PlayStation VR could be surprise leader in virtual reality wars

Analysts claim Sony’s PlayStation VR virtual reality headset will outstrip Oculus Rift and HTC Vive sales

Sony’s PlayStation VR virtual reality headset will outsell both Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive rival devices by the end of 2016, according to new research.

PlayStation VR, formerly known as Project Morpheus, has been in development for over four years, and is slated for consumer release within the first six months of next year.

The device will dominate the virtual reality headset marker over its competition due to an expected lower price tag and established PlayStation gaming network, shipping close to 1.5m headsets by the close of 2016, analyst IHS has forecast.

It predicts these sales to translate into more than $500m (£327m) in consumer spending, and around $300m (£196m) in Sony revenues, though the concrete price of the headset has yet to be announced.

Like PlayStation VR, Facebook-owned Rift and HTC Vive are also expected to go on full consumer sale within the first three months of 2016. Rift is expected to cost around $1,500 (£968), whilst the Vive’s price remains unknown.

Sony took the opportunity to showcase new games Tekken 7 and RIGS for the headset during Paris Games Week this week, but did not provide a specific release date.

Whilst PlayStation VR has been designed to immerse the wearer in a fully-realised artificial universe, arch rival Microsoft’s HoloLens headset deals in augmented reality, overlaying holograms into the user’s real-world environment.

Xbox Live has been opened up to developers for HoloLens use, pitting the two companies against each other in an ever-deadlier wrestle for dominance of the gaming industry.

Microsoft recently showcased the HoloLens’ gaming capabilities with a demo of its Project X-Ray platform, allowing the player to battle robot holograms within their own living room. HoloLens developer kits will be made available in the first quarter of 2016 priced at $3,000.

Piers Harding-Rolls, analyst at IHS, was confident about the rate of virtual reality adoption in the next 12 months.

“Overall we expect a slow ramp up of adoption and consumption of VR content,” he said. “While the market is more advanced than ever, there are still a number of hurdles that need to be overcome before we see broader consumer adoption.”

How Microsoft filmed Dave's HoloLens experience

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