Even though the word “shocking” tends to be used too often in the world of technology, it is actually the only term that can be used when it comes to the Virtual Reality – you won’t be able to believe how good it is until you see it with your very own eyes! This is something that many dreamed about for years, and ever since the launch of the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, that’s not a dream anymore – it’s the reality. A sudden rise of popularity of the VR headsets made Sony consider making their own VR, and it’s finally here – it’s called the Playstation VR.
Sony promotes their VR for a price of $399, but do not take this lightly – you cannot use it without the Playstation Camera, and this thing is sold separately for $59. Also, many of the launch titles require a Move controller, which is also sold separately for $30 per controller. Luckily, there are the bundle packages that include all of these things together, and they’re sold for around 500 bucks, giving it a head start in front of the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, which are much more expensive.
This difference in price is most obvious when it comes to the resolution of the display – unlike HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift (2160 x 1200), the resolution on PS VR’s display is 1920 x 1080, but it still looks pretty impressive. Let’s also mention that the PS4 has quite enough power to run some of the VR games at 90 fps, like Batman: Arkham VR or EVE Valkyrie, as well as some less graphically-intensive games, like the Job Simulator.
The Playstation camera
As we already said, the Playstation VR cannot work without the camera, and this is certainly the weakest aspect of the whole thing. The entire experience depends on this camera, and even though its functionality is pretty OK, its field of view isn’t quite big and you will probably move out of it too often. This means that you’ll probably have to adjust its angle while you’re playing, but even that sometimes won’t be enough – you’ll just have to be very steady and calm while at your sitting (or standing) position. Also, you’ll never be able to make a full 180 degrees turn and shoot something that’s behind you, or bend and pick up something that’s on the floor next to you – the games compensate this by getting the object come close to you. This is probably going to get much better and more functional in the upcoming years.
The LED light on your Dualshock controller finally has its use – if the game supports it, you can see the controller inside your virtual reality at the exact spot where you’re holding it. And even though the Dualshock controllers are a pretty good alternative, nothing can replace the Move controllers, as they feel far more natural when you’re grabbing and touching the things around you. And since they’ve been around from 2010, you just might have one inside your home.
Their age also brings another problem – they have the Mini USB connectors, unlike the Micro USB ones that can be found on the joypads, which means that you will have to buy another cable for synchronizing and charging your Move controllers. To make things worse, even the newest edition of the Move controllers don’t sport the (now standard) Micro USB connectors.
The non-VR games
One can, of course, play any Playstation 4 game on this VR, but the experience with it might vary from very good to very bad. Playing the non-VR games with it feels like sitting very close to a 60″ TV with a pretty low resolution, but it’s a good solution if you want to let someone else use the TV while you’re gaming. The games made specifically for the PS VR offer quite a different experience, and you can get some of them by getting the PSN cards on our website. If you want to watch some videos with your VR, you will have to get used to the lower resolution, and once you do – the experience is quite an enjoyable one.
The Playstation VR looks very futuristic, sporting some black and white curvy lines and the pulsating blue light, and it looks like something straight out of Star Trek or Tron. This thing is a bit heavier than the rivals, weighing 610 grams, but it’s also much more comfortable for wearing, as it has a pretty good weight distribution. The thing that you’ll certainly like here is that the PS VR completely isolates you from the outer world, as it has the small rubber wings on the part that goes over your nose, effectively blocking any source of light.
And the thing that you won’t like is that you have to use both hands to put this thing on – it’s impossible to do it with just one. Setting up the whole thing requires six cables – one for HDMI, one for the USB that connects it with the PS4, another HDMI to connect it to the TV, two HDMI cables for the VR, as well as the power cable. All of this can look really messy once it’s up and running, but if you take your time and do it right – it’ll look like your own, cozy hub for exploring the virtual worlds.
Even though the Playstation VR is weaker and cheaper than its rivals, it’s still a pretty good piece of hardware. It is an incredible experience to play the games with this, and functions very well when combined with the Move controllers – but you can still use your standard joypad if you don’t have them. The only thing missing here is a huge library of games, so you might want to wait it out until there are a wider variety of PS VR games to choose from.