Sony’s much-anticipated virtual reality device is finally coming to the market.
The Sony PlayStation VR device will be released worldwide this coming October, with a list price of $399, said Group Chief Executive Officer and President of Sony Computer Entertainment Andrew House during a press event in San Francisco on Wednesday.
The new device’s price is cheaper than competing virtual reality devices, including Facebook’s
Oculus Rift, which will sell for $599. HTC’s virtual reality device called Vive will cost $799.
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However, to operate the Sony VR, users must have a Sony PlayStation 4, which costs around $350. Regarding the PlayStation 4, House said Sony
has sold 36 million of the devices since its launch in 2013.
Around 50 video games will be available from the time the device launches to the end of the year, said House. He did not elaborate on what exactly those games will be. A demo game that Sony executives have previously detailed for the device called Playroom VR will be free to download when the PlayStation VR hits the market.
Sony is also partnering with Electronic Arts and the production company Lucasfilm on an upcoming Star Wars related video game called Star Wars: Battlefront that will be an exclusive title for the PlayStation VR. However, House did not say when that video game will be released to the public.
House said that Sony has enlisted the help of over 230 developers to work on the PlayStation VR, ranging from small developer companies to the “industry’s top publishers.”
As for the device’s technical specifications, it will have a 5.7 inch OLED (organic light-emitting diode display) screen that has a resolution of 1920 x RGB x 1080, and can handle “amazingly smooth images rendered at 120 frames per second,” said House.
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Like other VR devices, embedded sensors will enable the PlayStaion VR to handle 360 degree tracking. House emphasized the device’s low latency, which he said is less than 18 milliseconds and provides “minimal latency between the physical movements of players’ heads” and what they see on screen.
The device also supports 3D audio so that “sound can change in real time depending on the player’s head and orientation,” said House.