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PlayStation VR Gets Permanent Price Reduction

Sony today revealed a new price for the PlayStation VR headset. Starting tomorrow, the HMD should be available for as little as $299 across the U.S. and $379 in Canada.

The Sony PlayStation VR hit the market in October 2016 in two different bundles. You could get the Core package for $399, which included the PSVR headset, the cables to hook it up, and a demo disk with more than a dozen titles to try. The Core package did not include a PlayStation Camera, which is a necessary component to operate the headset. Sony also offered a packed called the PlayStation VR Worlds bundle, which included the camera, a pair of Move controllers, and a game called PlayStation VR Worlds. Originally, the complete package was $499.
Last August, following price drops from Oculus and HTC on their Rift and Vive headsets, Sony made some price and bundle adjustments to stay competitive, including adding a camera to the Core bundle at no extra cost and reducing the price of the PlayStation Worlds bundle by $50. Later, Sony replaced the Core bundle with the PSVR Doom VFR bundle, and the PlayStation VR Worlds package with the PSVR Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR bundle, which include the respective Bethesda titles. It also rolled out a slight revision to the HMD late last year.

Recently, the value of Sony’s PlayStation VR has begun to come into question. With several affordable VR headsets from Microsoft’s Windows MR partners on the market, Oculus’s permanent $399 Rift with Touch bundle, and last week’s HTC Vive price drop, which brought it to $499, the question becomes; why is Sony’s HMD so expensive, comparatively? Its resolution is much lower than every other tethered VR HMD on the market today, and its tracking system isn't as robust.

With the mounting pressure from the market players around it, Sony is once again adjusting the price of the PSVR to compensate. Starting tomorrow, both PSVR bundles will get a permanent $100 price reduction, which puts the Doom VFR bundle at $299, and the Skyrim VR bundle at $349.

Sony also revealed the Canadian pricing for its PSVR bundles. Our neighbors to the north are looking at $379 for the Doom bundle, and $449 for the Skyrim bundle, which are down from $499 and $579, respectively. 

  • cryoburner
    Its resolution is much lower than every other tethered VR HMD on the market today...
    This isn't exactly true. The PSVR might have a slightly lower internal resolution, but its display actually offers more subpixel elements than either the Vive or Rift. That's because it uses full RGB panels with 3 subpixels per pixel, as opposed to the Vive and Rift's pentile displays, with only 2 subpixels per pixel. On such displays, each pixel has a green element, but every other pixel alternates between having a red element or a blue one. So while the Vive and Rift might be rendering at a higher resolution, a lot of subpixel detail is lost when displayed by their screens.

    As far as numbers go, the Rift and Vive's screens offer a total resolution of 2160x1200, or about 2.59 megapixels, compared to the PSVR's 1920x1080, or 2.07 megapixels. That may be 25% more pixels, but it's not taking subpixel elements into account. With that in mind, the PSVR's displays have 6,220,800 total subpixels, while the Vive and Rift only have 5,184,000 subpixels. Now, human vision tends to discern more detail in green light compared to red or blue, so that doesn't mean the PSVR will necessarily appear sharper, but it does likely make up for much, if not all of its lower rendered resolution.

    Of course, I haven't done a comparison between headsets to know firsthand which appears sharper, and it's possible that different lens and display arrangements could utilize those available pixels better on one headset or another, but from what I've heard, the PSVR's resolution tends to look fairly similar to the Vive or Rift, and at the very least shouldn't appear "much lower".
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  • bit_user
    I'm still waiting for a PS4 Pro that has everything in one chassis. Also, it should have the VR HMD connectors on the front.
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