The battle of the virtual reality (VR) head-mounted displays (HMDs) will hot up later this year when Sony Interactive Entertainment’s (SIE’s) PlayStation VR finally launches worldwide in October. The high-end VR field only really features Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, both of which are PC-based and require a fairly sizable rig to power them. With PlayStation 4’s massive install base and PlayStation VR’s cheaper price, the launch could bode well for the HMD, but not everyone thinks its pricing is clear cut.
In a Spanish blog posting Alvin Wang Graylin, head of the Chinese VR division of HTC is reported as saying: “The price set by Sony for PlayStation VR, 399 euros, may seem economical for users but is misleading.”
This likely revolves around the fact that the SIE base price for the PlayStation VR only includes the HMD and not any of the other peripherals like the PlayStation 4 camera or the PlayStation Move controllers. Some retailers in certain territories are offering bundles to include the accessories but they do vary. The camera is a hugely important part of the setup, as without it the PlayStation 4 can’t track the HMD. SIE said it had done this because there will be a lot of users who might already own the camera or controllers, but it does make the pricing system far more complicated than either the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive which have one set price.
Graylin also went on to talk about his experience with PlayStation VR: “tried the product but not just been entirely comfortable after ten minutes,” before remarking about the age of SIE’s technology: “it is technology that has already six years and were created to compete with Wii”.
Naturally as a competitor the HTC China President isn’t going to shower praise on a rival, but the remarks are quite derogatory none the less.
It isn’t going to worry SIE though, as PlayStation VR pre-order sales have been going very well, most US retailers for example do seem to have sold out.
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