For as long as we’ve heard about virtual reality, the mind-bending headsets have existed mainly as a high-priced luxury for gamers, not a mainstream attraction. But as PlayStation VR hits shelves ahead of the holiday shopping season, could that change?
With a price point lower than its direct competitors — $399 compared with HTC Vive at $799 and Oculus Rift at $599 — and an immersive experience that aims to expand from gaming into movies, music, and more, PlayStation VR has a chance to bring the technology into family rooms everywhere. It doesn’t hurt that there are more than 40 million PS4s in homes worldwide, making it easier for consumers to choose the PlayStation’s VR over rigs that require pricey gaming computers.
“You’re just going to plug it in and it works,” says Richard Marks, senior research engineer at Sony. “The ease of use and the ease of purchase are big advantages [to] make it go more mainstream. We’re leading with gaming, because it is coming from our Playstation group, but long-term it has a lot of uses beyond games.”
But if games are what you’re after, here are some of the titles that will be ready for PlayStation VR in time for the holidays:
• BATMAN: ARKHAM VR (Out now)
Literally suit up as Batman for a detective-mode-focused murder mystery that’s so realistic you’ll be disappointed to find you don’t actually live in Wayne Manor.
• BATTLEZONE (Out now)
An update on the classic Atari game that puts you inside the tank as you take down enemies.
• VR WORLDS (Out now)
A combination of five visually stunning experiences, among them playing as a Cockney gangster in The London Heist, a deep-sea diver in Ocean Descent, and an illegal street-racer in VR Luge.
• STAR WARS BATTLEFRONT ROGUE ONE: X-WING VR MISSION (Winter 2016)
Hands-on action from a Rebel cockpit — and it’s free to those who already own Battlefront!
• STAR TREK: BRIDGE CREW (March 14, 2017)
Team up with other friends who have VR to man the new U.S.S. Aegis starship as officers of the Federation.
Playstation VR is available now. Read EW’s review here.