PS4 Neo exists because ‘PlayStation VR was going to be terrible on a launch PS4’

Comments from a source described as a chief technical officer (CTO) working in the industry” have suggested that current PS4s may not offer the best experience for those looking to get a PlayStation VR.

IBTimes reports that a feature in the latest issue of Edge quotes the insider as saying: "PSVR was going to be terrible on a [launch] PS4. It was going to be truly awful. Something a bit more powerful starts to bring VR into range. If you want to deal with crazy requirements for performance in VR, you absolutely have to do this."

An anonymous lead designer from a European developer added: There hasn’t been a real outcry for more power, apart from developers making VR stuff – and those are weighted more heavily at the moment. VR is the most exciting development in the industry right now, and if it’s here to stay then there will be a lot of demand for more powerful hardware."

PS4 Neo will be revealed at E3 next month, most likely alongside a similarly upgraded Xbox One. Both machines will offer improved performance over their current iterations and, in Sony’s case, this is believed to offer particular benefits to those planning on getting PlayStation VR in October.

It is not clear whether the comments speak of the current status quo for PlayStation VR on existing PS4s, or whether the situation has since improved. Certainly hands-on reports of Sony’s headset combined with the existing machine have been positive.

Regardless, if it becomes clear that PS4 Neo offers a significantly better VR experience than vanilla PS4, the cost of the overall PlayStation VR package will for more tech-conscious consumers takes a big jump.

PlayStation VR will retail for 350. PS4 Neo will likely retail for the same, maybe more. That means an overall price of maybe 750 for the ‘best’ experience – that’s more than the HTC Vive (690) and way more than the Oculus Rift (500), although of course both of those options require a 1,000 (give or take) PC to use.

A big part of any purchasing decision will come down to software, of course, and that’s where Sony might hope to have an advantage. PlayStation VR will likely not be able to match the sheer breadth and variety of choices available on PC, but it has a good chance of snagging a handful of good exclusives, not least of which will be Sony’s first party offerings. And, from what MCV understands, some very significant third party IP, too…

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