Sony just dropped a bombshell on gamers with their new $399 virtual reality headset. The reaction was explosive with people claiming the price was far too high for what the headset is. People were also saying how this headset could be the one to dismantle Facebook’s Oculus and the HTC Vive from being the successful VR platforms.
The Oculus Rift will ship on the 28th of March, however if you order now you won’t see your order until July. This wait is tiny when you consider the bugs and software patches which will improve the first shipping of the headset. The Oculus has a market advantage because it will be released first, and it has been in development for a long time because of its Kickstarter origins.
Despite this, what the Oculus lacks is the extremely large consumer base. Only 13 million PC’s worldwide could support VR. This also means that 1 in 10 PC owners will potentially buy a VR headset this year. That, when considered, is a small consumer release. That’s a tiny fraction of the Apple Watches sold in 2015. Many industry analysts consider the sales of the Apple Watch to be a failure.
To run the Rift smoothly you would need a powerful PC, and the Rift development team have also ruled out MAC being able to support this as Apple do not make good enough computers. The costs of buying a computer, (if it is pre-bought, self build PC’s are much cheaper) you’re looking at up to £1500.
However, the PS4 headset will not only be cheaper, but also runs smoothly and effectively on the PS4 which would not require a £1000 PC to run. For the time being and for 2016 releases, the PS4 headset will be the best VR experience which is affordable for the average gamer.