Sony’s VR technology dates back to about thirty years ago. Over that span of time, various projects by several involved engineers, led to what is available today as the PlayStation VR. The only product of its kind, the PS VR is powered by nothing more than a PlayStation 4 console.
With the recent expansion of virtual reality gaming, and advancements of PC driven VR devices, consumers are considering the PlayStation 4 VR bundle, and wondering… Is it worth it?
In this article, let’s look at the PlayStation VR, what comes in a PlayStation VR bundle, and if there is an advantage of choosing a PlayStation VR device over the two leading PC VR devices.
First, here’s a bit of information about Sony’s creation of the only console powered VR device:
The Development of the PlayStation VR
First introduced in 2016, at a price point of $399, this virtual reality headset made waves through the public and surpassed Sony’s product release expectations by a long shot.
The first PS VR headset was designed to be comfortable and adjustable; two qualities that have been confirmed by the majority of PlayStation VR users, despite it’s slightly heavier frame than the two leading PC VR devices, the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive.
While the headset available today looks almost the same as the original model, Sony has made minor changes along the way.
In 2017, Sony integrated the stereo headphones (which were a separate piece on the original model), and altered the connection cables to provide a slimmer, more streamlined design.
What are the Features of the PlayStation VR?
1. DISPLAY is a 5.7 inch OLED screen.
2. RESOLUTION is 960 x 1080p per eye running at up to 120 frames per second.
3. 3D AUDIO from the integrated headphones is fully encompassing for an immersive vr experience.
4. FIELD OF VIEW is about 100 degrees.
5. SENSING SYSTEM consists of 6 motion sensors.
When you purchase the PlayStation VR as a stand alone product, you receive the Headset, the Processor unit, the connection cable, an HDMI cable, a USB cable, an AC power cord, an AC adapter, Stereo headphones, and a PlayStation VR Demo Disc, all for about $200.
What Else Do You Need To Play?
While you can buy the PS VR headset by itself, it does NOT work by itself!
You’ll need the PlayStation Camera in order to play the PS VR games, which, sold separately runs between $50 and $60 at the time of this article.
In addition, there are VR games that require the use of PS Move motion controllers. Currently, you can find a set of newly upgraded PS4 VR Move motion controllers at Amazon or other retailers for about $100. (Note: Amazon has a set that includes a base charger for that same price, which I found was NOT offered by all retailers.)
As with all gaming consoles, the VR headsets can be bought as a stand alone product, or as part of a bundle, which most times offers a cost savings.
What’s included in a PlayStation VR Bundle?
Here’s what you’ll currently find in a PS VR Bundle:
1. The PlayStation VR HEADSET. The current headset consists of the features listed above.
2. The PROCESSOR UNIT. This provides 3D audio processing, Social Screen (mirroring mode, separate mode), Cinematic mode, 4K and HDR (in pass-through mode only).
3. The PlayStation CAMERA. The camera tracks the LED’s around the Headset, the DualShock Controller, and the Move motion Controllers to capture your natural movements with precision.
4. Two pack of Move Motion CONTROLLERS. These provide additional hand control, as well as vibration feedback, and are necessary for some games.
5. CONNECTORS. All necessary cables including the PlayStation VR Headset Connection Cable, HDMI cable, USB cable, Stereo headphones, AC power cord, and AC adapter.
6. PlayStation VR DEMO DISC. The disc can help you get started.
7. GAMES. While each bundle varies, it will usually include one or two games (or game vouchers) within the package.
Here are two currently popular bundles:
Borderlands 2, rated M, and Beat Saber, rated E.
Borderlands is a shooter game with comic style graphics. Naturally, it does contain violence, blood and gore, as well as language, sexual themes, and alcohol. Gameplay is crossing the desert in search of treasure, and blasting any other looters that get in your way of collecting your finds.
Beat Saber is all about rhythm. You try to slash the color coded cubes which represent beats of the surrounding music. Family friendly fun and competition.
Astro Bot Rescue Mission, rated E10+, and Moss, rated E 10+.
While Astro Bot is a PlayStation VR exclusive, and Moss can be played with any VR headset, since their debut at the end of 2018, both games have received an almost perfect 5 star rating from Amazon customers and game critics!
Astro Bot is a space mission to save his lost crew members with 20 unique levels; each presenting a different environment, such as caves, forests, and volcanoes, that contain different challenges and open more levels for a possible total of 46 levels.
Moss is an adventure game in which you accompany a mouse on his journey to save her uncle, all while exploring and conquering the evil in your path (hence the E10+ rating for mild fantasy violence, including blood, use of alcohol, and crude humor according to the ESRB).
What are the Advantages of the PlayStation VR?
1. Hardware Requirements
Convenience of use is an obvious advantage for those who already own a PlayStation 4.
And for those who don’t… well a PS4 console is considerably cheaper than a new PC, if your current PC isn’t up to the necessary specs for VR gaming, or you don’t currently own one.
Marketed as the only gaming VR headset that doesn’t require a high-end PC to run, the PS VR has been praised by gamers and critics alike.
2. Ease of Use
The PlayStation VR delivers a simple plug and play design. Just plug both the PS VR Headset and the PS Camera into your PS4 console and start playing! A lot of PS VR compatible games can be played with the DualShock controller.
How does the PlayStation VR compare to other VR Devices?
Because the PlayStation VR is run by the PS4, and not a gaming PC, there is the issue of power. A video game console just does not provide the same amount of power as a gaming PC does.
However, there are plenty of PlayStation gamers who have expressed nothing but satisfaction with the PS VR system. And if you are already a PS gamer with favorite PS titles, then it’s a great opportunity to play some of those titles in VR. In addition, only the PS VR gamers will have play access of the exclusive titles (much like the exclusive console games).
Sony has sold over 3 million PlayStation VR units since its launch, has a growing library of more than 200 VR titles, and is continuing to work on VR development for their users.
Overall, the NEW PS4 Move motion controllers have mixed reviews, at best.
Some users have claimed that the controllers worked as expected, and advise simply not to order from 3rd parties (So be sure to look for “by Sony” when ordering from Amazon).
However, several users have reported connection issues, and/or missing parts with their order.
Does this mean you should disregard the PlayStation VR?
Not necessarily. Remember, most of the games can be played with the DualShock controller, and if you decide to give the Move controllers a try, just be cautious with your order.
The PS VR Aim Controller
This is a two handed controller for use with shooter games, that has all of the controls of your DualShock controller with advanced motion sensing and tracking, as well as vibration feedback.
Best PS4 VR Charging Station: Review of the Top 5 Stands Should you buy Sony, or is there a better third party brand charging station?
Oculus Rift vs Oculus Go The Oculus Go is the current best-selling virtual reality device, but is
it the best choice for VR gaming?
Oculus vs HTC Vive: Expansion of the Vive Brand Oculus VR is the leader of virtual reality gaming, and HTC is known for their high end devices. See a comparison of current devices, and 2019’s upcoming product releases.
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Do you own, or have you used a PlayStation VR? Please share your experience below with other gamers!
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