You know, I’ll be the first to admit that I might have been wrong about this whole VR thing. It is no secret that I was initially quite critical of the three mainstream VR solutions that brief v and PlayStation VR. The high entry price limited number of quality games and the physical space required to use them. All seemed like significant barriers back in 2016.
These are still valid problems one year on but the thing is once you’ve tried VR those issues fade away and it’s kind of hard to look at gaming in the same way again.
So, I decided to make a Playstation VR review for those that are planning to get them but are unsure.
I got the Playstation VR a little over 11 months. Certainly, it is not perfect, it still provides with quality time. Of course, there are more options of VR out there but they definitely hit the pockets deep.
PlayStation VR (check latest price on amazon) provides the best quality for its price compared to other worths. I do not use Playstation VR as my core gaming but still provide a refreshing experience here and now. The platform has a lot of support and more exciting games on its way.
The price has come down a little but it may be worth a shot. There are more options out there like used platform on eBay but you may have to be careful. Read the rest of my Playstation VR review to know if it did go and if is something you should get.
So it’s been a little over a year since Sony launched the PlayStation VR and quite a lot has happened in that time. While the retail price of the hardware hasn’t moved much sales offering, big discounts have made it possible to pick it up reasonably cheap.
The library of games has grown significantly too and this poses a couple of important questions. Is PlayStation VR better value than a year ago? is the platform’s future’s still bright? If you’re on the fence about picking it up is now a good time.
For this review, I’ll be focusing on the experience using a standard PS4 and not a pro. I think that reviewing PlayStation VR performance on the standard ps4 provides the most honest representation of Sony’s solution because the vast majority of ps4 owners don’t have the pro.
It also gives you an idea of the base level of performance you can expect. If you do over Pro you can expect improvements such as an increase in resolution.
That being said the pro does not guarantee the same level of enhancement with all games. Some games run with a noticeable increase in visual fidelity but this is not always the case.
PS VR affordable???
So first off let’s look at the price. As I mentioned, the retail cost has not changed dramatically, however, there have been numerous opportunities to pick it up during a sale, such as the Black Friday deals.
Something else to consider is the number of second-hand units available on sites like eBay.
If you do not find a used option then there are a plenty of new units around at least at the time of making this article.
So even outside of a sale. It is still possible to pay substantially less than what it cost at launch. Sony’s headset has always been the economy version of the big three and even though both the rift and drive have seen big reductions in their retail prices.
Sony is still the most affordable. PlayStation VR may not provide the same level of quality but if it’s a question of bang for buck then PlayStation VR is easily your best bet.
So what about the experience…
So why are there so many barely used and unloved headsets for sale secondhand? In order to answer this, we need to talk about what I believe is the most important thing to consider when taking the VR plunge, that is whether or not you like the VR experience as a whole.
VR is an incredibly subjective experience. Gaming, in general, is subjective of course but with VR the choice of games is much more limited and not everyone will enjoy the sensation of virtual reality.
VR games are predominantly and unsurprisingly presented in the first-person. This combined with the limited options for movement results in games that often feel very similar.
On top of that, you have the added layer of the experience itself which is something that you really have to experience firsthand to know if it is for you or not. If you happen to enjoy both this style of the games and the experience the final and most important hurdle if your brain likes it too.
For some people, motion sickness is unavoidable and probably accounts for many of the second-hand units on eBay.
Personally, I’ve had mixed results with motion sickness. Some games like the Star Wars VR mission I can play without issues but others such as far point almost immediately invites uncle Vaughn bomb over for a visit.
I’ve also found that the longer I play or the more tired I am the more susceptible I am to feeling sick. By the way, and just in case you were wondering playing VR drunk and/or high may sound like a great idea it is not. Trust me on that one.
Is there good game qualities???
The other factor that has likely played a large part in people not enjoying the VR experience is the games. Many of the large budget Triple-A attempts at VR feel like demos.
Star Wars, for example, is easily one of my favorite VR games but it’s one mission that can be beaten in under half an hour.
The same goes for a lot of other games. GranTurismo Sport, for example, has VR support but races are limited to one be one versus the AI. Even games which support full playthroughs, like Resident Evil 7, don’t really feel optimized to be played this way.
It seems like the vast majority of developers either do not get what makes a good VR experience or simply do not have the time and resources to realize their visions. When a game works though, Wow! Goosebumps.
The first time I fired up Star Wars for example simply sitting in the cockpit looking at the virtual world around me gave me a huge grin.
The other issue is that the level of hand-holding in some games can be a bit obnoxious. I understand that developers have a responsibility in making sure that their games do not result in people blowing chunks but sitting through lengthy tutorials and long-winded setup procedures are not funny though.
Game developers will probably become less paranoid about this over time as they become more experienced but I do not think that game length, in general, will change dramatically. At least not in the short term.
The size and quality of the PlayStation VR games library is also something to consider. Well, it has definitely grown in the past year and there are some excellent titles available. I still do not think it is accurate to say that you are spoiled for choice.
As I mentioned earlier, many of the games fit into the same category but there is certainly more choice now than there was at launch and there is also more titles that feel like properly realized games.
Something that I’ve noticed is that there is an obvious disparity between good and bad games. When games are well-made, they can be a lot of fun and incredibly immersive but bad or even mediocre games feel exceptionally bad.
I guess that is because the success of the overall experience relies heavily on every aspect of the game design coming together in a cohesive way. If something is off even by a little bit it ruins the entire experience.
Now, this can be true with gaming in general but because VR is so much more immersive, things that don’t work tend to be much more noticeable frustrating and/or vomit-inducing.
On the upside one of the benefits of VR still being reasonably new is that there are a ton of demos and free games. There are some real stinkers obviously but games such as moths or creative examples of the platform’s potential and hopefully a sign of where things are headed.
So I think the best that you can hope for with the current state of PlayStation VR are bite-sized chunks of enjoyment. VR is not supposed to be enjoyed in the same way that conventional gaming.
Sure there are games like Skyrim on the platform but I do not know if you would really want to play a game of that length completely. In VR, again, this is very subjective but it’s something to bear in mind.
Watching 3D movies using PS VR
Something else to consider, VR is non-gaming experiences. Undoubtedly, gaming will be the main attraction for anyone interested in platformer but this can make it easy to overlook the fact that you can watch movies in VR too.
This does not actually put you inside the movie, of course, but it does give you a similar feeling to sitting in a cinema.
You can also watch 3D movies without needing those sexy 3D glasses. It is a shame! I can not show you what they look like but if you’re a fan of movies in this format, then you won’t be disappointed.
It is easily the most impressive 3D I have seen to date.
PS VR sounds great but…
In this PlayStation VR review, I have been very considerate but I cannot ignore some practical considerations.
One of my key complaints with VR is the space required to use it. While both the Rift and Vive require large open areas, PlayStation VR works quite well in small spaces.
It is also not nearly as complicated to set up, although it still has a lot of cables and it can be a bit annoying to use.
There are some nice third-party stands to help organize everything but whatever your setup looks like cable clutter is unavoidable. One other thing that I don’t like is that along with plugging it into the rear of the PS4 PlayStation VR.
Also requires a free USB port. I personally have all my games stored on an external HD which by the way is an excellent way to store your games.
And, this only leaves me with one spent port that means if I’m playing VR I can’t use my Astro a50 for party chat or have a wired controller plugin. It is not the end of the world but again it is definitely worth bearing in mind.
PS Move controller & Camera a must
Another thing to consider is all the extra bits and pieces you’ll need. Sony originally said that all games would work with the standard controller.
This is no longer the case and to experience everything the platform has to offer you will need to pick up the move controllers.
That is not to say that you cannot have fun without them but you will be missing out on some really good games if you are only using the DualShock.
Something that you definitely can’t live without is the PlayStation camera. It is an additional cost although not a large one.
Playstation camera is also reasonably innocuous but it does not do much outside games that support it and most PlayStation VR bundles these days included it.
If you are purchasing a unit second hand make sure it is part of the deal.
Will it last or …
The final part of the decision-making process with purchasing PlayStation VR is whether or not it’s going to be supported long term.
Many people including myself, have speculated that VR is simply a fad and once the hype dies down it will fade away kind of like how 3D TVs have.
The hype for VR is certainly not as high as it was 12 months ago but according to Sony sales of PlayStation VR units while not huge is still steady.
There have also been lots of new games announced in 2017 at events such as E3 and PlayStation experience.
That being said there have also been some notable studios pull out of VR entirely even still it seems like there’s plenty of support for PlayStation VR from third-party developers.
There are definitely some exciting looking titles on the way. It is unlikely that PlayStation VR will ever become a must-have item for every PS4 owner but the sales numbers along with the level of support that the headset has seen in the past year are certainly promising.
It is impossible to predict if it will be around two to three years down the line of course so if you’re considering making the purchase just be aware that VR may not be a forever thing.
So final thoughts while gaming on the PlayStation VR (amazon) is far from perfect, and it definitely won’t deliver the same type of meaty and lengthy gaming you’re used to but it can provide an experience like nothing else.
If you are willing to accept that the type of games is limited and that VR is something that you enjoy in short bursts, rather than it changing the way you game entirely, then it can be a lot of fun.
This is my Playstation VR review. If I missed anything or you would like to add any of your experience, comment below. Read my Turtle Beach 520 Review & why is one the best gaming headset.