What is PlayStation VR?
Sonys PlayStation VR is just what the fledgling Virtual Reality industry needs right now, but its long-term potential remains unclear as you will see from this genius tech tips review.
First off, the PlayStation VR is the cheapest entry point to truly immersive VR that goes beyond what you can get with phone basics experience like the Galaxy gear. This VR system starts at just $400, but you will have to shell out $500 if you don’t already have the PlayStation move controllers and camera. Of course the PS VR also needs a PlayStation 4 to be used, which goes for around $300 today. Yeah this is a lot of money, but still far less than paying for a capable gaming PC, and the $600 Oculus rift, or $800 HTC Vive.
PlayStation VR Commercial
PlayStation VR Design
The PS VR has the most comfortable and polished headset design on the VR market right now. Instead of the cheap looking head strap, this system uses a single cushioned arm to secure itself to your head. Only one wire is connected to the headset instead of the mess of cables you get from the Vive.
With its clean lines and rounded design, the PS VR simply looks like a far more consumer friendly product than either of its competitors.
In the box the core PS VR bundle consists of the headset, processing unit, headphones, demo disc and all of the required cables.
Sony thankfully also includes in this bundle some easy-to-follow instructions for setting up the system, but it will still take a few minutes to get everything connected. If you don’t already have the PlayStation camera and move controllers, you’ll also need a few minutes to get those connected with the $500 bundle.
The processing unit connects to your PS 4 and a small breakout box attaches from the front, which is where you connect the headset and headphones.
Is Playstation VR easy to use?
While the PlayStation VR works better in a living room situation than the rift or Vive, you’ll still have to make room for the cables and to be careful not to trip.
Putting the PS VR headset on takes a bit of getting used to, it involves opening up the telescope portion of the lens, and pulling back on the headband. There’s a small dial that tightens the headset around your head.
Naturally the headset has plenty of padding around the face and nose. I had no trouble wearing it for hours at a time. It’s even more comfortable than the Rift, even though the PS VR headset is 0.3 pounds heavier.
Included in the box is a demo the gives you a taste of several VR experiences, which is a nice way to test the waters, but you’ll definitely want to pick up some games eventually.
Sony’s also offering Playroom VR, another batch of virtual experiences as a free download.
So how do games look and feel in the PlayStation VR?
Surprisingly good it turns out! You won’t mistake them for the smoother and sharper experiences on PC VR headsets, but Sony has managed to do a lot with the PlayStation 4 ageing hardware.
Batman Arkham VR does a convincing job of making you feel like you’re Batman, with detailed environments and impressive motion capturing using the move controllers, you are immersed in rich sounds, surroundings and environments.
Rez Infinite is a fully immersive spin on the classic dream cast game. It’s simplistic graphics are well suited to the PS VR headset limitations.
PlayStation VR World has an assortment of experiences to try out, including taking on the role of a British gangster with some accurate shooting mechanics.
The PlayStation VR displays games at 1080p at up to 120hz across its OLED display, while the Vive and Rift offer a 2160×1240 combined resolution. This reduce in resolution for the PS VR leads to jaggy lines and overall less realistic graphics. This is even more pronounced in games that are rendered in an even lower resolution. A lower resolution of what you see in the headset, also gets put out to your TV set.
The PlayStation VR field of view is also lower at 100 degrees, compared to the 110 degrees for the competitors. This unfortunately makes things look more like your looking through a pair of binoculars than actually having the experience of being there in the game.
That said, while the PS VR is clearly behind when it comes to tech, its wide variety of games completely outshines the competitions. It has 31 launch titles to go and a lot more on the way. This large ecosystem of games together with the price-tag makes the PS VR a much more compelling option to me.
Should you buy the PlayStation VR?
It is still unclear wether it’s worth investing in the PlayStation VR at this point. The PS VR hardware won’t age gracefully as newer headsets hit the market, and it will likely get even cheaper next year when the PS4 pro also goes down in price.
If you have the cash, the PlayStation VR is a decent way to scratch your virtual reality taste-buds now, and I would definitely say the PS VR is enough to satisfy the virtual reality dreams I had as a kid. However I would suggest keeping in mind the PS VR could just be a system with a limited lifespan.
Thank you for visiting my PlayStation VR review!