We’ve been talking an awful lot about Sony’s upcoming Playstation 5 next gen console the last few weeks, and recently you may recall we had comments from a couple of developers on how the dev kits were looking in terms of performance. We also had some comments about the updated Playstation VR headset, or PSVR 2.
There has been a lot of chatter around this, understandably, given that the PSVR did fairly well for itself, and in fact was the top selling VR headset as of December 2018. The biggest question that gamers have had is, “will the PS5 and PSVR 2 launch together?”
Dominic Mallinson, Sony’s global head of research and development spoke to CNET on this very subject, and unfortunately doused any rumours that we would see a simultaneous launch.
He said, “From the point of view of the consumer, to be bombarded with many many things – oh, you have to buy this, you have to buy that – is a message that we don’t want to send. In some ways, it’s good to have a little breathing space between those things.”
In fairness, he has a very good point. The current rumours peg the price of the PS5 at $499, and we can expect the PSVR 2 to launch at least in the same price ballpark as it’s predecessor, which launched at $399. The cost of both combined is too eye-watering to think about, so you can certainly see where he’s coming from.
He also touched on the fact that virtual reality has yet to set the world on fire, primarily due to it’s high cost and limited selection of killer games. On this he said, “the fact of life is, you get a little less in terms of commercial movement from the VR titles. We’re just reaching that level now where, as a developer you can say, ‘OK, I can make money. It’s not easy, but I can now make money.”
So it seems that Sony is unlikely to launch the console and the VR headset at the same time. It makes sense from both the consumer point of view, and Sony’s. Sony want to give the Playstation 5 the limelight to itself as much as they can, and most people are going to be unwilling to spend a potential $899 on both systems.
The main question that remains is, when will we see the PSVR 2 release? It’s tough to say with any real certainty, but assuming that the console itself launches in the holiday period of 2020, we can probably expect the VR headset to launch in the holiday of 2021.