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Oculus Rift vs. The HTC Vive vs. PlayStation VR: The Price And Release Date Guide

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It's hard to believe that virtual reality is almost here. After years of development kits and vague release windows, the first three major headsets are almost ready for launch.

If you haven't been keeping up with all the VR news over the past few years, it can be a bit confusing. Even if you have been trying to keep up, there have been so many conflicting reports and rampant speculation that just figuring out what's real and what isn't can be a massive chore. There's a lot to keep track of, too - it's not just about platforms or manufacturers, as everything from basic pricing to release dates have changed on a number of occasions.

Thankfully, with Sony's recent announcement of the PlayStation VR's price point and release date, fans finally have an idea of when they can strap in and experience the next big thing in gaming. If you've ever wondered how much the Oculus will cost, or when the HTC Vive is set to ship, look no further:

The Rift


Developed by:
• Oculus
Launch Date:
• March 28
Platform:
• PC
Price:
• $599.99

If you've ever heard about someone wearing a VR headset, they're probably talking about the Oculus Rift. Born from an extremely successful Kickstarter campaign, the Rift easily has the largest install base of any of the virtual reality platform, and dozens of games already support the headset.

It'll take a powerful computer to get the games to work - but, with so much support for the system already, the Oculus Rift seems like a safe bet for any curious early adopters.

HTC Vive


Developed by:
• Valve/HTC
Launch Date:
• April 5
Platform:
• PC
Price:
• $799.99

The Rift's main competition comes from somewhere that few fans would have ever expected: Valve. By teaming up with hardware manufacturer HTC, the company behind Steam and Half-Life is preparing its own VR experience - and, while it's a bit pricier than the Rift, there are plenty of people who will tell you that the Vive experience is vastly superior to any other headset on the market.

Much like its competition, the Vive headset requires a beefy rig in order to play - expect to drop at least $1,000 for a computer powerful enough to run the hardware, if not more. No one said virtual reality was cheap...

PlayStation VR


Developed by:
• Sony
Launch Date:
• October 2016
Platform:
• PlayStation 4
Price:
• $399.99

PlayStation VR, formerly known as Project Morpheus, is Sony's way of throwing its hat into the virtual reality race. While the other headsets require powerful gaming PCs to run, Sony is confident that the only thing VR fans will need to use the PSVR is a PlayStation 4 - and at just $400, it's easily the cheapest option out of the three.

The only thing that could really hold the headset back is the software: save for a few select games, Sony has yet to detail the PlayStation VR's library.

Virtual reality could signal the next big shift in the gaming industry - and, thankfully, it won't be much longer before gamers can finally try it out for themselves.

For more on virtual reality, check out our coverage hub.

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