Almost a year after its launch, Sony is upgrading its PlayStation VR headset. The Japanese firm plans to keep it simple regarding the design of the headset. However, there are going to be other changes, such as increased functionality, along with integrated stereo headphones cables and an upgraded processor.
It’s a welcome change, given the fact that Sony has not made any changes since the first ever VR headset was launched. However, the price was dropped a little with the intention of making the headset more affordable, allowing gamers to enjoy popular games such as Robinson: The Journey and Farpoint, Superhot VR and so on.
In a blog post on Monday, Sony revealed that customers would be able to tell the new headset from the old one because of the packaging. The previous headset model number was CUH-ZVR1, and the new PlayStation VR headset has a model number of CUH-ZVR2.
Sony’s CUH-ZVR2 headset will have a better design and a slimmer connection cable. It also features an updated Processor Unit to allow users to enjoy HDR-compatible content on a smart TV “without having to disconnect the Processor Unit from the PS4 system or the TV. It is worth to note that this function can be used only when the VR headset is turned off,” the Japanese firm said.
The new PlayStation VR headset will be released on October 14 in Japan, but the date for North America is yet to be announced. In Japan, the updated VR headset (in a bundle with the PlayStation Camera) will cost ¥44,980 (about $400). But for North America, Sony has promised to keep the bundle prices unchanged, claims The Verge.
With the launch of a new PlayStation VR headset, Sony is apparently looking to stay relevant and on top of the virtual reality market. Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Andrew House told Reuters recently that the virtual reality market should be more competitive, and that being a VR leader with a thin margin is not a very comfortable place to be in.
“With a brand new category of a market, you want a variety of platforms, all doing well to create that rising tide,” House told Reuters.
Sales figures reveal that Sony is ahead of its rivals by a significant margin in the VR category. Although it is behind Samsung in global headset sales, it had sold a total of 519,400 units before the second quarter of 2017, capturing 24.4% of the total market share, according to IDC. In comparison, Oculus managed to sell 246,900 units (an 11.6% market share), while HTC sold 94,500 headsets (a 4.4% share).
Sony will mark the first anniversary of its VR headset this month. To mark the occasion, it will launch a series of videos celebrating the device and the popular achievements.
In a blog post, Sony said, “It has been almost a year since the launch of PlayStation VR. And during that time, PlayStation and its partners have built a library of more than 100 games which cater to all genres.”