Sony PlayStation VR | Review
The consensus among the virtual reality glasses is now on the console side. Sony’s ambitious virtual reality goggles will at least give a chance for the console users to experience the VR.
While virtual reality has begun to occupy our lives, we have reviewed two products which are currently the best VR headsets you can buy in the PC market, and we have been curious about the console’s answer. Obviously we have to say that this expectation is not completely positive. Because HTC Vive is one of the earliest devices, and yet, it set the standards to such a high point that even the Oculus Rift, which has been developed over the years, couldn’t even reach. This, in turn, puts pressure on Sony’s virtual reality goggles. Because it is not enough to have a good device at this point. You should be able to offer at least as much experience as the other PC headsets. Now, let’s see if the PlayStation VR can do it.
Started its life under a code name, Project Morpheus, its name changed as Sony revealed more specs, and eventually, they gave it such a creative name as PlayStation VR. Anyway, when you look at the headset, its stylish design is the most striking point. Toward the right direction, the HTC Vive packed high performance into an ugly body. The Oculus Rift was a little more sophisticated, but still not exactly stylish. The PlayStation VR comes with a design that shows how to design a VR headset. With sharp curved lines, blue LEDs and a pedestal designed for casual durability, the PlayStation VR is an appealing device in many aspects. So let’s call it a stylish virtual reality goggle with which you look like a member of the Daft Punk group when you wear it. But of course, things do not end with being the third member of the Daft Punk.
There is a button on the back of the PlayStation VR so that you can enjoy your time comfortably. By pressing this button you can stretch the device to suit your head’s width and place it on your face in one step. You can also tighten the device according to the size of your head and lock it at that point with a wheel located at the same point. Everything is perfect here, because the PlayStation VR is surprisingly lightweight. For this reason, the weight of the device is placed rather on the back of your head. So instead of HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, you carry the device with your forehead, not on your cheekbone.
This also ensures that you can use the device for a long period without being discomforted as it does not put so much pressure on your face. However, there is a fundamental roughness at this point.
Since you were carrying two other virtual reality devices with your face in front of you, there were sponge pads so that the face would be fully seated. It prevented light to get into both of the devices and your face from being hurt. On the PlayStation VR, the player is wrapped around a thin silicone. Yes, the device does not put pressure on your head, but it also does not provide complete environmental protection. Set the PlayStation VR as close to your head as possible, but it still gets light. Your face is not completely closed because you already carry the device with your forehead. Why is this detail important? Because the virtual reality is a technology that makes you feel like you are in an another place ( by isolating you from the real environment you are in ). It is an arbitrary disruption to see the DualShock when looking down at it. We can not say it is a minus but there is yet another issue with the headset preferences. We tested the device with both headphones and earphones. Using the headphones on the head will undoubtedly enhance the experience, but you may feel a bit uncomfortable due to the protrusion on the top of the device. The box contents of the PlayStation VR come with a virtual reality goggle and an earbud headphone to connect to the PlayStation. But you need more than that to use the device, unfortunately.
We will talk about the experience of the device, but first let’s talk about the setup. Installing the PlayStation VR consists of connecting many cables. It’s so simple that when you get the system, the box, and you come home, it will not take five minutes to install the PlayStation VR if your PlayStation is ready for use. Once you install the software with the installation disk that comes out of the box, all you need to do is put your device in your head and press the on / off button on the cable. Also note that a 3.5 mm headphone jack is included at the same point. What do you need to have to be able to use the PlayStation VR? First you must have a PS4, PS4 Slim or PS4 Pro. You also need a DualShock, of course. You can also use the PlayStation Move handles as an option. Not necessarily in every game, but there are games that requires the Move controllers. Most importantly, you need a PlayStation Camera. If you have a PlayStation then you should buy the PlayStation VR for $399 and buy the PlayStation Camera for $59 if you do not already have one. If you want to increase your experience further, you can also spend a $100 and get the PS4 Move controllers. In this case, the system is popping around $550. Compared to the prices of the Oculus Rift, it is possible to say that the PlayStation VR is budget friendly despite the external equipment. Before the experience, let us technically present the device to us.
The PlayStation VR comes with a 5.7-inch OLED panel. The refresh rate of the device, which provides a field of view of approximately 100 degrees, is 90 Hz. Everything is perfect here. There is not much difference from its competitors. But when it comes to resolution, the color changes. The PlayStation VR offers a resolution of 1080 × 960 pixels for each eye. The HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift each offer a resolution of 1080 × 1200 pixels, or 2160 × 1200 pixels, for each eye. Maybe, technically, there are not many differences between them, but when you are experiencing them in the real life, then you will see the difference. Eventually, your eyes are located just near the panel, and that is why the VR headsets should offer a high resolution. Because exposure to a low resolution for a long time disturbs your eyes. While we were examining the PlayStation VR, we also had the opportunity to compare it with HTC Vive and we can say that it is easier to understand the difference when you take out the PlayStation VR and put HTC Vive. We tested the experimental effect by playing different games.
You may want to adjust the PlayStation VR according to your preference before plugging it into play. It is also very simple to do. Using the button on the bottom right of the device with a slider mechanism, you can clarify the device by moving it closer and further. Just remind yourself how much light you will see from the bottom of the device. We still do not get the clarity we want, but we are also bound to the resolution at large. We can say that reading in-game subtitles was a torture. Apart from this, as a design increase, the device can be easily used with glasses. As a matter of fact, we tested the headset with and without glasses ( by making two different people wear them ).
In terms of performance, we had a chance to test the PlayStation VR with both PS4 Pro and PS4. In this respect, let’s answer the question where you should upgrade to the PS4 Pro if you already have a PS4. The answer is as simple as “no”. The PS VR also offers a very fluid experience on the PS4. Of course, we say this based on a very limited content that is available.
Moving and playing with Move in our tests with DualShock 4 is undoubtedly more enjoyable but not a necessity. It is possible to enjoy DualShock 4 at almost the same level.
Move’s experience is different in FPS style games, especially when you need to fire. The PlayStation VR allows you to play in the field as far as the viewpoint of your camera, as in the Oculus Rift. Now, obviously, the game you can move too much is not already found. You play games where you do not move much in the place or simply where you just stand. Let us say that this is a big minus for us. Because it hurts us to sit down and play a game after HTC Vive’s all-encompassing experience. We can say that we tested the PlayStation VR with almost every game. For example, we tested different games and demos including Until Dawn: Rush of Blood ( where you need to aim and shoot ), the DriveClub VR ( where you can race with many different cars ), Dive to the Deep ( where you only watch what is being shown to you ) or Battlezone ( which is being played in a third person view ). Moreover, we experienced the Batman Arkham VR and Resident Evil VII demos to see the graphics quality and fps performance in particular, enabling us to complete the gaming experience without losing any fps on the PS4. On the other hand, there were not many compelling game alternatives to try. This is the biggest handicap of the PlayStation VR. The content is so limited that you can try with $400 headset. We expect 50 games to go out during the year, so let’s add this.
With more than an hour of uninterrupted gaming experience with the PlayStation VR, we were neither satisfied nor hateful towards the device. If the resolution does not distract your eyes, you can play for more than an hour without interruption. The first time we plugged in we had a slight dizziness, but we were quick to adapt. Using PlayStation’s own interface, PlayStation VR can show YouTube videos as well as the games ( obviously ). However, we did not know if you would like to watch the content at a low resolution of PlayStation VR instead of visually watching any content sparkling on your TV. At the end of the day, the PlayStation VR is really stylish, smartly designed despite the small roughness, but it is a device that is a bit behind in the picture quality and content. It is certainly a device that PlayStation users might consider, but it is a question if they will choose to buy it.
- 1080 × 960 pixels (for each individual eye)
- 120 Hz, 90 Hz
Field of view
- 100 degrees
- PlayStation Camera
- Six axis tracking system (three axis gyroscope, three axis accelerometer)
- PS4, PS4 Slim, PS4 Pro
- One earbud headphone
- 187 x 185 x 277 mm
- 610 grams
- Stylish design, reasonable price compared to competitors, easy installation
- Resolution could be better, separately sold compulsory parts, limited content