The future of virtual reality on consoles lies on PlayStation VR. For a system that uses PS4 other than expensive gaming PC, PlayStation VR is an affordable introduction to quality VR even if the experiences aren’t as crisp as those found on HTC Vive or Oculus Rift. Launched in 2016 by Sony, PlayStation VR is one of the best-selling high-end VR headsets that you can purchase, especially if you already have a PS4 console. Let us see how PSVR hardware has become a game-changer in the world of virtual reality!
PSVR features seven front-facing blue tracking lights and a mix of black-and-white plastic curved face-design that give it a futuristic look. Sony has also forgone the standard head-strap and googles approach common with other headsets in the market, and has used an adjustable headband that makes the screen float in front of your eyes like a visor.
The PlayStation VR weight around 610g, but its design shifts the weight from the front of your eyes and places it on your forehead. This makes it to feel light and comfortable, despite being the heaviest mainstream headset on the market.
There is a button to move the faceplate forward and backward to adjust the image focus and help with putting the headset on and taking it off. You will also find a set of in-line controls for the PSVR that allow you to mute the build-in microphone, turn the VR unit on and off, plug in a pair of headphones, and control the headset volume.
Its breakout box or the Processor Unit only measures 143 x 36 x 143mm, and can easily be tucked away behind or next to your PS4. It is complete with a front-facing power status light strip and looks much like a tiny PlayStation 4.
The PlayStation VR comes with a lot of cables. You will need to plug a USB and HDMI cable from your PS4 into the breakout box, and another cable from the box to the PlayStation VR. The two PlayStation Move controllers will also need to be plugged into your PlayStation charge because they won’t charge from a standard USB mains adapter. You should also expect a lot of cable swapping, as the two Move controllers and the PlayStation VR require three USB ports, but the PS4 has only two.
Despite plenty of cables to connect, each cable and plug is clearly labeled, making the setup process to be incredibly easy and straightforward. Anyone can set this thing up, as the setup instruction manual is very clear in its instructions.
Instead of head straps, PlayStation uses an adjustable headband that helps to shift the weight from the front of your eyes and places it on your forehead. This makes it feel light and comfortable despite its weight. Also, the whole front that houses the screen is adjustable with the press of a button to move it forward and backward and adjust the image focus, while making it easy to put the headset on or take it off hassle-free.
- Adjustable headband
- Adjustable image focus
The PlayStation VR uses 5.7”, 1920 x 1080 OLED panel display, which is split into 960 x 1080 for each eye running at 120 frames per second to keep you seamlessly connected to the virtual world. While its screen resolution is lower than Rift’s and Vive’s 1080 x 1200 for each eye, it means that the picture will just be slightly grainer. It is not a very noticeable downgrade apart from minor pixilation with small text. The 120Hz refresh rate compensates for that with smoother motion than the 90 Hz for both Rift and Vive. So, PlayStation VR stands solidly alongside its peers, with crisp and smooth picture quality.
- 960 x 1080 pixels per eye
- 120Hz refresh rate
3D audio technology lets you discover a new dimension of sound by letting you pinpoint the direction and distance of sounds coming from above, below and all around you. The headset’s integrated microphone makes it easier for you to chat with your online friends, discuss in-game tactics, and strengthen your immersion in the VR world.
- 3D audio technology
- Integrated microphone
When it comes to the content side of things, the PlayStation VR shines, given the 22 years of experience of its creator –Sony- in the games business. That makes PlayStation VR have one of the best catalogs of available VR games right now. There is plenty to keep newbies busy: EVE: Valkyrie, PlayStation VR Worlds, RIGS, and Until Dawn: Rush of Blood, are all available titles that you can browse from the get-go! Each PSVR kit comes with a disc filled with a handful of demos to give you a broader idea of what is available for the platform: Arkham VR, Until Dawn, Bottlezone, Rush of Blood, among others.
The line-up of launch title is also healthy, as more third-party titles will continue to join PlayStation VR’s games catalog. Most PSVR games fall in the $20 to $40 price range, and only a few go up to $60. While there some of these games feel limited in scope, length, and substance as opposed to what you get for a full-price PS4 game, there is a real sense of production value in nearly everything offered.
The PlayStation VR is available in two bundles: PSVR with a PlayStation camera at $399, and PSVR with two Move controllers and a PlayStation Camera for $499. The PlayStation Camera is required to use the headset, while the motion controls are optional, but enable motion controls.
- Comfortable to wear even with glasses
- Amazing games already available
- Movies look great in the headset
- PS4 console need additional port to charge all controllers
- Processor unit doesn’t power down until you unplug it
- PlayStation Camera still fiddly
At $399, PlayStation VR is one of the cheapest virtual reality headsets you can buy right now. For that price, you can be sure to get value for your money without compromising a lot on performance and quality. The available games in its catalog are some of the best VR experiences you don’t want to miss, and the good news is that the headset is incredibly comfortable to wear, so that you can remain immersed in your gaming sessions.