For months, it’s seemed that 2016 would be the year that the major players attempting to bring virtual reality to the main stream finally set up their respective stalls. However, it seems that one of those efforts may have hit a snag, as it’s being reported that PlayStation VR might not hit retail until later in the year.
This development came as GameStop CEO Paul Raines appeared as a guest on the Fox Business Channel yesterday morning, according to a report from Ars Technica. Raines noted that the video game retail chain expects to begin stocking the VR hardware in the fall.
That seems to contradict the official line Sony has been sticking to for quite some time, which centered on the vague but seemingly solid release window of the first half of 2016. That date has been parroted since it was first broached at an unveiling of the hardware held in March 2015.
However, it’s worth considering the massive changes that PlayStation VR has undergone in that time. Back then, it was known under the more interesting code name of Project Morpheus, and likely had a way to go in terms of development. Given their competition in this field, Sony will likely have been watching its rivals very closely.
There’s also the fact that video game hardware is typically launched in the run-up to Christmas. Given that other VR headsets have been closer to the price of a brand-new console than an accessory, there might be concerns that releasing the headset in the summer would backfire.
While there will be lots of PlayStation 4 owners disappointed to have to wait a little longer for VR, this delay might not be such bad news. Headsets intended for use with PC hardware are somewhat separate from the console industry, so Sony might find some success in hanging back and observing how the likes of the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive fare.