It’s been a bit of quiet start to 2020 for PlayStation VR with few videogames coming out and Iron Man VR delayed until May. Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) did reveal that 5 million headsets had been sold but a lot of the focus currently is on PlayStation 5. The new console is due for release at the end of the year with little mention about the future of PlayStation VR other than it’ll be supported by the new hardware. A new report indicates that SIE is still planning a new headset for after PlayStation 5 arrives.
In a recent article by Bloomberg, the news organisation writes that: “Sony plans to release a new version of the PlayStation VR virtual-reality headset, tentatively scheduled after the PlayStation 5 goes on sale,” according to unnamed sources. A new model has long been rumoured with patents appearing that indicate features like inside-out tracking and wireless gameplay – all features that rivals now have in place.
Don’t expect any news of a possible PlayStation VR 2 just yet as SIE still needs to get the launch of PlayStation 5 out the way first, not wanting to muddy the waters with two hardware releases. PlayStation 5 details relating to design and price are still thin on the ground, what is known is the console will feature an SSD (solid-state drive) to speed up load times while the DualShock 5 controller will have improved haptic feedback.
When it comes to price Bloomberg reports that there’s still an issue internally at Sony regarding how much to charge consumers. Supposedly, scarce components have pushed manufacturing costs to $450 USD for each unit, which would make for an expensive console if the company wants to make a profit. Sony could go down the traditional hardware route and make it a loss leader, recouping revenue elsewhere. One reason costs are being pushed up due to DRAM and NAND flash memory supply, which is in high demand, especially from the smartphone industry.
Another reason Sony is holding back on a price announcement will be to do with Microsoft and its Xbox Series X console which is due around the same time. Microsoft is expected to make that reveal during the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2020 in June when hosting its annual press conference. As previously reported, SIE won’t be attending E3 for the second year in a row, giving Microsoft plenty of space to dominate the event and leaving a big VR hole in the event. Because as Xbox’s Phil Spencer recently reiterated, VR isn’t part of the current plan for Xbox Series X.
In the short term, there’s still lots for PlayStation VR owners to look forward to, with the likes of Paper Beast, The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners, Iron Man VR and Space Channel 5 VR: Kinda Funky News Flash! on the horizon. VRFocus will continue its coverage of PlayStation VR and PlayStation 5, reporting back with all the latest updates and announcements.