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PlayStation VR release date: Sony releases virtual reality kit and looks to bring headsets to the mainstream

PS VR costs considerably less than rival technologies, and is perhaps the first time that people will be able to try out proper virtual reality gaming

Andrew Griffin
Thursday 13 October 2016 12:14 BST
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An elated customer at the launch of PlayStation VR at the GAME Digital Westfield White City midnight launch.
An elated customer at the launch of PlayStation VR at the GAME Digital Westfield White City midnight launch. (GAME Digital)

PlayStations are no longer things that sit underneath your TV. Now they get strapped to your face.

Sony has released the PlayStation VR, a special headset that represents its first foray into virtual reality gaming. And it might represent many other people’s first try with it, too, since it is much cheaper than competing headsets and doesn’t require a huge computer system.

The PS VR plugs into existing PlayStation 4 consoles with a series of wires. Once that’s done, the headset is placed onto the players head and allows them to undergo a range of different experiences – from becoming Batman to relaxing underneath the coral-strewn sea.

Because it can attach so easy to an existing PlayStation console, people won’t be forced through the usual stress of buying a PC to power their virtual reality experience. For competitors like Facebook’s Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive, a high-powered computer is needed, costing more than £1,500.

And that cost is before the headset has even been bought. PlayStation VR is cheaper than those competitors on its own, costing just £349 when compared to £549 for the Rift and £749 for the Vive.

Several big PlayStation games are already working on virtual reality versions. That includes Star Wars Battlefront, which will soon include a level built for virtual reality, and the horror game Resident Evil.

But while PS VR is much cheaper than other traditional VR headsets, it’s far more expensive than those that use mobiles as their screen. Samsung makes a Gear VR that costs just £100 and allows people to slide their phone in, for instance, and Google is about to release a Daydream VR headset that will cost even less.

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