Sony has officially announced the price and release date of its PlayStation VR virtual reality headset at an event held in San Francisco to coincide with GDC 2016. The gaming giant confirmed a $399 / £349 price point for the PS4-compatible device.

The device will launch in October 2016. The Playroom VR, a collection of VR games and demos, will be made available for free to all PSVR users using the device for the first time. Pre-order details will be announced later this evening (15 March). Sony also confirmed that a Star Wars Battlefront game is currently in development exclusively for the device.

Something not mentioned at the event is that the PSVR will require a PlayStation Camera, which is not included in the core bundle. This is sold separately in the region of £35-40.

PlayStation VR requires the PlayStation Camera, which is available separately. #psvr

— PlayStation UK (@PlayStationUK) March 15, 2016

At the event, Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Andrew House said: "It's been a long road for virtual reality, one that's gone back and forth from the research labs and taken a lot of twists and turns into and out of the consumer consciousness. One could argue that VR is a natural extension of the kind of experience that PlayStation has always tried to deliver to gamers."

The final consumer version of the headset has a 5.7 inch OLED screen supporting a resolution of 960 x 1080p per eye. It has a 100 degree field of vision and will support 360 degree tracking and 3D audio. It will support the DualShock 4 and PlayStation Move controllers.

PlayStation VR won't directly compete with the likes of the HTC Vive (retailing at £689.00) and Oculus Rift (£499.00) because it works exclusively with the PlayStation 4 console. However it will provide a more accessible point of entry into virtual reality for consumers. If PlayStation VR succeeds, so too will the VR industry – for a while at least.

Sony announced PlayStation VR, which was codenamed Project Morpheus at the time, back at GDC 2014 where Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida showed off the first prototype model (similar to the final product) and said it would "shape the future of games".

Back in November we put together a list of the 50+ games and demos known to exist for PlayStation VR, many of which will see the light of day this year. In January Sony CEO Kaz Hirai stated that over 100 games are currently in development for the headset.

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