Author: Jonas W. Kvist
Date: October 16, 2016
Sony’s PlayStation VR (PS VR) has been released, and we have finally had the opportunity to test the VR headset. Although right now, this VR headset is the heaviest in its class, it is still surprisingly comfortable. Similarly, the quality of the VR experiences it can deliver is a pleasant surprise. Because even though PS VR is “only” hooked up to a PS4, and although the VR headset also has the lowest specs in the high-end category of VR headsets, it still manages to deliver a very convincing VR experience. Add to this a selection of games that is better than the selection for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, and what you have is a very successful product.
Buy VR Guide Score
- Can be used with PlayStation 4
- Nice design
- Good and expanding selection of games
- Positional tracking
- Very comfortable
- Cheapest high-end VR headset
- Limited mobility (wired)
- Lowest screen resolution and field of view in the high-end class
- Many will still find the price prohibitive
Sony already has a loyal player base, which can now be expected to get even bigger with their arrival on the VR scene. They’re stepping in about six months after Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, but already at launch, they will have a more promising selection of games than the competition. Aside from that, PlayStation VR “only” requires a PlayStation 4, rather than an expensive gamer PC. The limited hardware of the PS4 means that you don’t get quite the same resolution and field of vision, but Sony PlayStation still delivers a very good and immersive VR experience.
The lower price also means that more will be able to participate. At the time of this writing, the price is around $550 for the PlayStation VR headset, but remember that at minimum you’ll also need a PS4 PlayStation Eye camera which costs approximately $80. The controllers at $80-90 are almost a must as well, since they make the experiences considerably more immersive. When all is said and done, you end up with a price tag of $730. For many, this is a high price, but compared to the other high-end VR headsets, it is relatively low – especially for those who already have a PS4.
Buy PlayStation VR:
PlayStation VR Review
Most likely, a lot of you readers have played a lot of PlayStation, as I have myself. Therefore, it was with great anticipation that I read about their demo launch at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in 2014. Here the news broke about their VR headset – Project Morpheus. Since then, Sony’s VR product has been given a more descriptive name, however – PlayStation VR.
With Sony’s VR headset follows a small box that needs to be connected to your PS4 via USB and HDMI. It can also be hooked up to your TV, which must just make the experience even more awesome and more social, since that way your friends and family can see which VR universe you are moving around in.
PlayStation VR uses the PlayStation 4 camera for positional tracking. The camera can track the VR headset 1000 times per second, which contributes to providing a very realistic experience. The camera tracks the blue LED lights on the headset, as well as the light from the PlayStation Move handheld controller. PS Move can be used as virtual hands in the various games, for instance, and it has more functions than the regular controllers. According to recognized Tech journalist and expert Sean Hollister (co-founder of The Verge), the quality and true to life experience of PlayStation Move doesn’t quite measure up to Oculus Touch and the HTC Vive controllers, however. In addition to PS Move, you can obviously play with the regular DualShock controllers as well.
You can’t help comparing the PS VR with the competition. FOV (Field of View) for the PS4 is 100 degrees. For the competition, it is 110-120 degrees. The resolution of the OLED screen in the PS VR headset is 1920×1080 (full HD) compared to that of HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, which is 2160×1200. This contributes to making PS VR slightly less immersive than the other two. Even so, the most important thing, which is the convincing VR experience, is intact.
The chosen material for Sony’s VR headset has made for a very durable headset. Instead of using fabric and foam as seen with other VR headsets, Sony has opted for using rubber. Thus, the VR headset can easily be cleaned with a wet rag or a cloth for cleaning glasses.
On the launch date, there are already 30 PS VR games available. In addition, Sony has announced that another 20 PlayStation VR games will be released by year end. That is a very respectable game selection. Below, I have described a few of the games I really like.
Robinson: The Journey
Here, you play the role of the boy Robin, who has landed on a prehistoric planet. In this game, you face a number of tasks, where you explore the planet while avoiding various prehistoric animals, such as dinosaurs.
The London Heist
The setting is London’s criminal underground, where you play the role of a hardboiled gangster. An intense game, where the PS Move controller contributes to making it an even more lifelike experience.
At GDC in March of 2016, Sony revealed what the price of their coming VR headset would be. You can now purchase the PlayStation VR headset via the link on this page – at the time of this writing, the price is $490 incl. shipping (remember you need a PS4 camera and controller set).
Sony has a clear advantage compared to some of their competitors. They already have a large, loyal user base, and they also have many partners delivering amazing games. In addition, I think that the design of the VR headset is among the most successful I have seen so far.
Sony postponed the launch of PlayStation VR from April 2016 to October 2016. Rumor had it that the hardware was ready, but that they weren’t a hundred percent ready with the games. And it appears that there waiting has paid off, because the enticing selection of games is the main thing making the PS VR stand out.
If you have a PS4 already, and you have the money to spend, I recommend buying PlayStation VR. If you think the price is too high, you should focus on mobile VR headsets instead, where you can also get a great many hours of entertainment for the money.