Live the game.
Virtual Reality (VR) is starting to become mainstream thanks to the recent offerings from various companies that range from the very affordable (Google Cardboard) to the very expensive (HTC Vive and Oculus Rift). But the PlayStation VR – or Project Morpheus when it was first introduced a few years back. While initially dubbed a niche accessory to the PlayStation 4, it actually turns out to be one of best VR headsets available at the moment.
Decently priced at 1,599 AED, the PlayStation VR costs considerably less than the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive. Also consider that you would need a high-end PC to run the devices. For the PlayStation VR all you need is the PS4 (though the upcoming PS4 Pro should offer performance improvements).
VR headsets usually are usually heavy, but the PlayStation VR is the first headset I’ve worn that didn’t put a strain on my head. While most headsets place the viewer directly in front your face which causes some strain on your head, the PlayStation VR places the screen in a way that is anchored on the headband. The headband itself is worn at an angle, which evenly distributes the weight, lessening the load placed on top of your head.
The PlayStation VR uses a 5.7-inch screen with a 1920 x RGB x 1080 along with a 120/90 Hz framerate. It provides a 100-degree field of view and also includes an integrated microphone plus an accelerometer and a gyroscope. LED lights at placed all around the headset that would aid the PlayStation Camera to detect the headset position.
But opening the PlayStation VR’s package would reveal more than just the headset. Setting up the device might be the most confusing part, especially with the numerous cables and other connections that you would need to do in order make everything work.
A separate processing unit is included that handles most of the 3D audio processing and helps display content that you see from the headset to your TV. The connections are quite confusing at first, but thankfully the package comes with an easy to use guide that helped me set up the whole thing in about half an hour. Note that the PlayStation Camera is not included with the retail package and is a mandatory accessory for the headset to work.
Once you get all of that in place, you need to turn on a separate power switch on the PlayStation VR as well as your PlayStation 4. As soon as both devices are on, you can literally start playing and using it.
The good thing about the PlayStation VR is that a bunch of games are already available during launch, giving you more options as to how you would want to experience virtual reality. Additionally, you can also use the headset to see content in cinematic mode, to similar to something you’d see when watching inside the cinema. The updated Media Player will also play 360-degree videos.
You can play games using the DualShock 4 controller but for some games, the Move controllers are required, which again is a separate purchase. The Move controllers, originally launched with the PlayStation 3, still uses the mini USB connectors for charging. This means that there is one more wire you would need to keep aside from the micro USB cable used by the DualShock 4.
The PlayStation VR works well, and despite the screen not a bright or detailed enough compared to the more expensive alternatives, it breathes new life into the games we’ve played. It’s accurate too, and not once did we have any problems with tracking while playing games or watching videos in VR.
The launch titles aren’t much, but there is already a bunch of upcoming games we’re excited to try out (Resident Evil 7 for example). But the PlayStation VR is looking to be one of the best implementations of VR that we have seen.
The PlayStation VR isn’t perfect, but that’s a good thing since it doesn’t need to be. It manages to bring the best of VR into the world of PlayStation without burning a hole in your wallet.