The PlayStation VR2’s $550 Price Isn’t As High As It Seems | Digital trends

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Overall, prices for VR headsets are rising. Just look at Meta’s Quest Pro, which costs $1,500. This trend seems to continue with the PlayStation VR2, which we now know sells for $550 ($50 more than the PS5 it connects to). These lavish prices signal that the entry-level days of VR are coming to an end, and companies might be comfortable wooing die-hard tech fans who want more powerful and impressive hardware.

But will this high price pay off for companies like Sony? Check out the comments on the PlayStation Blog post or Tweeter on the PlayStation VR2 release date, and you’ll see how divided opinions are already. For someone looking to get into VR for the first time with PlayStation’s new headset, that high price tag may be off-putting, raising doubts that we’ll see VR enter the mainstream the way manufacturers had hoped.

While some of the current VR price changes may seem like a tough sell, these decisions are more practical than you might think. As soon as you start digging into the nuances of the technology, it becomes clear why prices are rising and why it could pay off for companies like Sony. That said, there are good arguments for and against the PS VR2’s $550 price tag. Which one is right in the long run might have more to do with Sony’s ability to keep up than early fan reactions.

The case of PlayStation VR2’s $550 price tag

To get some background on the current state of virtual reality, I spoke with George Jijiashvili, principal analyst at Omdia. Jijiashvili was surprised by the price, as Omdia expected the PlayStation VR2 to be cheaper than the PS5. Yet he explained the factors that probably led to this PlayStation VR2 pricing decision. For starters, expensive VR headsets like the $999 Valve Index “underlined the demand for high-end VR headsets on PC, so Sony must have been encouraged to pursue higher-than-expected PlayStation VR2 prices,” says Jijiashvili.

Selling a PSVR with its controllers at a higher price than the PlayStation console is not unprecedented.

He also pointed out that the original model of the first PlayStation VR cost $399, the same price as a PS4 Slim, when it launched in 2016. That said, it didn’t come with a PlayStation camera or controllers. PlayStation Move, which were needed. to play specific games. Bundles containing these items that came after the fact would cost players more than a PS4. Although the PlayStation VR2 doesn’t need a camera, the base $550 version comes with its new proprietary Sense controllers. Jijiashvili thinks the cost of the included technology justifies its price.

“On reflection, selling a PSVR with its controllers at a higher price than the PlayStation console is not unprecedented,” Jijiashvili explained. “Sony must not have had a major pushback on this six years ago, so they’ve opted for a similar pricing strategy now with PlayStation VR2… PlayStation VR2 also offers significantly improved hardware specs over PlayStation VR, which lead to increased component and manufacturing costs.”

The base $550 version of the PlayStation VR2 package.

People will pay more for PlayStation VR2, but they’ll also get more. Additionally, Jijiashvili thinks the high price tag will potentially shield the PlayStation VR2 from a glitch that has plagued Meta Quest 2.

“$550 protects the PlayStation VR2 price against ongoing high inflation,” says Jijiashvili, referring to Meta Quest 2 and PS5 price hikes earlier this year. Hopefully the PlayStation VR2 will keep that price high for a while, for better or worse. Overall, Jijiashvili is still optimistic about the success of PlayStation VR2, even if it won’t be as big of a success as the PS5.

“Despite a higher than expected price, Omdia remains optimistic about PlayStation VR2’s chances of success,” he said. “Preliminary estimates from Omdia indicate that up to 4 million PlayStation VR2 headsets could be sold in the first two years of its availability, achieving a connection rate of around 8% with users of PS5 consoles.”

The case against PlayStation VR2’s $550 price tag

While Sony has its reasons for pricing the system where it has, some caveats are in order. A wired connection to a PS5 is required to use PlayStation VR2, which is actually an overall investment of $1,050. This will limit who can afford to play the new system, and that’s before you buy games. As far as software goes, original PlayStation VR titles are not inherently backward compatible either. games like Whip Gun receive PlayStation VR2 updates, but new and old users will likely pay top dollar for most of what they play on PS VR2.

Pistol Whip – Trailer | PS VR2 Games

The cost of all of this adds up quickly and will likely limit the number of games some people can buy for the headset. If the PlayStation VR2 were cheaper, new users would potentially have a bit more money to spend on games. In its current state, VR enthusiasts with an upgradable game library will benefit the most.

Even Jijiashvili admits that PlayStation VR2 is leaning towards this hardcore VR community. “Sony made a conscious decision to target its audience of dedicated console gamers,” he says. “This is in stark contrast to Meta’s approach with Quest 2, which aims to expand the addressable base of VR, beyond a typical console/PC player.”

While Jijiashvili thinks “positioning PlayStation VR2 as the primary destination for next-gen high-end VR experiences will be a key pillar of its success”, I’m less optimistic that high-end visuals will be enough to attract Before it becomes mainstream, the VR industry’s biggest challenge is balancing price, usability, and technological prowess. No one has struck the perfect balance yet, and it looks like it will remain the case after PlayStation VR2.

A red robot bird attacking in Horizon Call of the Mountain.

Ultimately, it will be up to Sony’s long-term support of the system to justify the price. While it’s a bit of a no-win situation given my previous gaming concerns, the PlayStation VR2 needs enough support at launch and beyond to convince people it’s going to be worth $550. Jijiashvili agrees, adding, “In order to justify the $550 price tag, Sony will need to demonstrate a strong commitment to VR… The reveal of 11 new/revamped PlayStation VR2 games is certainly an encouraging start, but it will need to deliver more in it’s time for the launch of PlayStation VR2 to guarantee its success.

Sony’s track record is mixed in this department. Both the PS Vita and the original PlayStation VR had strong exclusives around their respective launches, but first-party support dwindled as their lifespans progressed. If Sony wants PlayStation VR2 to be a mainstream success, it will have to double down on software. You can expect some to be hesitant to pay that much when they don’t know what the lineup of games will look like in a year or two.

While there are reasons for and against the PlayStation VR2’s $550 cost, at this price point Sony is introducing another long-term entertainment investment on the status of a PS5. Its biggest challenge ahead of the launch of the PlayStation VR2 is getting the word out that it’s a valid VR choice, and clearly only some hardcore fans are convinced.

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