The Oculus Rift’s sticker shock is beginning to subside, but as the VR headset, that was once touted as the everyman’s affordable virtual reality gear, is now a premium high end product, all eyes are on the HTC Vive and the PlayStation VR to see if one of them may end up fulfilling the initial promise that Oculus once made.
Of these, the PlayStation VR has more of a chance to be cheaper- it’s being backed by a bigger company (meaning it can be sold at a loss), and it’s tethered to a generally lower end experience than PC VR can be. If any product is going to be cheap enough to ‘bring VR to the masses’, it will be PlayStation VR in all likelihood.
And how much may it cost? Well, there is no way to know for now (and Sony is being extremely cagey and elusive with this information), but industry analyst Michael Pachter believes that it’ll be $400.
“I think Morpheus (PlayStation VR) is highly likely to be 400 bucks. It’s gonna be hard… — if you actually look at the headset, there’s a lot there. So, I think it’s gonna be hard to price it below 300; It’s possible… if they believe they’re gonna make enough of them.”
Pachter also said that he believes that PlayStation VR can be far more successful than Oculus- if only because it requires a cheaper upfront investment than Oculus, which is more expensive, and which needs a high end rig to manage much.
“A lot of people don’t have a really high-end PC laying around, so I think the PlayStation 4 crowd has a huge advantage. Sony’s got an install base, as of November, of thirty million of them. So, I can see Sony planning to sell ten million Morpheus units. I doubt that they will sell those in the first year, because there probably won’t be a lot of content, but I can see them planning to sell 10 million over time.”
$400 sounds about right to me, and is actually on the higher end of the price range that I had predicted for the headset. I think it will be either $350 or $400- although I also do think that this will be just the headset. The PlayStation Move controllers will probably need to be bought separately.