PlayStation VR was launched in 2016 and is currently the best-selling high-end VR headset.
It is not surprising, given just how tempting a buy it’s if you currently have a PS4. Why shell out to get a high-performing, room-tracking, PC-tethered headset out of Oculus or even HTC, when you can just plug something to the console under your telly? We’re convinced that more than Sony will continue to improve its VR (and possibly even AR) offerings over the next several years, and the rumors are that a Playstation VR 2 is not far away.
The word on the Sony road is the PSVR 2 will tie in the PlayStation 5 launch, as the headset could benefit from the new console’s updated hardware. As for the headset, it is possible that it may home an abysmal resolution screen fabricated that boasts 1,001 pixels per inch. Fingers crossed.
To learn more about what we’re expecting from the new headset, visit our dedicated PlayStation VR two hub.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, the existing PlayStation VR headset brings the world of virtual reality to a console in a big way.
Because although these higher-end headsets cost more to operate, you also need an expensive gaming PC that can power them which is a massive barrier to entry for most people.
For this reason (and a lot more, as we will get into) that the PlayStation VR virtual reality headset is still going strong nearly two years following its initial launch. That might begin to change as VR companies venture to less expensive products, like the Oculus Go, but for now, the PSVR is the very best for your money.
And Sony is unquestionably serious about virtual reality. We have had strong evidence that it’s committing a great deal of energy and time to VR growth by the PlayStation VR games that were released, and those to come.
To cap it off, and a Bluetooth headset has been released in late 2017, which addresses the original headset’s lack of HDR-passthrough, better audio experience, and overall relaxation.
PlayStation VR and barriers to VR
For today, the PlayStation VR is really different from anything else on the market. While Oculus Rift has closed in on the price disparity, the PSVR merely requires a PS4 console to operate, not an expensive PC installation.
Although we have already mentioned the Oculus Move as a rival, it does not offer you the immersive gaming caliber that the PSVR does. So although it’s a fantastic way to VR for lots of people, it does not speedily match up.
When you think about it, it really is noteworthy that the affordable PSVR alternative is as capable as it is. It has its problems, but by and large, the PlayStation VR proves that not only is console VR viable, but it’s also actually enjoyable, too.
We’ve now tried dozens of games on the PlayStation VR console, from Rocksteady’s impressive (but brief ) Batman: Arkham VR, to the laugh-out-loud humorous Job Simulator, to the tear-jerking Wayward Sky as well as gun-peripheral-toting terror game Farpoint VR.
Some of these titles were more fun than others, of course, but most of these made the same point: PSVR doesn’t suck. Before we proceed to talk about PlayStation VR’s finer points (and foibles), let’s get the basics out of the way. With the package re-using existing PlayStation peripherals such as the Move controllers and Camera, the PSVR headset itself was marketed separately in some cases, despite the additional components being vital parts of getting everything up-and-running.
If you didn’t already have the PlayStation Camera or Move Motion Controllers, the PSVR Launch Day bundle was the better bet, but today we are further down the line the packages — along with the messaging around exactly what parts you will need — are far better.
On August 21, you can find the PlayStation VR DOOM VFR package for $261.99 in the US, which contains the headset camera, and a DOOM VFR Kinect disk. There is also a Skyrim VR bundle for $349.99. Both these rates are $150 less than their initial listing price.
In the united kingdom, meanwhile, a starter package costs #253.55down from #349. In Australia, the exact same pack is priced at AU$549.
Besides the PlayStation VR unit and also the PlayStation Camera, all you’ll need is a PS4 (either the Slim edition, the three-year-old original or the ultra-powerful PS4 Pro will do), a PS4 DualShock 4 controller, and a 6-foot-by-10-foot play space that is well lit, but maybe not overly bright.
Setting the PlayStation VR unit can be done in a matter of minutes along with the provided instructions supply a clear visual guide to get you up and running.
How can PlayStation VR operate?
Like other virtual reality headsets available on the current market, PlayStation VR has the tough task of fully immersing you into a movie game by creating two pictures simultaneously and then sending them into a headset several feet off. But unlike competing devices (which require costly graphics cards to get the work done), PS VR can do it with just the PlayStation 4 built-in GPU.
It accomplishes this by using the PlayStation Camera to monitor nine distinct points of light on the headset, in addition to the lights on each of the Move controllers or around the DualShock 4, depending on which game you are playing.
It’s surprisingly accurate given the fact that it’s only using one camera to track what’s happening… but it is not foolproof by any stretch of the imagination. We’ll cover functionality in detail in a moment, but be ready for the camera to eliminate track of the controllers. A lot.
But the real bummer here is that because Sony only uses a camera rather than 2, it is tougher for PlayStation VR to track you if you get up and stroll around than it is to get a system like the HTC Vive, which may provide true room-scale VR.
In case you decide to get up and wander about, the PSVR can accompany one to an extent but don’t expect to take more than a couple of steps in any direction with no warning from the system that you are straying too far off. If you are prone to motion sickness, sitting might be a little comfier, but certain games are definitely better played in your feet.
Depending on where and how you angle your camera, shifting between sitting and standing may not be so simple, so it is best to find an angle which covers the vast majority of the room if you happen to would like to change from one to another without having to get up, move the camera and recalibrate.
VR has been around in 1 form or another for a long time, but the modern version of the technology is much more immersive and not as nausea-inducing as it has ever been. In less or more words, virtual reality is simply that — a virtual universe that provides you the experience of being somewhere else at another time, in a different location — as far as an alien world, all without ever leaving your home.
If you want to be certain about it, PlayStation VR can handle 1080p matches on its 920 x RGB x 1080 OLED display at either 90Hz (meaning that the picture refreshes itself 90 times a second) or at 120Hz depending on the VR game or program.
And for those concerned about latency, Sony states that PlayStation VR’s response rate is locked at around 18ms — which is roughly 0.002 seconds faster than the greatest acceptable latency before you would notice the lag in VR.
Those amounts are great, but they are matched with both the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. The 1 benefit Sony has that neither Oculus nor HTC can claim is that it’s really a world-class game publisher. While another two have been attempting to create connections with developers over the past few decades, Sony already has them.
As a result, the finest PlayStation VR games record is being constantly updated with excellent fresh adventures, with a lot more coming all of the time. By shooters to puzzlers, platformers to narrative experiences, there is variety and depth to PSVR’s climbing gaming catalog.
PlayStation VR on PS4 Pro
There’s also an additional piece of hardware to think about when looking at purchasing a PlayStation VR, and that is Sony’s brand new, ultra-powered PS4 Pro.
With added processing capacity, the PS4 Guru is capable of creating a much more immersive virtual reality experience for the games which support it.
The improvements PS4 Pro promises can take many forms — from detailed textures to draw distances, and even a small reduction in graininess. The advantages differ from game-to-game, and the PS4 Guru is currently set up to only support games where the developer has empowered”Pro Mode”, a hardware fostering technology that informs the PS4 to use additional processing power.
While composing the PS4 Professional review, we got the opportunity to try the upgraded hardware together with the PlayStation VR and the results have been apparent if a little underwhelming in fact.
There is definitely a distinct difference between PS4 and PS4 Pro versions of VR games. But it’s probably not one which can be spotted by the unwitting non-techie — it is something that you can only spot if you’re paying close attention to how particular textures seem in-game or how things look in the space. Lag felt less widespread on the Guru program, though in all fairness, it wasn’t something we felt was a major difficulty whilst using the conventional-issue console.