Hardware & Tech Reviews - - by Niall De'Ath

Tech of the Week: Playstation VR

Tech of the Week: Playstation VR

VR didn’t have the reception it was promised on PC, mostly due to extortionate costs that alienated the mass market and a number of techical problems. In response, many have looked away the Oculus and the Vive in favour of a more affordable option. That option is PlayStation VR.

Immediately, the PS VR lets you know you’re dealing with quality. The headset is both stylish and comfortable, without any unnecessary weight to throw you off. With a minimalist design and bright, blue lights, it meets the aesthetic requirements of goofy future tech. Thankfully, setup is simple and should only take a maximum of around half an hour.

Behind the scenes, there are a few important specs to keep an eye on. The screen included is 5.7-inch OLED, with 1920 x 1080 120-90Hz altogether (around 960 x 1080 per eye). The default FOV runs around 100, which is just on the border for what we would consider a minimum requirement.

Using the internal console GPU exclusively, the PS VR renders two high quality images in 3D for both eyes, while the camera tracks the lights on the headset and move controllers. This enables a virtually 1-1 cross over from life to in-game movement. Yes, with this newfound power you will spend most of your time waving your hands around like a toddler, and yes, you will look for any physics objects to throw within seconds of entering a VR world. And it works well enough

Despite fears that console virtual reality would fail to match the excellent quality on suitably beefy computers, PlayStation VR somehow manages to push already strained hardware to handle the trails and demands of the resource intensive world of virtual reality. When it comes down to the massively cheaper £350 headsets, you get far more quality than you pay for. It opens up a whole new way to game for PlayStation 4 owners.

But how does it all look in practice? Pretty great, but not entirely ideal. This may be a result of our previous exposure to VR being the extremely high quality 2160 x 1200 displays of the HTC Vive, but the lower resolution is very noticeable at first. While for the most part everything looks good, there is a significant amount of blurriness and jagged textures which does a lot to remind you that you’re playing on a console.

However, the 120Hz display was a massive positive point, ensuring everything ran smoothly and prevented motion sickness. As it is vital for any VR experience to run smoothly, mostly to reduce explosive vomiting the second you turn around, it makes gaming with the PS VR a comfortable and very enjoyable time.

There are a few extra, often overlooked costs involved, such as a camera and move controllers, but considering the cost of a VR ready PC, you are looking at a much more economical option here.

But enough about budgeting and other boring nonsense that real adults talk about. What you really need to know is that PlayStation VR is a great package no matter how you look at it.

The PS VR has been seen as the budget option for VR, both in price and quality, for far too long. But in practice it doesn’t just do the job, it excels at it, creating a must own addition to any PlayStation owners peripheral collection. After a rocky start for VR, the PlayStation has become the underdog that has wound up leading from the front.

Will it change the very format of our gaming lifestyle? Unlikely, but for the time being, PS VR is a wild ride.

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