PlayStation VR Will Launch In Spring 2016, Says GameStop CEO

PlayStation VR Will Launch In Spring 2016, Says GameStop CEO

It’s looking like 2016 will be the year virtual reality hits the mainstream now that Oculus Rift is on the brink of shipping and Google Cardboard is into the millions of units sold. Now we finally know when Sony is releasing its new VR headset, too. GameStop CEO Paul Raines revealed the PlayStation VR will launch in the third quarter of this year during a live television interview.

“We will launch the Sony product this fall,” said Raines, “and we’re in discussions with the other two players.” Shortly after blurting out the PlayStation VR release date, Raines redirected the conversation to GameStop’s dominance in gaming hardware sales. To watch the flub, jump to the 2:40 mark in the clip below:

The revelation is a huge deal, especially now that the virtual reality market is on the verge of heating up. Until Raines’ interview, we’ve only known that the PlayStation VR would cost “several hundred dollars” and that it would be released in the first half of 2016 according to a Wired report last year. But that timeframe was based on a speculative timeline. Now that we’re further along into the development cycle, it seems clear that a big retailer like GameStop would know exactly when the new VR headset will hit store shelves.

The PlayStation VR launch would actually mirror every major video game console release of the past decade. Sony would begin selling its brand new hardware (in this case, the VR headset) starting in spring (autumn in America), when gamers are willing to spend more on shiny new hardware. Then, Sony could begin bundling packages for new customers during the holiday season at a discounted rate.

It also helps that Sony has already sold more than 35.9 million PlayStation 4 consoles. Those millions of customers will have a console that’s ready to run high-end virtual reality games on day one of the PlayStation VR launch. By comparison, Oculus and HTC, Sony’s two biggest competitors in virtual reality, will require that new customers buy expensive desktop PCs in order to run their headsets.

For anyone that wants a easy access to high-end, immersive VR gaming, the Sony PlayStation bundle will be an obvious choice. It also doesn’t hurt that Sony owns a movie studio and could quickly and easily licence popular titles like Spider-Man and Ghostbusters.

The only downside to the PlayStation VR is that it won’t be nearly as powerful as the Oculus Rift. The reason is because the Oculus Rift requires a powerful (and pricey) Nvidia GTX 970 graphics processor or higher. The PlayStation 4, by comparison, runs on a customised GPU that is closer to the Nvidia GTX 660. It’s important to note that you’ll be able to upgrade an Oculus-ready machine any time you want, while the PlayStation is non-upgradeable.

As for how quickly VR will make it into homes, it depends on how you measure it. Earlier this year, Goldmann Sachs released a report saying the virtual reality and augmented reality will be a $US80 billion market by 2025 — or roughly the same size as the desktop market today.

The big catch to that prediction is that it will take more than five years to ship more than 100,000 units — which is a tiny number compared to smartphone shipments in the early 2000s. So unless you’re the owner of a PlayStation 4, get ready to dish out a whole lot of cash in order to play virtual reality games.

[Fox Business via Shack News]

Top Image via AP

This was originally posted on Gizmodo Australia


    • Price was already leaked. Was 299 for the headset only. Will require camera and move controllers to work but there will be a full bundle with everything

          • Even so the oculus rift only just scrapes by in graphics on a high powered PC with 1080p in each eye. Sonys headset is only doing 900p I just can’t image it being worth 500 but I guess time will tell.

          • Ultimately what matters is the content. If the content keeps coming and the user base is strong, (because the content will also be tested and debugged on the exact same spec as the one you have at home) developers will work to make the most out of what’s given.

            If I can get by with PSVR cheaply for 2 years (until PCVR gets affordable and have strong user base), I’d be happy. Who knows they might announce PS5 in 2018.

            Also these guys have a few nice exclusives so far and the biggest fleet of in house game devs. Even if I did buy PCVR, I don’t think I will refuse PSVR.

          • Apparently the breakout box that comes with it is used for splitting the image and de-warping it for display on the TV, the headset itself is entirely driven by the PS4.

          • @manu Interesting, haven’t heard that one yet. Wouldn’t have thought offloading audio processing like that would be an option, though I guess we’d be less sensitive to delays in sound so it mightn’t necessarily matter as much whether it would introduce any kind of latency or something. Would the sound being supplied to the TV be free or HRTF, or would it not really matter that it’s kept in for that?

          • @mrtaco Yes. Stretching Rendering through USB3 would be a bad idea because it’ll introduce additional latency. I think their focus is on offloading everything else to DSPs. SONY’s got the most bad-ass DSP team on the planet. It’d be a shame if they hadn’t thought of it.

            Most of these tasks are CPU bound (HRTF, sensor-fusion), but they have confirmed the PU to be capable of fast image processing (PU to TV). As long as they use a few programmable DSPs in the PU, they can leave lots of room for improvement through future firmware updates.

            When all this is done in dedicated hardware, it gives them a significant advantage. Which means minimal frame-time cost as well as simplified development.

            Edit: If it were me, audio would be sent from the PS4 to PU in a raw format with positional information but without any processing. The PU would then calculate the 3D audio for the HMD using HRTF with the sensor-fusion data, and send that to the HMD. It will also do the standard stereo processing and send that to the TV.

            Around the 4:00 min mark.

          • Nope, the games actually look really good.
            The secret is to write the games from the ground up for the platform, so it does mean games won’t be full of fields of waving grass and trees filled with leaves, but you can do some incredibly fun games and keep the polys down to a reasonable count to get the games still looking good.

            It is all about tailoring the games to the limitation of the device, and then making good choices.

      • Excellent. I already have the camera and a couple of Move controllers so I’ll just need the headset.

        I think the headset comes with some unit that gives it extra processing power, so hopefully the limitations of the PS4 hardware won’t be a problem.

      • I think doing a bundle early on is a bad idea. I think they should first focus on selling as many HMDs to the 40 million strong install base to start with. It will work without Move but not without the Camera.

        • True but there are many new PS4 users that does not have anything. A bundle would easily bring those users to be PSVR ready.

          Personally I only have one move controller back from PS3 and I wouldn’t mind getting the set to use the VR.

          • I was thinking the same thing, but please let me explain,

            1. If they are going to bundle HMD+2XMove+Camera; Then it’s a lost opportunity to introduce a redesigned Move controller. Also, people who already have Camera are wasting money if you don’t have the HMD only option.

            2. If they do HMD only and discount MOVE/ Camera, they give the customer the option of buying the rest at discounted OR pre-owned prices. But the opportunity to introduce a new Move controller goes away.

            3. Bundle everything. Good idea, but it should never be the only option.

            4. All of the above. Nice, if they can pull off that kind of production volume to start with. but I think they should focus marketing and advertising a single price and a single proposition to have the best results.

            That’s my reasoning. What do you think?

          • Definitely make sense. Apparently there will be a “starter pack” bundle which only have move controllers + camera. It might be just the HMD + starter pack or a complete bundle.

            Sadly I don’t think Sony will give discount for existing Move users. Gotta see what the final announcement be. I would gladly get the new move controllers if they do get redesigned for PSVR.

            As long as it doesn’t cost $1000, PSVR can be big.

  • I read that headline and automatically switched it to “Autumn” because that is what you do with American dates, got surprised that it was so soon, then disappointed when I realized it was Q3. Damn you, clever editor and your crafty skills! ;P

  • Low power is not a concern for me. Some of the “classic” games people around the world still enjoy today don’t need a powerful computer to run… in other words GFX does not necessarily equal fun (for me at least).

  • I’m still pissed they changed the name from the awesome-sounding Morpheus to the ultra-generic sounding PSVR. PSVR sounds like a terminal illness.

    “I’m sorry Brian, but your wife has late-stage PSVR. She has 6 months to live”.

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