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PlayStation VR

Luckey: PSVR is ‘a good headset’, PS4 ‘not nearly as powerful’ as Rift Ready PCs

The three major PC and console-based virtual reality (VR) head-mounted displays (HMDs) are set to launch in a relatively narrow window. The Oculus Rift will arrive at the end of March 2016, followed by the HTC Vive in April, while the PlayStation VR for PlayStation 4 should launch before the end of H1 2016. Each device is set to compete with the other, then. But, in PlayStation VR’s case, the creator of the Oculus Rift believes that the kit is set to appeal to a ‘separate market’ as the PlayStation 4 itself isn’t nearly as powerful’ as the PC required to run the Rift.

PlayStation VR headset

Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey said as much in a recent interview with IB Times. “I think that there’s not many people who already own a PS4 who don’t own a gaming PC who are going to go out and make that roughly $1,500 all-in investment in the Rift,” he stated. “It really is a separate market. They’re bringing virtual reality to a different group of people who I don’t think were ever really a part of our market anyway.

“It’s also worth noting that their headset isn’t quite as high-end as ours — it’s still, I think, a good headset — and the PlayStation 4 is not nearly as powerful as our recommended spec for a PC.”

According to Luckey the Oculus Rift is ‘at the bare minimum’ of what’s needed to make a device that everyone can use. The kit is, however, priced at $599 USD without the PC needed to run it. A bundle of both will start at $1499 for those looking to pick up one of the company’s officially recognised rigs – an Oculus Ready PC – made in partnership with a number of manufacturers. The PlayStation VR, meanwhile, doesn’t have a price, but the PlayStation 4 needed to run it costs $349. Should PlayStation VR cost less than the Oculus Rift, then, it will have a huge price advantage on the tech.

For the latest on both PlayStation VR and the Oculus Rift, keep reading VRFocus.

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  1. Well, that’s obvious. There aren’t any $350 game consoles as powerful as a $1200 gaming pc. Looks like Luckey is getting a little worried about the PSVR being much more affordable than $600. And he should be. “It’s a separate market,” the Rift has a lot more going for it but they’re both in the same VR gaming market. He will lose a huge chunk of that market if Sony keeps the PSVR cost below the Rifts.

  2. Sony did a few smart things. Non-pentile screen. Reprojection. Really great optics that I’ve heard don’t require as much over-render as the Rift/Vive. Unlocked seventh core. Breakout box to handle a few functions. Utilizing existing Camera and Move controllers. Nice emphasis on comfort and form factor.

  3. Of course PSVR is a different market to Rift. The PS4 is a different market to PC. Both serve a different section of customers that do not overlap and do not jump ship, because of financial limitation and convenience choice.

    To help PC gamers understand that concept, imagine if a company targeted the PC market with a product advert like this, “Are you tired of constant expensive PC upgrades and worrying whether every new game will run on your PC? Are you tired of having to research incompatibility and then have to purchase and instal the upgrades when all you want to do is play the games? Do you want a PC that you never have to upgrade or worry whether it will play the latest games? Then buy a US5. It may not be as powerful as the latest cutting PC but it will satisfy your gaming needs with perfectly acceptable high quality graphics due to closed system optimisation that fully makes use of the installed hardware and only costs you a third of the PC rig.” Depending how you answer that question, decides what market you are in.

    before you jump in shouting steam box. A steam box is basically a console make from general off the shelf PC computer parts. All consoles are computers at heart as well but with custom designed parts designed to get maximum use out of the limited spec.

    Yes the Rift will be superior if you have a PC with enough clout, but let’s be clear, Rift does not have a lot going for it in terms of sales and user base. The PC gaming sector is small, especially those with high end gaming PC’s capable of playing future games or VR without an expensive upgrade. If you doubt what I’m saying, check the sales figures for any block buster AAA games and look at the market split of games sales for each sector. VR for PC is a small elitist market.

    The PS4 user base is large and growing fast. That is where the mass marketing potential lies with VR, but it will only succeed if Sony bring it in at a reasonable price that is not regarded as ‘elitist’ and at a quality that does not make players vomit or give them eye strain. If gamers don’t find it comfortable they will loose interest, and if they suffer health issues there will be law suits brought against Sony. I can actually see consumer protection VR laws being passed by governments in future to users once the genre takes off and is widely accepted.

    But again, let’s be clear, VR will be a new genre that will exist alongside current gaming genres. It will not replace them. FPS did not replace platformers, racers or puzzle games. VR will not replace 2D modes of playing games. They will exist side by side with each game more suited to one or the other..

    1. Well, i wouldn’t be so sure pc gamers won’t jump ship. I honestly will buy a ps4 with the ps vr if the price is less then 600. My graphics card is not old enough yet to upgrade and spend another 800€ on combined with the 600€ rift (1400€) hell even at 600€ tag for ps vr it’s a big difference (350 + 600 = 950). For 450 € one could buy a lot of extra stuff (like games) and my current pc still handles games well so can increase my stash on both.

        1. The external box is a required component and will be included. It remains to be seen what in terms of camera and move controllers will be. I believe the camera required for PSVR is of higher spec that the existing one, so it’s likely that will be included, but I expect the move controllers to be optional extras or available “as a pack”.

  4. It’s very nice to see a site where the commenters have something informed and intelligent to say. I must admit I’m fascinated to see how the VR war pans out. I can’t help feeling that Sony are the only ones with all the necessary pieces in place to really make a successful consumer VR product. Also you cannot underestimate the advantages of having full control over the hardware and the software.

  5. Everyone who thinks the PSVR is cheaper is a fool.

    Yes – the hardware is cheaper – but you are locked in just ONE Store – the most expensive of them all (SONY).

    Also: NO, cheap Indi-games, no (or WAY less) free experiences. No hacks, no mods. No VorpX.

    In 2 years time you will pay way more for way less.

    1. Who cares bout hacks, mods if your a pc gamer stay with pc if ps4 then stay that way I will not be buying the rift as I’m not going to upgrade my pc just for that, il stick with the psvr thanks

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