The video game industry is cranking up for another shot at bringing virtual reality to the masses, and today Sony announced when players can expect to find their PlayStation VR on store shelves. Coming to North America this October for a price of $399 ($549 in Canada), Sony expects that this new product will transform the PlayStation 4 gaming experience. But don't listen to me quote their marketing buzz; I can just share the relevant text from the PlayStation Blog:
PlayStation VR represents a transformative experience in gaming, and we wanted to take the time needed to launch with a broad variety of content and a sufficient supply of hardware. We are beyond excited to deliver to consumers the amazing experience that PS VR offers.
Today more than 230 developers are building content for PlayStation VR, from smaller independent teams to larger studios at the industry’s top publishers. We expect to have more than 50 games available from launch in October 2016 until the end of the year. Of course, the full promise of PlayStation VR will continue to grow over time as talented developers create new experiences and new genres that wouldn’t be possible outside of VR. The future looks bright indeed.
What Sony isn't telling you in this announcement is that the PlayStation VR requires the PlayStation 4 Camera to function. The camera add-on, available since the PS4's launch for $60, hasn't found much use in the PlayStation ecosystem, so maybe now Sony can finally sell a few. I'm sure the PSVR will do well at launch with early adopters, but I haven't seen any compelling games that require the device and I'm still working my way through a small stack of games for the hardware I already own, so I don't see myself jumping into the virtual reality experience just yet. I'm interested, but not launch-interested, if you know what I mean.