playstation-vr

Ster-Kinekor South Africa today announced the launch date and price for the PlayStation VR headset – it’s coming 24 January 2017, at a not-so-cheap price of R6,499. For the uninitiated, the PlayStation VR (PSVR) headset is a head-mounted virtual reality display built by Sony, and designed almost exclusively to work with the PS4 and PS4 Pro consoles (I say almost, because there are drivers being made by Linux and Windows hacker communities to get it to work just like other headsets on the PC). It’s quite an experience to use – as our hands-on views from rAge Johannesburg 2016 will attest to – and it’s rather impressive that Sony has managed to make this work on a console that’s far weaker than the baseline PC recommended by Oculus for VR gaming. Interested? Hit the jump for more.

Ster-Kinekor has also confirmed that there will be two bundles sold to consumers in stores – the standalone kit for R6,499, which includes the headset, cables, and the splitter box, as well as a R7,300 bundle which includes a PlayStation Camera in the box. It’s a bit odd, then, that there’s no bundle with two Move controllers. You have to buy those separately at R699 each. By the time you’re done pricing things out, you’re spending about the same money as it would cost for a PlayStation 4 Pro, one year’s subscription to PlayStation Plus and one extra controller.

Along with the hardware, Ster-Kinekor also detailed which games will launch with compatibility for the PSVR headset. In the box is a demo disc with demos that rAge-goers were able to try out in early October, but an additional twelve games will launch in South Africa at the same time as the PSVR headset.

PlayStation VR Launch Titles for 2017

Game Developer Trailer Price (Rands)
Batman: Arkham VR Rocksteady Youtube TBA
Battlezone VR  Rebellion Youtube R899.99
Driveclub VR Evolution Studios Youtube R599.99
EVE: Valkyrie  CCP Games Youtube R899.99
Hustle Kings VR EPOS Game Studios Youtube R349.99
Resident Evil 7 Biohazard Capcom Youtube R999.99
RIGS: Mechanised Combat League  Guerrilla Cambridge Youtube R899.99
Robinson: The Journey  Crytek Youtube R899.99
Super Stardust Ultra VR d3t Ltd Youtube R349.99
Until Dawn: Rush of Blood  Supermassive Games Youtube R349.99
VR Worlds  SIE London Youtube R599.99

Well, no-one ever said VR adoption would be cheap. That’s the cost of being an early adopter for you!

If you’re still interested in the headset itself, but intend to not use it with a console, you may be in luck. The drivers for the PSVR on Windows machines do seem to identify it as a separately connected display with basic head tracking already working, but nothing has been officially stated by Sony as to whether there’ll be official support for it. It makes sense, though. Not limiting the use of the headset to the console means that Sony has a big market to sell it to, and they may even end up successfully drawing attention away from the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive because the PSVR is cheaper than both.