PlayStation VR is coming soon. With an officially announced release window in the first half of 2016, it’s rumored to be graced by a relatively low price and the potential to democratize the rather pricey (at least for now) virtual reality experience.
Yet, the price and actual release date of the headset are basically Sony’s best kept secrets. That is certainly interesting, considering that the impact on the wallet will be one of the major deciding factors for many, on whether to purchase or not a product that is now less than six months away.
One thing is for sure: if the release of the headset isn’t delayed (a case which I consider unlikely, and PlayStation VR seemed rather mature and almost ready for prime time every time I tested it), Sony will have to make the big announcement soon. The final stint of promotion has to be prepared, the retail pipeline has to be put in place, and customers need to start saving for the big launch.
Those are things that simply cannot be done unless you have a publicly announced price and release date.
The announcement might actually come in just a few days. The Consumer Electronics Show 2016 will open its gates on January 6th in Las Vegas, and Sony will hold its big press conference on January 5th at 5 PM PST, with CEO Kazuo Hirai hosting.
The timing seems appropriate, considering that the headset’s release is drawing near. The next big event would be GDC on March 14th, but that seems to be awfully late for something that should launch before June 30th.
CES is not a strictly gaming-related event, but this doesn’t mean that it’s not an appropriate venue for this kind of announcement. Sony has used the show in the past to announce its big (at least in intention, whether they ended up really turning big results or not is a different story) innovations, like PlayStation Now in 2014.
PlayStation VR also had a large presence in past consumer electronic shows, like at Sony’s press conference at IFA 2015, where Kazuo Hirai himself stressed on the innovations that virtual reality will bring to PS4.
The keynote just before CES is, actually, one of the biggest western events of the year for Sony as a corporation, and PlayStation VR is most probably considered important enough to deserve a front and center stage position at that show, especially since it involves fields well beyond gaming.
If you don’t think that we’ll hear about PlayStation VR, just check this site, and look on the left.
Of course, this is just my personal speculation, sprinkled with a bit of logic and a look at the calendar, that shows a window that is rapidly closing. Yet, if you want to know how much PlayStation VR costs, and when you’ll be able to purchase it, I think you should probably watch the conference below (for now it’s just showing a replay of 2015’s keynote) on Tuesday evening.
My personal relatively safe bet is on $299.99, with a release date very close to E3. What about yours?