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The Game Developers Conference, better known as GDC, is just around the corner, and it looks like Sony is finally ready to start unleashing more details concerning its entry into the virtual reality arena, PlayStation VR.
This week's PlayStation Blogcast marked the 200th episode for the show, so it's appropriate that the team spent a lot of time celebrating by talking about the future of PlayStation. A big part of that future, obviously, is the PlayStation VR.
Up to this point, both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive have received final launch details and even gone on sale for pre-order. A lot of folks are experiencing a bit of sticker shock, as both of those units will cost hundreds of dollars and require a pretty beefy PC to even run the things. But what about the PlayStation VR? Up until this point, we've seen the final product in action, taken a look at the extra piece of hardware that will come packed in and help run the device, and heard about all of those games Sony and its partners currently have in development for the device. What we don't know is how much it will actually cost and when we'll be able to get our hands on it.
Well, it looks like we might not be waiting much further, as Sony Computer Entertainment America President Shawn Layden announced during the PS Blogcast that now is the time for PlayStation VR. Layden said there are “a lot of things to talk about” at GDC when it comes to PlayStation VR, so expect to have at least some of those lingering questions answered within the next seven days.
To Sony's credit, this all feels pretty cleverly orchestrated. By waiting for the direct competition to make their announcements and watching how gamers responded, they can more carefully plot their own release plans and build an unveiling that's designed to turn a few heads. If they had a bit of wiggle room on the pricing front, for instance, and saw how folks responded to the cost of the Vive and Rift, that might affect where they feel comfortable pricing their own unit. That wouldn't be dissimilar to what happened back when the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One were first detailed. With a show later in the day, Sony was able to pull an audible in order to steal some of Microsoft's thunder.
In the podcast, Shawn Layden goes on to call this era a sort of “perfect storm” for VR. We finally have the technology to start doing it right, and gamers have shown an interest in it. He said that, if developers play their cards right, VR could genuinely be the next big thing for gaming. He goes on to compare VR to the smartphone, explaining that while they were basically “an iPod but I can make a phone call” in the beginning, they've blossomed into something wholly different.
While we're excited to see what that next step for VR means, we're more excited to see Sony take its first step into VR with loads of details at GDC next week.