“PlayStation VR just kicked a gushing hole in the ass of years of hype-building from Oculus and rightly placed Vive in a nonsense launch category applicable to the tiniest of niches.”
Bravo, Sony. Your announcement at GDC this week that PlayStation VR is to cost £349 has shown up Vive and Rift for what they are: instantly outmoded, awkward, unwieldy, absurdly expensive pieces of first-gen tech that have no chance of bringing VR gaming to the mainstream.
PlayStation VR just kicked a gushing hole in the ass of years of hype-building from Oculus and rightly placed Vive in a nonsense launch category applicable to the tiniest of niches. Andy House made it all look so simple.
Because let’s be honest: who the Sam fuck is seriously considering Vive, at $800, to make any serious impact on the fledgling VR market? Sorry, let’s get this right. $800 plus a PC capable of actually running it. Wait, I forgot. You also need an absolute minimum of 2m x 1.5m of space for it to even work. What was that, sorry gold-plated Kinect? Good news for all you Euros in your rabbit-hutch houses. I’ll have three, please!
You’re wrong! Look at all the millions of PC owners! Yeah, and, as Brenna noted in our team meeting yesterday, there are millions of PC owners because most of the PCs they’re using are fucking cheap. How many of them pack a €300 graphics card, an i5 and 8Gb of RAM? That’s a rhetorical question.
And Rift. I mean, come on. It’s the same deal, albeit slightly less severe. Only 4Gb of RAM needed here, dad. Did you buy that Nvidia GTX 970 I told you about? No? Can’t think why.
What’s so ludicrous about this situation is that the appetite really is there for games VR, as evidenced by the fact that Sony sold out its initial allocation in actual minutes. Yes, I know Rift and Vive sold quickly too, but would it have been the same story without first-mover advantage? Many of my peers instantly pre-ordered PSVR because it’s cheap. They didn’t with Vive and Rift. £350’s fine, especially when you already have the base unit – the PS4, and probably the camera – so, assuming you have a job or you’re a bumbling middle-class student wanking your way through college on mummy’s infinite chequebook, it really isn’t that much of an ask. It’s a week of skiing lessons, Tarquin. Yes, dear. Of course you can.
“Sony just nailed games VR’s early days. Watching what happened in San Francisco this week must have been excruciating for Valve and Oculus.”
I’ve made no secret of my mistrust of VR’s chances, but since Sony’s announcement at GDC this week it’s obvious I was wrong. It’ll work as a mainstream medium if it’s cheap enough. People want it. Vive and Rift can already be written off unless they get much cheaper very quickly. Be under no illusion that these headsets are being pitched to affluent primary adopters, and they’ll do very little to embed VR in the general populous. PlayStation VR for £350? Yes. Samsung Gear VR for $90? Yes, of course. Most people will try it because they’re already surgically attached to their phones.
But Vive for $800? Rift for $600? Dude. It doesn’t matter how amazing the experience is. It just doesn’t. If you don’t have the PC to run these sets, you aren’t going to upgrade when you can grab PSVR for half the price and plug it into the console you already own. The analysts are right. Sony just nailed games VR’s early days. Watching what happened in San Francisco this week must have been excruciating for Valve and Oculus.
Planet PlayStation just made the games VR competition smell like a bag of dicks. And bags of dicks stink.