Let’s get this straight! Virtual Reality devices are a hell lot of fun. But there are three reasons why you probably haven’t bought a VR gaming device just yet. First, there’s not enough content to keep you hooked. Second, the titles currently on the market are more experiential than a well-established next-level technology product. Third and the most important, they are damn expensive. At least they used to be.
But PlayStation VR might is here to disrupt the industry and boost the competition to level the playing field. It’s is a great toy which is the most accessible piece of quality VR hardware in the market.
The PlayStation VR has an OLED display at 960x1080 (each eye) with a refresh rate of 90Hz or 120Hz with a 100 degrees field of view (approx). The headset and not headband weighs approximately 6oo grams - excluding the cables.
But the price of the device at $399 is what gives it the real edge against its competitors. (PlayStation camera costs $59)
Setting up the PlayStation VR is however not an easy task; this is where expert advice comes handy. An additional processor unit is required for processing 3D audio and splitting HDMI signals among the TV and the VR display, which adds more to the family of chords to plug in.
The device once set up is like sailing in the calm sea after a brief storm. Sony‘s 2D PS4 system interface for the headset is a treat.
The experience of PlayStation VR that Sony has managed to generate with the PS4 is masterful. The display resolution while slightly lower than that of its competitors, the output of the $300 PS4 is comparable to a high-end gaming PC; which means the PS VR when coupled with the next-gen PlayStation 4 Pro releasing next month can take the overall experience to the next level.
The system handles the VR software beautifully. Unfortunately, the PlayStation camera which tracks the controllers and the headset is barely manageable. It lacks an expansive field-of-view. So, people taller than 6 feet are likely to stretch the vertical limits of the camera. For example in Job Simulator a virtual donut can’t be retrieved from the floor at that height, limiting the tall ones to a few games.
However, in Batman: Arkham VR, if you drop a key, it appears on a table in the front. Its is a minus which should have been resolved in the latest version of the PS4 camera.
The tracking capabilities of Move Controllers, first introduced seven years ago, felt a bit outdated but perform better than one would expect. Tracking works with both the controllers and the headset, credit to the LEDs that are tracked by the camera. Way cheaper than competitors, one controller can be purchased for $25 on Amazon.
Instead of a bulky black headset, the PS VR packs a black and white device that instead of being strapped to the head, sits on top of it. Even a pair of spectacles fit very well with the headset.
The build quality is just average, and the headset can be difficult to put on and off. Also expect some light leakage which will differ depending on the angle of wearing the headset. So figuring out the right angle for you could be a task.
The PS VR has average quality earbuds, not great in design or quality, likely forcing an upgrade.
The Decision to Buy
Overall, the PlayStation VR priced at $399 places third among its competitors, HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. The PlayStation VR, however, has the edge of being economical. And the platform of PS4 is likely to get more traction.
PlayStation is certainly taking care of the price point of VR devices which had kept the crowds away from experience the next level of console-powered consciousness. The whole PS VR set-up, which includes the headset, PS4 console, and LED controllers and camera sensor can be owned for approximately $800.
Out of the existing 40 to 50 million PS4s users, many of them having already bought the PS cameras and Move Controllers will have to spend less than $500, which is kick-ass for the technology space you’re about to explore.