Further proof that 2016 could yet be the year virtual reality takes off came with the launch of Sony's (SNE - Get Report) PlayStation VR.

The headset, which retails at $399, promises the user an immersive gaming experience at a fraction of the price of Facebook's (FB - Get Report) Oculus Rift VR portal and  the HTC Vive. Some observers claim the device will bring "virtual reality to the masses," and Sony shares rose by 1.3% in Tokyo on Thursday.

Gadget nerds had high hopes that virtual reality would take off as a means of consuming, and sharing, media this year, though several high-profile launches have failed to gain significant traction because of the high cost for early adopters.

But the Sony launch could change this.

And rivals are also working to lower their entry points. HTC (HTCKF)  and HP (HPQ - Get Report) just announced a partnership to make the Vive system more affordable. The companies are bundling an HP Envy desktop and the Vive system for $1,499, representing a saving of more than $100 on buying the two separately.

And Facebook's Oculus Touch controller this week became available for pre-order, offering, at a price of about $200, a more affordable alternative to the Rift portal.

In March Oculus launched a new VR software package that could ultimately replace the pub.

Oculus Social Trivia works by allowing users to create an online avatar and then battle other avatars in trivia contents, or join together to watch videos produced by film maker-founded Vimeo or Amazon-backed (AMZN - Get Report) video streaming service Twitch in virtual chatrooms.

Elsewhere in the VR world, Alphabet's (GOOGL - Get Report) YouTube launched its 360-degree live streaming service at Coachella in California in April, allowing festival goers to share their experience with friends remotely and connecting artists including headliners Guns N 'Roses and LCD Soundsystem to a global audience.

(Alphabet, Amazon and Facebook are holdings of Jim Cramer's charitable trust Action Alerts PLUS. See all of his holding with a free trial here. )