Sony’s entry into the world of consumer virtual reality is an impressive start but it’s not yet the affordable high-end VR experience some are dreaming of
Since the phenomenally successful crowd-funding campaign for Oculus Rift in 2012, the idea of an affordable – and functional – virtual reality headset has obsessed the consumer technology industry. Afterwards, we saw video game publisher Valve partner with phone manufacturer HTC on the high-end Vive headset; we saw the smartphone-powered Gear VR and the budget priced Google Cardboard – and most recently the arrival of Daydream VR as a major element of Google’s own Pixel phone offering.
And of course, the games industry has been watching too. In 2014, Sony announced Project Morpheus, the codename for its own PlayStation 4-compatible VR headset, promising an affordable high-end and easy-to-use solution. Now named PlayStation VR, that headset is ready to launch, with an impressive range of games and applications. But can it really cross the difficult divide between specialist geek toy and mass entertainment proposition?