PlayStation Virtual Reality (PSVR) – When Virtual reality, first appeared, it was regarded by many as little more than a passing fad—a gimmick that, much like 3D TVs or the Kinect, would stick around for a while and then sink into obscurity like it never even existed to begin with.
However, it turned out this couldn’t have been farther from the truth.
Over the past few years, various tech giants such as Google, Valve, HTC, and Samsung have all invested heavily into VR technology and a variety of VR headsets were released for PC and mobile platforms alike. However, Sony was the first and only company to offer VR on a console, and that still hasn’t changed in 2021.
Really though, after the popularity of Oculus, it’s not surprising that Sony jumped in the bandwagon and created their very own VR to work with their PS4. The question is – should you get it for yourself?
The answer to that is a little sketchy and would depend on a number of factors.
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PlayStation VR Headset — How Does It Hold Up?
When it was first released five years ago, the PlayStation VR headset was quite something. It was significantly more affordable than the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive headsets that were the latest and greatest tech at the time, and it didn’t lag too far behind when it came to the actual hardware specs either.
The price alone made it appealing even for some PC users, though it required third party software in order to work on Windows and still lacked full VR functionality since it relied on the PS Camera for motion tracking.
Fast-forward to 2021, and the tech from 2016 just doesn’t seem all that impressive anymore. The headset’s 1080p OLED display doesn’t really hold up when compared to the higher-resolution displays that you’ll find in modern VR headsets, all the while it’s not significantly cheaper than the competition to justify that shortcoming.
Add to it the fact that it’s only fully compatible with the PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation 5, and it’s obvious that the PSVR headset simply isn’t as good a deal now that the likes of the Oculus Quest 2 and the Oculus Rift S are on the market.
PlayStation Virtual Reality Design
It would be remiss if no one mentions the ultra-cool design of the PlayStation VR. Say what you want about its functionality but the overall design is sleek, clean, and cool. It’s a combination of white, shades of black, and ice blue. Rounding up the look is the distinctive PlayStation logo on the side. Very futuristic – the VR is everything we dream about how the future would look.
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PlayStation Virtual Reality Accessories
Also note that when we say “bundle”, we’re not referring to a set that contains everything you might need for use. For example, the PS Camera is crucial because this is what the hardware uses to monitor the light. Without this, you’re just wearing a pair of really expensive sunglasses. Unfortunately, the PS camera doesn’t come with the bundle.
The Move and Aim controllers are also remarkably absent from the VR bundle. If you don’t play games that need these options however, you can skip them entirely.
So yeah – the PlayStation VR may be the cheapest, but you have to add in the other accessories needed for optimal use. Since there are actually peripherals that are considered mandatory, you might be a little bit confused about what to buy and what you can just leave off.
Most people don’t realize this but if you’re buying a new item or upgrading a specific component, you’d want to make sure the receiving component is capable of accommodating the newcomer. Hence, if you intend to use a PC with your brand-new VR, you need to first check the specifications of the PC. Ideally, you should have a minimum of GTX 1060 in order to smoothly run the game frames on the screen.
But isn’t the resolution of the PSVR low? Well, yes. Compared to other units, this Sony offering has a low resolution at just 1080 by 960. However, the refresh rate is fairly fast at 120Hz. To put that in perspective, the Rift VR only has 90Hz. Hence, you’d still want to make sure that your hardware meets the minimum requirement standards, otherwise you won’t be able to enjoy your VR.
If you’re just going to look at the price, then you’d be happy to know that the PlayStation VR is by far one of the cheapest items in the market today. Considering the fact that it was made by a respected brand, the actual price is more than reasonable. There’s a reason for this though as you’ll soon find out. As of this writing, the VR costs around ~$399 but again, you can still get it as part of a bundle.
PSVR 2 — When Is It Coming Out?
Although rumors and allusions at the future release of PSVR 2 have been floating around since before the console itself was actually announced and revealed, it was only in February 2021 that Sony officially confirmed that a new generation of PlayStation VR was indeed coming to the PlayStation 5.
Needless to say, with the new console’s considerable graphics processing power, as well as the additional layers of immersion awarded by the DualSense controller’s superb haptic feedback and the 3D Audio, the situation is shaping up quite well for the PlayStation 5 VR experience.
The latest rumors suggest that it will have a total resolution of 2000×2040 pixels per eye, which is a massive step up from the original headset’s 960×1080 which, while quite solid back in the day, does come across as rather inadequate in today’s VR market.
An interesting new feature that PSVR 2 will utilize is foveated rendering, which will use eye tracking to enhance the detail in the part of the screen that the viewer is focusing on. Needless to say, this will allow for a much better-optimized use of the console’s processing power and can result in a more graphically immersive VR experience.
So – Is the VR a Good Choice?
The short and simple answer to that question is YES. If you own a PlayStation 4 and want to make the most out of the gaming experience, you’d want to have this in your arsenal for playing high-end games.
All in all, the PlayStation VR is an excellent jump off point for Sony as they try to compete with other VR sets in the market today. It’s not the best – but it would certainly be improved over the years as the technology becomes more available.
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