Last summer, while I was at a concert festival, I got a chance to stand in line for a few hours and partake of a special event inside a trailer. That event was a chance to try out a virtual reality headset. It was the HTC Vive, and it was awesome. It was just a proof of concept, staggering around in a dark room with a helmet on, but it was a whole lot of fun and I’ll never be able to afford one. However, the burst of virtual reality head appliances has kicked off a growth from an unlikely player: Sony. Sony’s PlayStation VR is only going to run $400, and it just might change what video games can do.
Says Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Andrew House: “The most fascinating thing is how VR has rewritten the rulebook of what game design should be. It’s levelled the playing field in terms of production values. What has encouraged me is that there’s an opportunity for smaller developers with simpler game mechanics that are very well crafted for the VR experience to have more of a significant presence than they would have on a blockbuster console. It’s intriguing.”
That’s the issue with VR. It’s very expensive, at least for now. But a lot of people already have a PS4, so another $400 on top of that to have immersive game play? That’s a really good price, and a low entry barrier.