Sony's PlayStation VR launching in October for $399

As competition in the virtual reality sphere heats up, Microsoft's competitor in the gaming space, Sony, has announced that its PlayStation VR headset will launch in October for $399. Sony made the announcement during a keynote at the Game Developers Conference 2016 (GDC), where the company also showed off footage of upcoming titles and more.

Sony also detailed the final hardware specs of the headset, noting a 5.7-inch OLED display running at a 120 Hz refresh rate and carrying a total resolution of 1920 x 1080 at 960 x 1080 per eye. Sony says the field of view comes in at right around 100 degrees with latency at under 18ms.

As far as pricing is concerned, PlayStation VR's $399 pricing compares to the Oculus Rift's $600 price tag and the HTC Vive's $800 price point. The Oculus Rift is due out by the end of March while the HTC Vive is expected to start shipping in April. So while Sony's offering will be late to the party, it's also significantly cheaper. However, do keep in mind that it appears the PlayStation Move camera and controllers required for tracking will cost extra, bumping that $399 price up a bit more.

One other big advantage for Sony is that PlayStation VR only requires a Playstation 4 to get started. That's compared to the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, which both require rather beefy gaming PCs that could represent a significant hurdle (and cost) for interested buyers. Add in Sony's already rather significant install base with the PlayStation 4, and it will be interesting to see if the company gets a leg up in sales.

Microsoft, so far, is leaning on external partners for their VR story and have not announced any official VR plans themselves. That may change by the time we hit E3 in June, but so far there are no rumors of a Microsoft-branded device. Instead, Microsoft appears to have put all their efforts into HoloLens and augmented reality.

Do you think Sony will gain the upper hand over Microsoft with their VR system? Let us know in comments.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl