By now you’ve heard the big news about PlayStation VR, Sony’s new PlayStation 4 virtual reality headset: it’s being released this October, there’s going to be plenty of games available, and it will cost $399. While that last bit certainly isn’t a lie, it is a bit misleading, unfortunately. Part of the reason the pricing is such a big deal is because the PlayStation VR drastically undercuts the $599 Oculus Rift and $799 HTC Vive, but there’s a few accessories required that Sony has neglected to put in the box.
The PS4 console itself is obvious, but that’s not I’m talking about here. It’s the PlayStation Camera accessory and the Move controllers. Players will possibly be able to get by without the latter, as not all games will use them, instead relying on the PS4’s standard DualShock controller, but the Camera is a must.
The PlayStation Camera — the thin, horizontal bar that gets placed in front of the TV — has been around since the console’s launch back in 2013, but Sony wisely left it out of box then too, allowing it to undercut the Xbox One’s launch price by $100. Used for motion controls in a select few games, the Camera has always been an option purchase, and as such it’s never been very popular among PS4 owners.
Now sold for $60, the Camera is used with the VR headset in order to track the wearer’s head position with the blue lights that appear around the edge. So if you don’t have the camera, you’re now looking at a $459 price for PlayStation VR.
Move controllers — the wand-like accessories with the glowing ball at the end — are sold for $50 each. They’re used with the VR in games that rely on motion controls, like hand movements or arm swings. The controllers are featured prominently in marketing images and video, along with several of the hands-on demos currently at the Game Developers Conference (GDC), but only certain games require them.
If you want to play one of these games, and don’t yet own a Move controller, the PlayStation VR price is now at $509. And if a game needs two Move controllers, one for each hand (keep in mind the Vive ships with two motion controllers, and the Rift will also work with a pair), well, now you’re up to $559 — seriously close to the Rift’s price.
READ NEXT: Hands-on with PlayStation VR
Being realistic, however, the odds are minimal that you’ll need to pay that much. Both the Camera and Move controllers can be found at discounted prices online, especially if you opt for used. If you are planning on grabbing the headset when it launches and need any of these accessories, best get to ordering before the end of summer, as demand is going to increase as the release nears.
It’s much more accurate to put the PlayStation VR’s price at somewhere between $400 and $500 for most PS4 owners. Sony is said to be planning for some kind of bundle for the headset, but it isn’t clear if that will be pairing the VR with some of the accessories, or with the PS4 console. It’s likely to be closer to launch before details and price on a bundle are confirmed.