2016 has long been touted as the year of virtual reality. After years of hype and decades of embarrassing attempts, the technology has finally crashed headlong into affordability. The advent of smartphones is the chief reason for this, with millions upon millions of ultra-high definition screens and devices produced every year.
It’s all trickled down and benefitted VR, but there’s still one towering question over it all. How much is it going to cost? All three of the big players are keeping their cards very close to their chests in this regard. Neither Sony, nor Oculus or Valve have put out any concrete figures yet, with conventional wisdom suggesting they’re all waiting until one breaks down and plays their hand.
Sony has pitched the PlayStation VR as being its own console, with a price point to match. The PS4 currently retails for around $350, so we’re expecting it be somewhere in that region, bundling together the headset, a PlayStation Camera, and hopefully a couple of Move controllers.
Everyhing about the Oculus Rift has pointed towards a $300-$400 price point, but we’ve heard rumours they’re struggling to keep the costs down, so this may well rise. The HTC Vive meanwhile is an absolute unknown. Figures range from $400 all the way up to $1000, and a few weeks ago an apparent HTC insider suggested they’re really struggling to finalise the commercial project. That’s unfounded speculation, but still know so little.
The one thing connecting all three VR headsets is that they are due out within the coming six months. It’s going to be a massive time for VR. What it doesn’t do though is leave a lot of time for a marketing schedule. Many gamers planning to save for VR want to know the prices, and they want to know them as soon as possible.
Which brings me onto my main question - How much are you willing to pay for VR? Are the figures being bandied about just too steep for your taste? Are you willing to pay a premium to get in early with the best kit? Let us know!