The PSVR headset released October 2016 and first sold for $399 USD and $549 AUD and in the current market sits at around the $450 AUD for a starter pack bundle.
Since the PSVR release, the reception has been quite positive as it is one of the cheapest and high-end setups for a VR system as the VR only requires a PS4 or PS4 pro to run. The total set up is at Max around $1200 which would include the PSVR, PlayStation Camera, the PlayStation 4 Pro, and a Basic Monitor. As opposed to other VR systems that with High-end Gaming PC, VR systems can start climbing towards the 2000-3000-dollar range depending between Oculus or Vive setups.
The limiting factor to the PSVR is that its processing speeds are linked directly to whether you have the PS4 or the enhanced model PS4 pro. While the PSVR works almost to perfection with the PS4 pro the base model PS4 also has little problems and the system is optimised while using the VR to reduce lag as these lag problems or glitches while using the VR can be damaging to users who may suffer from epileptic or similar neural conditions.
With the full utilisation of the PSVR system using the PS4 Pro as your console, you now have many numbers of games and VR experiences at your fingertips. However, the PSVR game market has struggled to bring to the forefront many games that really push the limits of the console. Despite there are still some very good first-generation games brought so far to the system coupled with a variety of VR experiences that range from movie scene explorations, moonwalks, explorations of the Chernobyl disaster and viewing ship wreaks decades old. For the purpose of this review will be talking about the VR Experience that is the Alien Covenant “In Utero” VR 360 video experience.
The experience encompasses a scene from the Alien: Covenant involving the Back-burster scene aboard the Covenant Colony Dropship Lander. However, there is a spin on the events instead of being in the boots of the colonist you instead take the point of view of the Neomorph creature as it grows within the host and will eventually erupt to attack any human victims. The in Utero experience is interesting however lacks in its scope as it sits at around 2-3 minutes in length with a majority being the birthing process and ends not long after that, the experience looks good at first glance, however, suffers from a short time span and only really two environments explored, the experience could have been made better by extending the length and including the neomorphs escape and attack of the crew later in the wheat field and maybe even some scene of it moves through the landscape stalking them as they moved to David’s lab which would have been extremely interesting and been much more satisfying.
In the department of games, there are as of now an increasing number of well-done VR playing games. This includes shooters such as Bravo Team, the London Heist and Doom VR, horror titles such as a variety of smaller titles, Paranormal Activity and The Inpatient, Explorer/Adventures such as Skyrim VR and Robinson the Journey as well as a plethora of over 100 other titles being released so far in the PSVR’s lifecycle.
The PSVR maintains and if not exceeds the quality for many of the other VR systems in graphics and processing ability, it has a 1080p screen that can, when focusing your lenses correctly provide a quite stunning experience for the user. The emersion of the Headset is apparent and effective in almost all experiences.
The PSVR operates using simply the PSVR Headset linked to your PSVR console using one master cable then to the PS4 with two cables with the option to have your TV connected simultaneously to allow your friends or family to view the experience in regular old 2D. The Headset once set up is very simple to use and comes packaged with all the equipment necessary to begin using your new device, earlier the PS camera would not be included with your purchase and needed to be sold separately, however, the PSVR now comes bundled with a Camera. The only requirements for your physical set up is to have an open space around you while you play, and that you do not move too far out of PS cameras view, which with a little manoeuvring of the camera is hard to do anyway as most people will be sitting during use to avoid dizziness, running into things and falling over. The Simplistic use of the PSVR’s tracking system is a bonus, however this can inhibit its ability to accurately determine where in relation to the camera you are at any one time which may then require the occasional holding down of the options button which resets the tracking and refocusing the screen to the front of the viewing area in front of your camera. Other VR system such as the Vive or Oculus requires the setup of multiple cameras through your play area which is more difficult but means the tracking is more accurate.
Overall the PlayStation VR is relatively cheap and easy to set up and use VR systems that couples to your Playstation4 of PlayStation 4 Pro, it delivers an immersive and in some cases amazing experience right to your room of choice, from fighting Aliens to being them to Undertaking Heist to Scaling walls and building as an Ape and even exploring the most dangerous place on earth and beyond the PSVR is a devices that allows you to have an experience you will never be able to have in reality and to and device that pushing gaming into the next phases of hyper realism.