Sony is throwing their transportive 'hat' into the VR ring, tempting those thus-far reticent about virtual reality by offering a headset at an attractively low price point, backed up by a star-studded launch library.
As revealed during Sony's E3 press conference, PlayStation VR will release on October 13, 2016 for $399. But remember, that doesn't include the required PlayStation Camera, which might add on an additional $50.
Still, that makes it significantly cheaper than the HTV Vive, at $799, and the Oculus Rift, at $599; both of which still require a the use of a PC.
Of course, no one's going to spend any money unless there's a good selection of games to play, and Sony is hoping to convince players with a series of custom VR 'experiences' based off some very familiar franchises.
There will be over 50 games available when the PlayStation VR headset launches. Here's just a taste of the VR goodness that'll be on offer.
Star Wars Battlefront X-Wing VR Mission
The team at Criterion are masters of fast-paced vehicle combat, having worked on the breakneck driving franchise Burnout. But for where they're going next, they don't need no roads.
Check out the game in action below:
Blasting players off into space, this custom VR Mission puts you inside the cockpit of one of the most iconic ships around: the X-Wing. Criterion released a press statement that read:
Piloting an X-Wing is an aspect of the Star Wars universe many of us have dreamed of experiencing. It’s something from the films we remember watching with awe, and even reenacted throughout our lives.
The best part about it is that this mission will be made available for free for everyone that owns Star Wars: Battlefront on PS4.
Batman: Arkham VR
Finally! The time has come to don the Batman cowl and save Gotham from the Dark Knight's perspective.
Using assets from their previous Arkham games, Rocksteady Studios has hand-crafted a unique experience that let's you explore the mythical Batcave and investigate a crime scene as the world's greatest detective.
This will be every DC fan's fantasy come to life when Batman: Arkham VR launches this October.
Final Fantasy VR Experience
In an unexpected announcement, Square Enix revealed that Final Fantasy 15 will support VR on PlayStation. It seems the separate 'experience' will be free for all who buy the base game at launch, though it's still unclear what exact form it will take.
In any case, game director Hajime Tabata is keen to stress that the main focus will remain on making the core game as good as it can be. Anything else is a bonus:
"It really is our core belief that we should satisfy the people who buy the game that we've made as much as possible; we also want them to play for as long as possible too so it really does help with that—gives them something extra."
In the early days of VR, first-person shooters have become the genre most readily applicable to experiencing with a headset. Farpoint, a sci-fi shooter that takes place on an strange sand-swept planet, will make full use of Sony's new peripheral, the PS VR Aim Controller.
Offering 1 to 1 tracking, you'll be able to use the Aim Controller to pick off your targets by aiming and shooting in real life. It's a frighteningly immersive experience, especially when a giant enemy crab shows up to harass you:
PlayStation VR World
Sony's self-produced series of tech demos, grouped together as 'PS VR Worlds', is designed to show off the revolutionary capabilities of Sony's new headset, much like an interactive sales pitch. The collection will include five separate experiences:
The London Heist puts you straight into a gritty gangland thriller where you get to unleash your inner gangster.
Into The Deep (working title) puts you to work as a deep sea salvor.
VR Luge lets you step into the jumpsuit of an illegal street racer.
Danger Ball is a futuristic sport where you must win or die.
Scavenger’s Odyssey. In this cab based sci-fi adventure you play an alien treasure hunter.
It would be smart for Sony to pack in VR Worlds with the headset itself, as a sort of Wii Sports equivalent that may become the perfect evangelist for their new hardware.
Of course, that's not all. Resident Evil VII will also be VR compatible, and I haven't even touched on the huge slate of indie games you'll be able to jump into come October.