Aiming to bring virtual reality and immersive gaming to the masses, Sony has launched the PlayStation VR, a platform that connects to PlayStation 4 consoles, in the U.S. and Canada.
PS VR, which will support a library of about 50 games by year-end, carries a suggested retail price of US$399 and C$549. Out of the chute, PS VR will support a lineup of about 30 games, including Rez Infinite, Batman: Arkham VR, EVE: Valkyrie, Job Simulator, Battlezone, PlayStation VR Worlds, and RIGS Mechanized Combat League.
Also on deck is a range of VR “experiences” and media apps, including Hulu, which launched a VR app in March; Invasion!, the animated title from Comcast Ventures-backed VR animation specialist Baobab Studios; as well as LittlStar, Within, Kismet, and Vrideo.
PS VR is also complemented by peripherals, including the Move Motion Controller and an upcoming PS VR Aim Controller device.
The PS VR will compete with the higher-end of the headset spectrum, including two PC-connected platforms: the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive. IHS Technology is forecasting that that Sony will sell 1.4 million PS VR headsets this year.
Sony’s new VR platform will also feature a "Social Screen" that lets users who are not wearing the headset to see on TV what the PS VR player is seeing in the headset, or to play alongside the VR player in supporting games.
"We believe PS VR has the power to make VR gaming a reality for the mainstream, and the impact that PS VR will have on the future of both games and entertainment will be transformative,” Shawn Layden, president of Sony Interactive Entertainment America and chairman of SIE Worldwide Studios, said in a statement.
Sony noted that PS VR is compatible with the 40 million-plus PS4 systems already in the market. PS VR is also entering the scene as Sony introduces two new PlayStation 4 models, including a 4K- and HDR-capable console called the PlayStation 4 Pro, and a slimmer, more energy-efficient version of the current console.