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Sony discusses its virtual reality play in a market full of like-minded headsets

TechCrunch TechCrunch 15/06/2016 Brian Heater

Between Oculus, HTC, Samsung and a slew of smaller hardware manufacturers, 2016 is the year that VR presence played out like a hockey stick graph at E3. To say it’s the story of the show is to greatly under represent just how big a role it’s played over the course of the last few days here in downtown Los Angeles, serving as the focal point for a majority of big companies exhibiting  at the show.

Even Microsoft capped of its big pre-E3 event by teasing an upcoming console upgrade designed specifically to tackle the rigorous hardware requirements that VR presents. Sony’s certainly got its chief competitor beat on that front. The hardware giant first unveiled Project Morpheus back in 2014, giving the project the much more straight forward PlayStation VR title last year.

At this year’s event, the company show off a selection of the titles PlayStation will be seeing by year’s end, along with the announcement of the headset’s pricing and availability. The $399 price tag will undoubtedly be one of the device’s top selling points, undercutting the Rift and Vive by $200 and $400, respectively.

Vice-President, Marketing at Sony PlayStation John Koller added that the company’s VR push is about a lot more than just price. “We do have a $399 price point on the core unit,” he told TechCrunch. “I think that gives us a nice opportunity in the market. I think the games give us the bigger opportunity. [We’ll have] 50 games by the end of the year and 150 in development. And something like 230 developers. It’s an incredible amount of content.”

And while gaming is, at present, far and away the technology’s primary driver, the company is naturally looking beyond that industry, working with content developers to create other immersive experiences with its headset. “We are talking and looking at non-game options,” he added. “We have to. I think the biggest thing that’s interesting is that Choose Your Own Adventure style. The story’s going to take on many different threads.”

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