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Ps4 Virtual Reality Headset Review

Many of the experiences aren’t as crisp as the ones found on the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, but, for a system that uses a PS4 instead of an expensive PC gaming rig, we’re not complaining. Many of the experiences aren’t as crisp as the ones found on the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, but, for a system that uses a PS4 instead of an expensive PC gaming rig, we’re not complaining.

As for a possible follow-up headset itself, we’re hopeful it could house an ultra-high-resolution display manufactured that boasts 1,001 pixels per inch.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, the current PlayStation VR headset brings the world of virtual reality to your console in a big way. And what really sets it apart from the rest is that it does so without the cost most often associated with rival higher-end VR headsets, like the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift . Because although these higher-end headsets cost more to run, you also need a pricey gaming PC that can power them, which is a huge barrier to entry for most people. While Oculus Rift has closed in on the cost disparity, the PSVR only requires a PS4 console to run, not an expensive PC setup. With the package re-using existing PlayStation peripherals such as the Move controllers and Camera, the PSVR headset itself was sold separately in some instances, despite the other components being vital parts of getting everything up-and-running.

Setting up the PlayStation VR unit can be done in a matter of minutes and the provided instructions offer a clear visual guide to get you up and running.

But unlike competing devices (which require expensive graphics cards to get the job done), PS VR can do it using only the PlayStation 4’s built-in GPU.

If you decide to get up and wander around, the PSVR can follow you to an extent, but don’t expect to take more than a few steps in any direction without a warning from the system that you’re straying too far away. As a result, the best PlayStation VR games list is being constantly updated with excellent fresh experiences, with plenty more arriving all the time.

From shooters to puzzlers, platformers to narrative adventures, there’s variety and depth to PSVR’s growing gaming catalogue. With additional processing power, the PS4 Pro is capable of creating an even more immersive virtual reality experience for the games that support it.

The improvements PS4 Pro promises can take many forms – from more detailed textures to better draw distances, and even a small reduction in graininess.

While writing the PS4 Pro review, we got the chance to try the upgraded hardware with the PlayStation VR and the results were noticeable, if a bit underwhelming in reality. Whether the minor improvements are worth paying extra for the more powerful hardware is ultimately a decision we’ll leave up to you; however, it’s our opinion that you can get by with a standard PS4 just fine.

PlayStation VR review

Following the initial success of the platform, Sony rolled out a slightly amended version of the PlayStation VR hardware (model number CUH-ZVR2). With a slightly more streamlined series of cables and integrated stereo headphones, it also supports HDR video passthrough. Sharing the stark white and matte black look of both the PS5 and its DualSense controller, PlayStation VR feels less akin to strapping goggles to your face as it does putting on a large, comfortable headband with a visor attached. Weight is evenly distributed throughout, and while you’ll certainly need to take it off after a few hours, the large front-facing eyepiece never feels too unwieldy. Some games, like Astro Bot Rescue Mission, utilize this for new gameplay possibilities, but it’s primarily ideal for party chat when playing online. It’s not difficult, thanks to handy markings on each port that line up, but you’ll still need to plug the headset into a breakout box that splits off to a power adapter, your console, your TV, and the included PlayStation Camera. If you’re the type of person that prefers not to have a series of cables laid out, then you may want to look elsewhere, and with a specific (free) PS5 adapter, that’s one more connection if you have Sony’s latest system. Once that’s done, though, you’re off to the races – each console’s dashboard can run entirely in VR, and even non-VR titles can be played as if you’re looking at them on a sizeable, cinema-style screen.

They help the PlayStation Camera track your head position – whether you’re headbutting enemies in Astro Bot or peeking around a corner in a first-person shooter. A forerunner to the PlayStation 5’s 3D audio tech, its appearance here does exactly what you’d expect – it allows players to track the sound of enemies, listen out for secrets, and plenty more when in-game. While not mandatory for PSVR use (and sold separately), there are some titles that require them, including the ever-popular Beat Saber, so prepare for an added expense there. The biggest leap for Sony’s latest hardware is the improved loading times, but other than that, your PS4 Pro remains just as capable.

Those include the likes of Blood & Truth, a fully playable action movie-style adventure, Marvel’s Iron Man VR, which puts players in Tony Stark’s famous armor, and Astro Bot Rescue Mission, a delightful platformer that earned a spot on our best PSVR space games list for its use of clever use of scale and perspective. If you’ve got PlayStation Move, Beat Saber is a must-buy, as is SUPERHOT VR, while Tetris Effect remains enchanting whichever controller method you use. Its current price puts it in the realm of the Oculus Quest 2, only with the added tether of needing a PlayStation console to run it, and the potential expense of PS Move controllers, too. That may make it easier to pull the trigger on a purchase, and there’s the added incentive of some truly fantastic PSVR exclusives you won’t find anywhere else. For one, the aforementioned Oculus Quest 2 offers many of the same third-party titles, just without the need for a PlayStation console or the multitude of cables the PSVR requires.

PlayStation VR review: When good enough is great

The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, the first two high-end consumer devices on the market, arrived this spring to critical praise and preorders that sold out within minutes. Neither the Rift or the Vive ecosystems produced a killer app that was big enough to push VR out of the margins, especially given the high cost of a headset and gaming PC. While 360-degree video has at least gotten a toehold in popular culture, the dream of sophisticated VR gaming — which arguably resurrected virtual reality in the first place — remains far away for most people. Where Oculus goes for an understated, late-Gibsonian cyberpunk aesthetic and the Vive is aggressively industrial, Sony’s design has the clean white curves of a ‘60s science fiction spaceship interior, setting off a black front panel and rubber face mask. The external PlayStation Camera tracks it with a matrix of glowing blue lights: six lining the headset’s edges, two on the back, and one right in the middle of the front panel. Your average virtual reality headset is strapped on like a ski mask, which ensures a snug fit but can also squeeze your face unpleasantly.

The only major downside is that it starts slipping out of place if you look straight up or rapidly shake your head, something that becomes an issue with gaze-controlled arcade games like PlayStation VR Worlds’ “Danger Ball.” But unless you were a really big fan of Johann Sebastian Joust or some other game that used one of Sony’s niche peripherals, you should consider the $499 PSVR bundle — which comes with two Move controllers and a camera — your default choice.

The field of view feels comparable to the current Rift and Vive, and bright, cartoonish games like Job Simulator look very similar on any high-end headset. Mobile headsets don’t have things like positional tracking, which can help cut down on motion sickness and open up new gameplay options, and they can’t touch PSVR’s comfort levels or graphical performance. Compared to the awkward dangling headset jack on the HTC Vive, this feels convenient and natural, although I accidentally yanked my earbuds out a couple of times by kneeling in VR and catching the cord on my leg. For every thoughtful design decision, though, there’s a reminder that PlayStation VR isn’t a totally novel gaming system, but a patchwork of various weird Sony experiments that may have finally found their purpose.

The PlayStation Move controllers are painfully limited compared to either Oculus Touch or the HTC Vive remotes, simply because their interface is a bad fit for VR. The Move was originally paired with a second, smaller peripheral bearing an analog stick and directional pads; without it, navigating menus (including the main PS4 interface) involves dragging your controller like the world’s clumsiest mouse. But during the frantic rail shooter Until Dawn: Rush of Blood, where precision was a matter of virtual life or death, I had to repeatedly reorient them after they drifted out of place. Instead of plugging directly into the PlayStation 4, the headset uses a separate processor box that helps mix 3D audio and supply video to both PSVR and TV.

This can create a bit of a rat’s nest around your console, and it leaves precious little space for juicing up your Move and DualShock controllers, unless you buy a separate charging dock. Oculus and HTC can ask people to set up precisely calibrated personal holodecks without a second thought, because PC gaming is already a somewhat solitary activity that goes hand-in-hand with ridiculous hardware setups.

To its credit, though, the PlayStation VR’s cable is long enough to easily accommodate a good-sized space between seat and TV, and when it’s working, the camera seems to track head motion about as well as the Oculus Rift. Besides the allure of having a big personal theater, this opens the door to things like playing a violent game without your kids watching, or letting a housemate use your shared TV with another console or set-top box. There are a couple of local multiplayer games like Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, in which one player wears a headset and the other coaches them through a bomb defusal from outside VR.

At key moments, it slips into a first-person view and lets you mime simple but satisfying tasks, like putting together a machine or aiming a fire hose.

Rock Band and Guitar Hero studio Harmonix, meanwhile, has put together a psychedelic painting program where your art pulses to the beat of a playlist — the closest thing PSVR has to a pure creative tool. At launch, the system is short on the big narrative games you’ll find in PlayStation 4’s non-VR catalog, although Resident Evil 7 is coming to PSVR next year.

That includes a VR-enabled remake of musical shooter Rez, a Tetris-style puzzler called SuperHyperCube, and Thumper, a hypnotic rhythm game with sinister undertones. These aren’t enough to anchor PSVR in the long term, but they help establish a unique aesthetic for the system, while appealing to a broader audience than a stereotypical AAA action game. But it offers a balanced, interesting launch catalog and a headset that’s a joy to wear, with weak points that hurt the system but don’t cripple it. For now, it’s the lowest common denominator of tethered headsets, and a world in which all games had to work on it could discourage risky creative experiments on more capable and interesting hardware.

PlayStation VR Review

Daarom heb ik ook deze VR bril uitvoerig voor je getest. En trekt deze VR bril je helemaal in de wereld van virtual reality?

PlayStation VR review: The best-value VR headset

The PS Camera you’ll most likely see being sold is the new second-generation version, which now has a cylindrical design and hinge-stand making it easier to align with the headset. There’s no PC involved, no hassle of having to upgrade any of your rig’s components, and you don’t need to clear out a significant portion of your living room to use it. Sony still recommends you sit around five feet away from the camera, but given that PSVR is primarily a seated VR experience, at least you won’t have to move the furniture around every time you want to start playing. However, if you happen to have a couple gathering dust in the back of an old cupboard, now is exactly the right time to bring them out of hibernation, as several PSVR games are using them to great effect.

Most games that do support them, for instance, use them to act as a disembodied pair of hands, allowing you to interact with your environment far more naturally than you would with a DualShock 4 controller. Dubbed the “Processing Unit”, this device mirrors the design of the original PS4, with a split running down one-third of the box and an LED light strip across the front.

The smaller section neatly slides backwards to reveal two ports, which Sony has marked with its classic Square, Circle, X and Triangle symbols.


The headset is simply stunning and incredibly comfortable to wear, and the games already available are some of the best VR experiences I’ve ever played. The headset represents the cheapest of the “big three” on the market and is the only option for console gamers interested in the technology as things stand. The processing unit was a mystery for a long time before Sony revealed what it actually does – and it’s all pretty important stuff. While the processing unit adds no power to the console itself, nor can developers actually program anything into it, it handles a few key functions. It also displays the “social” screen, basically rendering the image you see in VR onto the TV, though at a lower resolution and framerate. This means the thing is constantly using electricity, so even when the whole setup is powered down you’ll have to unplug it if you wish to save the pennies or simply get rid of the annoying light before bed.

No drivers to update, no system requirements to fiddle with, no graphics options to tweak; you’re simply ready to go. Everything about it looks gorgeous: the sleek white edging, the black fascia and the cool lights to allow for motion tracking.

The weight of the headset rests equally on your forehead and the back of your head, and there are small rubber flaps to sit on your nose to help block out external light.

Thanks to two tracking lights on the back of the headset, I was able to turn and face the opposite direction and the game still worked perfectly. Also, another great feature is the ability to move the box on the front of the headset, which houses the display, forwards and backward. Standard over-ear headphones probably won’t fit – my Bose ones weren’t up to the job – but gaming headsets may be more adaptable.

The room in which I’ve used the headset isn’t massive, and was able to play games with relative comfort even with the Move Controllers. The only time I ran into trouble was in Arkham VR, which demanded a decent chunk of space between the camera and myself, and also had some moments where I had to turn, which completely disoriented me, leading me to punch my bedroom wall. What will be annoying is having to put away PlayStation VR’s chunky mass of cables while still having a presentable entertainment centre.

Without packing and unpacking the entire VR headset each and every time you want to play, prepare to have some unsightly cables dangling about the place. The new camera comes with its own stand, which can be raised and the lenses tilted upwards or downwards to accommodate your setup. The cable also now sits at the back of the camera – on the version launched with the PS4 it was at the side, which caused it to drag and alter position if the wire dropped off your TV cabinet.

While playing Battlezone, a cluster of tanks in the distance simply becomes a wash of colour, while characters’ faces in VR Worlds’ The London Heist lack detail, and this is where the screen quality begins to have an impact. I felt no motion sickness in any of the games I played, be it riding Until Dawn: Rush of Blood’s rollercoaster, Battlezone’s tanks or even EVE: Valkyrie’s spaceships. Naturally, there’s a sacrifice in image quality because you’re so close to a stretched picture, but it was still excellent fun to play. The picture quality is best on the mode’s largest screen setting, which of course is still streets away from how a Blu-ray would look on your TV, but it still looks very good. The headset is simply stunning and incredibly comfortable to wear, and the games already available are some of the best VR experiences I’ve ever played. Compared to the Oculus Rift it offers a far more comfortable gaming experience at a much lower price point.

Against the Vive it may not offer the level of detail and immersion, but is pretty darn close and doesn’t require the installation of additional sensors in your home and will not demand as much space for many games, either.

PlayStation VR review: Serious fun for a sane price

The 40 million people who already own PS4s don’t have to buy another console, just the headset, effectively making it the cheapest high-end VR system on the market. Instead of aping the standard format, usually a large piece of plastic with a pair of cloth headbands attached, Sony’s headset is an exercise in moving parts.

A thick white border holds six additional ovular tracking lights that glow when the headset is connected, and look cool to boot. Inside the headset, you’ll find the lenses and the 5.7-inch, 1920 x 1080p OLED display and one of my favorite parts of the PSVR, the black soft-touch rubber light shield. Along the bottom is an integrated microphone and an adjustment button that, when pressed, allowed me to slide the faceplate forward or backward to achieve a comfortable fit and an optimal viewing angle. There’s a white adjustment dial in the back to tighten the grip, but if it’s too uncomfortable, the headband-release button quickly loosens things up. Along the left side of the headset is a long black cable that extends downward into the PS VR’s inline remote. Prepping PS VR for use isn’t nearly as involved as doing so for the HTC Vive, but there are a few more plugs and cables than you’d find with the Oculus Rift.

Lastly, I slid back the right-side compartment on the processor unit to reveal the pair of connectors for the actual headset.

The PlayStation VR has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels per eye at a refresh rate of 90Hz or 120Hz, depending on the game and an approximately 100-degree field of view. By comparison, both the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift offer 1920 x 1200 per eye with a 90Hz refresh rate and a 110-degree field of view. As far as actual room tracking, the Vive is still the only system that allows you to walk around your play space without fear of crashing into a wall or a piece of furniture.

The processing unit is responsible for powering the Social Screen, which in the case of multiplayer titles like The Playroom VR makes sure the person wearing the headset will see one thing, while others in the room watching the TV will see another, allowing everyone to play. Fantastical sky castles, terrifying haunted houses and gorgeous underwater vistas — this is what PlayStation VR has to offer.

Of the titles I’ve had the chance to sample, my hands-down favorite is Batman: Arkham VR, in which I literally became the Dark Knight to solve a heartbreaking mystery. As the Caped Crusader, I had the opportunity to throw Batarangs, shoot the grappling gun and break down a crime scene with the Forensic Scanner. Did I scream and jump violently to my left, knocking over a conference phone in the process, when someone from Batman’s famous rogues’ gallery attacked me from the right? For a more whimsical experience, I explored the world of Wayward Sky, pointing and clicking my way past robots, solving puzzles to get to the next part of the game. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the Move controllers make a triumphant return as a pretty solid pair of virtual hands. PS VR titles feel complete and offer the challenging gameplay and fun I expect out of a video game. But like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the Move controllers make a triumphant return as a pretty solid pair of virtual hands, or whatever the particular game you’re playing requires them to be.

Weighing 8.2 ounces, the controllers sport a long black plastic body with a white circular bulb resting at the top, which lights up depending on the game currently being played.= If Sony can’t prove to companies like Ubisoft, Blizzard and Activision that it’s worth their time to sign on for PS VR, the hardware will shrivel on the vine. But with Capcom’s horrifying Resident Evil 7 and Double Fine’s Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin set to debut in 2017, it looks like PlayStation has the makings of a solid lineup.

Keep in mind that PlayStation VR lacks the visual fidelity of either the Vive or the Rift, and that you’re also missing out on both system’s room-tracking abilities. The $399 Sony PlayStation VR is an easy entry to gamers intrigued by virtual reality, but not wealthy enough to shell out $1,000 or more. Although the VR experience isn’t as visually pristine as either the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, it’s not that far off, avoiding outright jagged graphics and the screen-door effect. PlayStation VR’s main strength lies in its games, thanks to Sony’s relationships with well-known developers like Rocksteady, Capcom and Double Fine, which could promise a powerhouse library of content.

Sony PlayStation VR review: You know what? Sony did it. The PSVR is actually pretty great

But considering its price and the fact that you may already have half the hardware sitting in your living room, the PSVR presents a very compelling proposition. It’s not an overly complicated process, but the interconnected wired web that results isn’t necessarily something you can tuck away out of sight.

The unit is about the size of three CD jewel cases stacked on top of each other — this of course needs a place to live as well.

When it’s all done and dusted, what you’re left with feels inelegant and messy, but part of VR is being tethered to a long wire. For $499, Sony sells a bundle that includes everything you need — save for a PS4 — and packs-in the mini-game collection VR Worlds as a bonus. With everything connected and the headset on, I was surprised that booting up the PS4 didn’t force me to start any kind of in-depth setup.

Instead of a general initial setup, most software will activate a number of calibration check marks so that you get the best optimal performance for that specific experience. Included with our review kit was a PowerA $50 stand — think mannequin head — to hold and organize all of the PSVR accessories. Judging from my limited time with Oculus Rift but hours with the HTC Vive, I found the overall experience to be in the same ballpark as the other “full VR” hardware out there. The Rift and Vive offer slightly higher screen resolutions and variable performance depending on PC specs.

That said, I can’t wear it — or any other VR headset — for more than 30 to 45 minutes tops, without getting the overwhelming sense that I need to take a break. The camera seems to have a difficult time tracking movement of the Move wands when you’ve turned around 180 degrees because the lenses physically can’t see them.

A lot of VR right now is trial and error on the user’s end, so expect some finagling regardless of how much space you have to devote to a play area. If you’re playing a game with the Move controllers but then need to back out to the PS4 menu to make adjustments, you’ll have to fish around for the DualShock4 that’s hiding somewhere in your general vicinity. I often felt like I needed a handler — someone there to spot me and hand me the right controller or grab me so I don’t walk into the coffee table. That’s kind of the way all full VR is right now, but because the PSVR is shoehorned into an existing platform, there’s a sense that this wasn’t specifically built from the ground up.

Nevertheless, it’s kind of amazing how Sony has essentially retrofitted its PS4 console to work with VR and the collection of peripherals already available for the system. Some games (or experiences) are head and shoulders above the rest, and that disparity is likely to continue as we navigate this mostly uncharted territory.

Each PSVR kit also comes with a disc filled with a handful of demos to give you a broader idea of what’s available for the platform. Sony has worked with third-party developers and its own in-house teams to ensure support for PSVR in the months to come.

Now that PS4 Pro is available, we’re happy to report that the more powerful console can improve the quality and performance of the PSVR games that support it.

Don’t expect these improvements to be total game-changers, but titles like Rez Infinite, Battlezone, Thumper and others certainly benefit from the added horsepower.

Expect PS4 Pro-supported VR titles to add higher resolutions (capped at 1080p), better framerates, improved textures and clearer text. The entire thing could wind up failing, but at least out of the gate there’s a solid amount of reliable software to experiment with, a mostly straightforward marketplace and a reasonably user-friendly setup process.

It’d be shocking if the platform didn’t enter other application areas that VR is currently exploring — be it real estate, tourism, education or other forms of entertainment. It’s not that I get motion sick, dizzy or anything like that — it’s that VR is a bombardment of the senses, a lot for your body and mind to deal with. We’ll probably get to the point where full VR is just a pair of lightweight eyeglasses, but until that happens I find it best enjoyed in small doses. And while the early batch of PSVR games have high frame rates and look shockingly good, you’ll note far-off details in vast asteroid belts or how at the bottom of an ocean trench it can become muddy.

The PSVR is also far more affordable, has no installation issues or driver problems, and is generally more comfy to wear. Sony has done a commendable job at ensuring a promising future for the platform, but there’s no absolute guarantee this will remain endlessly supported. The company remains mostly silent about its VR or AR ambitions, though rumors continue to swirl that Oculus Rift will eventually work with Microsoft’s own souped-up console, hitting next year, Project Scorpio.

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