A long time ago in the 1990's people were just discovering the Internet for the first time and science fiction media was infused with "Virtual Reality". Having a headset strapped to your head made the most sense on how to immerse a user in a virtual world. Movies like the Lawnmower Man and Johnny Mnemonic brought this futuristic technology into the public eye quickly. Video game companies have been no stranger to virtual reality attempts, with things like having 3-D glasses attachments and VR Simulators housed in Disney World, arcades, and science museums. The most notorious of all was the Nintendo Virtual Boy which tried to bring VR technology into the mainstream video game market, but ultimately delivered a product that was very expensive and underwhelming.
Today Sony has announced some official details about their new PlayStation VR accessory for the PlayStation 4. Releasing October 2016, it will cost $399 in the United States for the base unit, but requires a few extra pieces to function. The Playstation Camera (MSRP: $59) is also required, and most games will also require two PlayStation Move controllers (MSRP: $49 each) for a full virtual reality experience. Even still, the price tag is not a bad one for PlayStation 4 owners considering that the Oculus Rift without motion controls will run $599 at launch, and the HTC Vive has a complete virtual reality package for $799.
The main question is, will it be worth it? Will major video game publishers be willing to support for a technology that has had struggles in the past? I would like to think a game like Doom or Fallout 4 would be amazing in this format, but I can also imagine how hard it would be to port the game to make it compatible with the PlayStation VR system. Sony has stated they have over 230 developers working on PlayStation VR software, but that number may be skewed by development kits shipped. Two games that have been announced that have caught my immediate attention are two updated classics Rez Infinite (below) and Battlezone. These titles are perfect for the format, and if done correctly could entice me to invest in the system. But really they need to get this thing out there in a demonstration environment. Sony should send every GameStop a PlayStation VR kiosk, where people can test out the technology and make a preorder commitment right there in store. It's tough to sell this to someone like me who grew up not trusting the technology, but if a single interactive experience blows me away, then who am I to resist our future VR overlords?