You’ve gotten over the $400 asking price for the PlayStation 4 virtual reality headset, PlayStation VR. “Fine! Fine. I’ll drop four large on the future. Fine.”
Unfortunately, that isn’t quite enough — you’ll need to drop another chunk of change as well.
What you see above is everything that comes in the $400 PlayStation VR package: the headset itself, a bunch of wires, and a small black “breakout box” that acts as a go-between for the headset and the PlayStation 4 console that powers the headset.
It’s missing one crucial component that is required for PlayStation VR to function: the PlayStation 4 Camera.
The camera you see above is the PlayStation 4 Camera, which costs $60. It isn’t just something nice to have — it’s outright required for PlayStation VR to function.
You read that right: if you buy the $400 PlayStation VR package announced today, and you bring it home, it won’t do anything without a functioning PlayStation Camera.
The answer is surprisingly simple: the headset is unable to be tracked by the PlayStation 4 without the camera watching your moves. Therefore, no camera, no VR. Facebook’s Oculus Rift headset, by contrast, comes with a camera for tracking your movement. The same goes for HTC’s Vive, which uses a tracking system called “Lighthouse” to determine where you are.
And that’s to say nothing of motion controls. Sony’s PlayStation Move controllers (pictured above, to the right of the gamepad) also aren’t included in the $400 package. They cost another $30 apiece or so.
Some people may already own the PlayStation camera though. It’s been an optional accessory for the PS4 since the console first launched. That could be why Sony didn’t bundle the camera with PlayStation VR. It wouldn’t make sense for some people to have two cameras.
Anyway. Welcome to the future, folks. It’s gonna get expensive real fast.