Sony really wants you to try its VR gaming headset, and thus, to make it more affordable has lowered its price. The Japanese company has dropped the price of its PSVR bundles in the U.S. and Europe by $100. The new pricing is effective on Thursday.
“We have some great news for those who have been waiting to jump into PlayStation VR. Starting tomorrow, March 29, we’re reducing the MSRP of PSVR, now starting at $299.99 USD/379.99 CAD (MSRP),” Sony said.
In the U.S., the PlayStation VR Doom bundle, which now costs $299, includes a PSVR headset, the Doom VFR game, and PlayStation Camera. The PlayStation VR Skyrim bundle, which now costs $349.99, includes two PlayStation Move controllers, PSVR headset and PlayStation Camera.
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For the European users, the Starter Bundle, which now costs €299.99, includes PSVR, PlayStation Camera and a download code for the PlayStation VR Worlds game. Further, the PSVR bundles for the U.S. will come with an updated PSVR headset, notes The Verge. The new headset has an upgraded processor along with more streamlined design. It is not clear if the European version also has the refreshed version.
“It’s the right time in the life cycle” for a price drop, said PlayStation’s head of sales and operations, Steve Turvey, according to USA Today. “With the depth of content (on PSVR), it’s a great time to take the price down and make it more accessible.”
Currently, in the U.S., the company offers 220 PSVR-supported titles, including first-person shooter Farpoint and family-friendly action game Moss. Other VR games coming to PlayStation are the racing games Wipeout, Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality, and four vs. four shooting game Firewall Zero Hour.
“This year on PSVR it’s all about the content, with more than 180 games and experiences expected to launch by the end of the year, adding to a catalog of 220 PSVR supported titles already available in the U.S,” the company said in a blog post.
Though the company hasn’t explicitly said that it is a permanent price cut, it does look so. In February, the price of PSVR bundles were also lowered, but that was a temporary cut.
Gamers have been slow to adopt virtual reality. Price is seen as the biggest roadblock in the mass adoption of the VR. Sony will be hoping that a drop in price would encourage more users to try its VR bundles. The Japanese company has sold over 2 million PlayStation VR units since its launch in October 2016. Sony’s VR system work with PS4 and PS4 Pro.
HTC, along with several other companies, have found it hard to drop the prices of their VR headset to a level that is acceptable to most buyers. Facebook, on the other hand, is hoping that its $200 Oculus Go headset, which doesn’t need a smartphone or connection to PC, will help it dominate the market. Oculus Go is yet to hit the market. Considering this, it is a smart move from Sony to drop the price of its VR bundles as it doesn’t want the buyers to wait for the Oculus Go.
HTC’s Vive starts at $499, while Facebook-owned Oculus Rift starts at $599.99. Both the VR headsets need a PC to work. According to SuperData Research, sales of VR hardware and software are expected to double this year to $4.5 billion from 2.2 billion in 2017. In 2020, the number is expected to hit $14.5 billion.
In separate news, PlayStation 4 was the top-selling console last month, according to industry tracker firm NPD Group. Despite PS4’s impressive sales, it was Nintendo Switch that hogged the limelight. The Switch is now the fastest-selling video game console in the U.S. over its first year. Sony’s console is still the best-selling for 2018 so far.
“Over the first twelve months in market, Nintendo Switch has achieved the highest installed base for a console platform in history,” said NPD’s Mat Piscatella. “Sony’s PlayStation 4 was the best-selling console in February” and “remains the best-selling console year to date.”
According to the NPD Group, the video game industry, overall, generated total sales of $995 million last month, an increase of 23% from last year. Hardware spending was up 55%. The sale of consoles was also strong in January 2018. Though Switch was the top-selling console, gamers spent the most on the PS4. Microsoft’s Xbox One also posted its best ever January performance, thanks to the Xbox One X.