PlayStation VR has made its mark in the industry and we love it for that. We have been using the headset for two weeks now and it is time to give you our final verdict on it before the device lands in South African stores on 31 January 2017.
PlayStation VR Requirements
Before we get into the technical side of things, it is important to know what the PlayStation VR needs to work. In order to use the headset a PlayStation Camera is a must. This device is used to track the PlayStation VR headset using the LED lights around it. You will also need PlayStation Move Controllers for most of the games. Without the camera, the PlayStation VR headset is useless, and without the Move Controllers, some games might not work. To be safe, we suggest you buy this additional hardware at the same time you purchase your PlayStation VR headset.
PlayStation VR Tech Specs
|Display||OLED (1920 x RGB x 1080)|
|Refresh Rate||120Hz, 90Hz|
|Field of View||Approx – 100 degrees|
The PlayStation VR is a beautiful headset that stays true to the PlayStation aesthetic and brand name. Its sleek design has bright blue LED lights around the back and front. The head strap is comfortable, and with a press of a button it slides back to fit over your head. The padding in the front is soft and provides comfort and support while wearing the PlayStation VR headset.
The lenses output a separate image per lens at a resolution of 960×540, which makes up the total 1920×1080 display. The lenses are not coated in any specific oil protection and get dirty often. The OLED display is sensitive to any smudge on the lens, which is a downfall of the device as you will constantly need to clean it after use.
The lenses fit snug on your face. Very little light is let in thanks to the closure blackout around your eyes. Although the PlayStation VR can be used in light conditions, it lets in light at the bottom of the headset. To eliminate this design flaw we preferred to play in the dark.
The PlayStation VR headset has a built-in mic on the front of it that lets you communicate with players when playing online or in a chat party with someone. On the other side there is a button which is used to slide the display to and from your face.
The PlayStation VR comes with a processor box, and meters of cabling. This processor box is vital to the PlayStation VR headset’s function as it renders the 3D sent to the headset port on the cable of the headset, and also allows for the social screen to be available while gaming. This social screen is the display that users who are not using the PlayStaion VR headset see on their TV. The cabling and processor box go hand in hand, and you can see exactly what to plug in thanks to the unique PlayStation symbols on the box and the cables. It is a nice design touch, one we thought could be used for future PlayStation products.
There is no doubt that Sony was going for a comfortable headset here, and they really pulled it off given the price tag. The PlayStation VR headset is designed in such a way, that it is comfortable and functional. It might come with a lot of wires, but once it is plugged in, there is only one that runs along the ground. Sony questioned most of the possible issues we might have had, and eliminated it in the design of the PlayStation VR headset.
From the fifteen PS VR games we played, we never once felt that the experience was a let down. PlayStation VR managed to take us away from our lounge to the world we chose to start up.
Playing on the PS4 Pro with the headset, games looked great, and played great too. The games are divided into two. Those that make use of the DualShock 4, and those that rely on the PlayStation Move Controllers. Games like Job Simulator, and Batman VR, are Move Controller games, and they work as intended. We could not see them work any other way, but to rely on these controllers. Each controller would act as a hand, and this made sense in the game. Games like Robinson: The Journey, and RIGS, used the DualShock 4, which also made sense as the movement would be easier with the analogues on the controller.
Every game we played was met with awe. From the butterflies we got while speeding down the roller coaster in Until Dawn: Rush of Blood, to the tingling sensation in our feet as we stood atop a cliff in Robinson. The PlayStation VR brought every world to life.
Tracking was flawless from the headset point of view, and we never had any issue with the PlayStation Camera picking up our head movements. It was only when it came to the Move Controllers that we had a few issues. The PS Camera is not a wide-angle lens, so it would often lose us when we moved out of the view to reach for something.
Tracking the PlayStation VR headset works surprisingly well in the light, as we even played in broad daylight with the curtains open. We had no issue at all. Sitting on the couch is comfortable too, and the odd leaning left and right, even moving towards the camera to get a closer look of an object, worked very well. It might have felt limited at first, but after a while we realized just how much we could actually move around.
The PlayStation VR would be half the experience if we did not have sound. Luckily we used the 7.1 Gold PlayStation Headset to really get the best surround sound available. Adding that to the VR headset helped immerse us even more into the games. With the outside world blocked out, and our eyes on the lenses, we truly got to experience a virtual reality. The only drawback was when we had a fogged up display and had to air it, or clean it from a bit of smudge. The PlayStation VR headset gets very hot inside, and this often interfered with the game.
It is important to acclimate yourself to the PlayStation VR. Motion sickness is a major issue we faced when we first started out. We could not stand more than 20 minutes before feeling ill. Saying that, after a week with the PlayStation VR, we suffered very little, perhaps no sickness at all, and we played for a good 2 hours without stopping. Sony recommends you take breaks, and you must. Also, if you feel ill, just know that it will get better.
Future Of PlayStation VR
There is one thing that we need to worry about, as Sony’s past hardware has left us dissatisfied with the amount of support it might get post-launch. What will the PlayStation VR be like in a year’s time? With VR becoming a major industry trend, all we can hope for is that more games come out that make use of the PlayStation VR hardware. It is the most affordable VR device on the market, and at the same time it allows Sony to develop games for over 40 million people. Will the games keep coming, or will developer focus shift to something else? That is the biggest question. However, now is the best time to get the PlayStation VR headset, as there are over 40 games currently available that you can play, but if this remains the same lineup, then we have something to worry about.
Apart from some motion sickness at the start, we love the PlayStation VR. No, we adore it. To be able to experience something like it is truly a marvelous feat. Sony really created an affordable, and a consumer-friendly device, that we hope stays relevant for a few years. There are a few issues like sealing out the light, but this can be overcome pretty easily by darkening the room around you. You also need to consider that the device does not come with the two most important pieces of tech you need for it to function – the PlayStation Camera and Move Controllers.