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PS VR Hardware Review
Hello PS3imports, I'm Tenshi and this'll be my third Hardware Review for you guys and gals. Today I'll be reviewing the PlayStaion VR headset, the first modern VR foray by any of the major console manufacturers. My intentions are to inform, answer any questions you might have, and provide a thought out, somewhat wordy, opinion on why you should or shouldn't jump into this piece of tech. If paragraphs aren't your thing don't worry, I'll have a "pros and cons" list down at the bottom. Remember a review is just a long-winded opinion, if you disagree don't take it personally! You're free to voice counter-opinions. Just as a disclaimer, I'm not a professional writer or journalist, I am compensated in no way for my reviews. Thanks for your time and Enjoy!
(Further disclaimer: I do not yet own a PS VR myself, but I have about 12 hours of time with one thanks to a friend.)
Part 1: What's in the box, and Specs.
So what's in the box?
- PlayStation VR Headset (CUH-ZVR1)
- Auxiliary Processing Unit
- User Manuals
- Stereo Ear buds (They're cheap tho)
- One USB cable
- One High-Speed HDMI Cable
- AC Adapter and Power Cord
- One PS VR Headset Adapter Cable
- A Demo Disc (Content varies by region)
Let's check those specs.
(Sony doesn't make it easy though, not much is known about the processing box for example.)
- 5.7 Inch 1920x1080 OLED Screen
- Headset screen refreshes at a variable 90, or 120 FPS.
- Field of View is near 100 degrees.
- Auxiliary Processor meant for 3D Audio, Social Screen, and Cinematic Mode.
Part 2: The Games, The Experience.
When Sony launched the PS VR they stated 230 Game Developers were working on content for PS VR, and that by the end of 2016 at least 50 games would be out for it. Time will tell how true this pans out to be, but you can find a surprisingly up-to-date list of games here: https://en.wikipedia...tation_VR#Games
Unfortunately, at the moment PS VR doesn't have many "must have" titles, but here is a small list of stand-out titles which I think show-off VR to great effect.
- Driveclub VR
- EVE Valkyrie
- RIGS: MCL
- Robinson: The Journey (From Crytek)
- Until Dawn: Rush of Blood
The future does look a bit better though. Resident Evil VII, Final Fantasy XV and XIV will have VR content, Ace Combat 7, Golem, DOOM, Hatsune Miku, Hellgate and more all look quite promising. For me personally, I must admit it is the Japanese VR scene, indie and big name, which is interesting me the most.
- Summer Lesson Updates
- Granblue Fantasy
- Senran Kagura Peach Beach Splash
- Danganronpa VR
- Last Labyrinth
- Story of the Star Fragment
- Princess Maker
That said, you'll notice a distinct lack of pictures for these games in my review. The truth is it's hard to talk about VR, especially to people who haven't tried it yet. VR is an experience more than anything else and to convey that experience with words, well I'm not sure it can be done without a bunch of weird comparisons. To be honest, most VR games so far aren't terribly pretty, at least not on the level you've come to associate with modern PS4 games. PS4 Pro helps a little bit, boosting games in small, but sometimes visually significant ways... Alas, the true beauty of VR games isn't something that can be shown. You have to try them, you have to strap the screen in front of your face and be immersed into these worlds.
Part 3: So is VR for you?
Admittedly it's hard to convince someone to spend $399 or more (if you don't own the camera already) on what most perceive to be little more than an accessory. There are also a couple other things to consider aside from your budget. Do you have enough space in the room where you play? Do you get motion-sickness easily? Are you prone to eye strain or headaches? These are all very real concerns that you should consider before investing in the PS VR, or any VR for that matter.
At the moment, VR is an enthusiasts hobby. You gotta have the drive, the want, to try it out. You also need the money and for $399 I'd say Sony's recently released PS4 Pro is the better choice. With Pro, at the very least you can be sure you're playing all your games at their absolute best in the console space, and should you get PS VR later, you'll get the best there too. PS VR doesn't seem to have any "must-have" titles right now, and if I'm being brutally honest some of it's highest rated content at the moment is based on bite-sized thrills which make The Order 1886's original $60 release price actually look decent on a price to content ratio.
For casual Gamers, and Gamers on a budget... I cannot recommend the PS VR right now. Despite being the best VR headset on the market in terms of value, the game library just doesn't justify it yet.
Now, for Trophy hunters, PlayStation enthusiasts, and thrill seekers? VR is probably for you. Trophy hunters have noted that current VR games maintain a trend of easy trophies and are already figuring out ways to fool the headset into believing it's being worn so trophies can be earned while not even wearing the thing. Thrill seekers are probably the most catered to audience right now, most of PS VR's launch line-up does a decent job at hyping up the machine and giving the end user a peak at the possibilities of VR in the gaming world. I can only imagine that with time, the experiences will get better. PlayStation enthusiasts will notice that Sony's Marketing is really hammering away at VR. They've admitted "word of mouth" will be the biggest boost to sales, but if you've been watching their PR material since E3 there is a clear trend that they are committed to making PS VR successful and desperately trying to partner with as many studios as possible even just for tie-in material.
Because VR is hard to sell, hard to explain, the best I can do is say that if you're interested you need to research PS VR. It's a big investment and can seem superfluous. Make sure there are games you are interested in, make sure you can handle the physical space requirements for any games which require you to be moving, and make sure you understand the physical risks with VR. (Motion-sickness and Eye-strain/headaches being the biggest ones.)
If you can buy into the hype and convince yourself that the future of PS VR will be bountiful you'll likely find it a bit easier to jump in sooner. That's where I stand personally. I'm not at all convinced that PS VR is worth it right now, but I'll be getting one anyway hoping and preying that Japan takes a liking to it and develops many unique experiences for it.
Part 4: The TL:DR, Pros and Cons.
- A new and unique way to experience games.
- PS VR is technically sound at it's price point.
- Future support looks great, but time will tell.
- Very positive word of mouth in general.
- For trophy hunters, easy trophies seem to be an early trend.
- Regular PS4 users will be getting sub-par experiences.
- Current game library is lacking.
- Somewhat hectic setup, lots of wires and the extra processing box.
Part 5: Conclusion
Time to wrap up my third review now. Hopefully you're walking away from this a bit more informed, VR is a hard sell right now though. It's even harder to explain in words the type of entertainment it provides. Still, Sony has managed to put forth a VR machine which is quite competitive in terms of tech and price. It certainly has a market and I hope it does well enough to stick around and garner some much needed support. Oddly the demo disc which comes with the PS VR has some regional differences, the content available on the NA version dwarfs the European version by more than double. Importers may wish to consider this...
And now the curtains must close. As always I welcome feedback, good or bad, I'll take it on the chin! Feel free to argue my points or ask questions, I'm quite active here and I'll try to answer them to the best of my ability. Once more I thank you all for your time and hope you enjoyed this review of the PS VR.
PS VR released on October 13th World-Wide, at $399 USD, $549 CAD, €399, £349, and ¥44,980.