We’ve recently seen the Oculus Rift become available for pre-orders and the first batch of them was gone very quickly, so there is a market for these virtual reality devices despite their somewhat high price for some people. While the Oculus Rift will set you back $600 as a pre-order, you also get a controller and a couple of games included in the bundle. With that in mind, a lot of people that have both a PC and a PlayStation 4 had hoped that Sony’s PlayStation VR might be a cheaper option. That might or might not be the case, but if Amazon’s recent price leak was real, then it will cost more than the Rift.
Amazon Canada has started to list Sony’s PlayStation VR on their website and for a short while it had a price attached to it. The listing is still active at the time of writing this article, but the price has since been removed again. Amazon Canada had the Sony PlayStation VR headset listed for $1125.35 CAD which is about $800 USD, making it $200 more expensive than the Oculus Rift. Forbes was first to report on this, but Sony was quick to come out with a statement to the outlet. “This was an error by Amazon, we haven’t announced a price for PlayStation VR.”
While it is natural for Sony to come out and deny the leak right away with a phrasing that doesn’t really deny the leak itself, it is most likely just a price holder set by Amazon and one that shouldn’t have been shown. This is common practice and we’ve seen the PS4 being listed for $1000 before it officially became available – again just as a placeholder. We should also remember, as mentioned a few times already, that Oculus already revealed the price for their Rift headset. Sony will naturally try to compete with this price as much as it is possible for them. This will be the year where virtual reality really starts and it could make a lot of difference down the road who secures themselves the biggest userbase from the start.
While this $800 Sony PlayStation VR price leak might have been a letdown, I’m sure that we will know the real price very soon. After all, the PSVR headset is set for a Q1 2016 release.
We have already seen some price drops on the current generation gaming consoles, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, but it hasn’t been anything that major up until now. Consoles have a scheduled lifetime before the next generation of 5 to 7 years, so they’ll still be around for a while. We do however see optimizations along the way as it also happened in the past, the PS2 and PS3 both got upgrades along the way.
AMD has now hinted that there at least are opportunities in the current generation’s lifetime to develop new technology that will allow for a price drop without any impact on performance. This is most likely based on optimization of the production line and process along with the initial development costs starting to get back home and not have as big an impact as when a product is freshly launched. This news came out during a round-table talk where AMD’s CEO Lisa Su attended.
“The consoles work on a five to seven year strategy, that’s the lifetime for these consoles,” said Lisa Su. “Without talking about any particular party’s console; there will be opportunities to cost-reduce.
While Lisa Su didn’t mention any timeframe on this, it is pretty safe to assume that it won’t be far in the future. We are also approaching the mid-life of the current generation consoles that were launched roughly three years ago now and that was about the time where we saw upgrades in the previous generation Xbox and PlayStation consoles.
While some might argue that PC gaming is superior to Consoles, and it probably is, consoles have their merit and there is no doubt why they keep such a high popularity. A price drop on said consoles could further boost the sales by convincing more people to get it. A cheaper price is something we all like and I’m sure that they’ll quickly make up for the lost profit in that regards with the higher sales numbers and thereby more sales of games and peripherals too.