At E3 in Los Angeles this week, Sony made a splash in virtual reality, by announcing a release date for its VR headset, designed to work with the PlayStation 4, now owned by 40 million people. PlayStation VR, which will go on sale in the U.S. on October 13, will offer 50 titles by the end of 2016, including an exclusive Batman game, Capcom’s “Resident Evil 7,” Square Enix Holdings’ “Final Fantasy XV” and a “Star Wars” title. The company also debuted exclusive PlayStation 4 games, including Batman and Spider-Man titles.
Bloomberg reports that PlayStation VR “is poised to take an early lead in what is considered year zero for the virtual-reality industry.” PlayStation VR also wins the price wars; at $399, it compares favorably to the $799 HTC Vive and the $599 Oculus Rift. The latter two also require expensive high-end computers to run, unlike Sony’s PlayStation VR, which benefits from a massive existing install base.
“Our mission is to make PlayStation the best place to play games,” said Sony’s head of games business Andrew House. “This E3 marks one of the strongest lineups in PlayStation history.” PlayStation’s chief rivals are Microsoft’s 21 million Xbox Ones and Nintendo’s 21 million Wii U consoles. The company will debut its more powerful PS4, dubbed PlayStation Neo, and forecasts a 13 percent increase in total console sales to 20 million units.
The Verge has also been keeping tabs on all Sony-related news at E3, reporting most recently that the company’s new Move-like controller designed for its VR sci-fi shooter “Farpoint” looks more like a toy than a weapon. While Microsoft focused on new hardware at E3, says The Verge, at Sony it was “all about games,” including “Resident Evil 7,” “The Last Guardian,” puzzle game “Bound” that features motion-captured ballet, “God of War,” “Days Gone,” “Horizon Zero Dawn,” “Detroit: Becoming Human,” “Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare,” and, from Hideo Kojima, “Death Stranding.”
“Since 2013, with the reveal of the current generation of console hardware, Sony has tended to lay claim to the crown at E3,” says The Verge. “People who love games, unsurprisingly, felt catered to by Sony, and in return declared the console maker their champion. And so, like a prizefighter with a proven routine, Sony has focused on games every year since.”