Does this newest entry into the VR hardware market compete with its PC counterparts?
The Playstation VR finally launched this week and many wonder if the system can keep up with its more expensive PC counterparts. at a price tag of 400$ USD, the “affordable” VR alternative will still punch a hole through your wallet, so is it worth the purchase?
Surprisingly enough, setting up the Playstation VR system didn’t take much time at all. The only problem is, with all the peripherals needed to integrate itself with the PS4, cable management might be somewhat of a hassle. Of course, considering the nature of the PS VR, you have to make sure that you have ample play space to use it. The headset itself is a wonderfully designed piece of equipment, it accommodates any head shape and even works fairly decently with people who need prescription lenses to game. The front headrest fits cozy on your forehead while the adjustable strap can loosen or tighten for use with different people.
Jumping into the PS VR is pretty immersive, but not without its fair share of problems. Unlike the other VR platforms, the Playstation VR has a hard time recognizing dynamic movements, so you’ll see a lot of stuttering when you try to move around too much or do things like ducking or crouching down. I’ve also noticed that even when utilizing the Playstation camera to track movements on the PS VR, there will be issues in hand and body tracking. I tested out the capabilities in the motion tracking through the Playstation VR World’s The London Heist and noticed that at times my camera could not track me reaching out to grab some of the items that were in front of me in-game. Other times, however, motion tracking seems to work as intended, with me being able to pretty accurately shoot my firearm in game with little problems. That being said, I’ll at times notice that even when not moving, my player character’s hand will being stuttering as if it was shaking even though my hand is completely still.
The launch titles for the PS VR provide a good introduction to the potential future of VR for Sony. Although I was only able to experience Playstation VR Worlds, it allowed me to experience the versatility of what VR can offer. Of course, because of console limitations, the PS VR may not be the most graphically advanced compared to its PC counterparts, but the essential features of VR can be experienced with the PS VR. There are additional peripherals you could purchase, such as the motion controllers, but honestly with the launch titles out right now for the PS VR, there is not much need for them, at least not at the moment. The technology for tracking your movements are still flawed as well, so expect a few bugs here and there on your adventure.
So, is the PS VR worth the 400$ price tag? Although it is markedly the affordable alternative to the Vive and Oculus, as those cost 600$ and 800$ respectively and the PC builds required to use them almost triple the cost of use, 400$ is still expensive. The PS VR has a lot of potential to open up the VR market for console players, but considering that the whole marketing of console gaming is to provide an affordable gaming experience, the PS VR digs a bit too deep into your wallets. The biggest concern right now is how Sony will further approach its new VR platform. Although VR is arguably an awesome experience, Sony has had a history of dropping services on their hardware support (i.e. Playstation Vita), so there is a growing concern that the PS VR may fall into the same pit as other hardware. If Sony decides to continue supporting its VR platform long-term, the PS VR has a lot of potential in augmenting the player experience in gaming. If you are a VR enthusiast and don’t mind the high price of it, the Playstation VR is a good platform for introducing yourself to VR gaming. Let’s just hope that Sony keeps supporting this platform and not let it die out like its other projects.