cheaper than a recommended PC VR setup, however, but not as much cheaper as everyone had hoped.

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