Is PlayStation VR worth it in 2021?
Sony PlayStation VR
4.7 out of 5
Sony PlayStation VR Review
Virtual reality technology has been tried and failed many times. Well, until the launch of three top-end VR headsets in 2016. Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR. These VR headsets played a huge role in making VR gaming a reality.
And it was good timing because the technology has only gotten better if not more competitive. With the release of Oculus Quest, it means you are no longer tethered to wires. This way you can enjoy full room-scale movement. And even though Rift S is still tethered to PC, it brings insight tracking with it.
Even so, the release of the HTC Vive Cosmos will happen any day now. It is supposed to bring better resolution and fully tracked motion controllers.
This brings us to the question, is PSVR worth it in 2021?
This headset is plug and play. It only requires a PS4 or PS4 Pro console and you are ready to venture into the world of virtual reality. It does not require an expensive PC setup. And, it’s still the cheapest, high-end VR headset you can get on the market.
Let’s delve deeper into PlayStation VR specs and see where it stands in this day and age.
Design and Comfort of the PSVR Headset
Sony developers don’t go easy on designs. As you can see, the PSVR headset comes in a sleek design. It has a swooping molded plastic body in black and white. We also like the jazzy glowing lights though they do represent a functional feature. That is to track movement.
The design is unlike the ski mask that we have seen in all other VR headsets. This makes it easy for anyone to wear it including those who wear glasses. More so because it distributes the weight evenly onto the front of your head.
This headset provides great customizability. It has a padded headband that you can easily adjust using a button that sits behind the display. We also like that the display does not put pressure on the head. It hangs loosely from the headband.
You get a nice level of cushioning with PSVR. Even after hours of gaming, you won’t feel like you’ve been carrying around a loaded sack on your head. Good luck getting over all the cumbersome attachments that come with HTC Vive.
Not that you won’t have any tethers. You still have to hook up the power supply. PSVR uses its own. The unit connects to the PS4 console over HDMI or USB. There’s the auxiliary box that feeds to a splitter. It converges into one cord which connects to the headset.
Apart from the above components, you also need a PS4 Dual Shock 4 controller and a play space 6ft by 10ft. The play space should not be very bright.
What we like about this set up is that even with the cables, you don’t experience an ounce of drag during gameplay.
Perhaps the best thing about PSVR is that the set up does not involve upgrading your PC or buying a new one. You don’t need to worry about PC specs and game optimization. You can start playing without touching any of the settings.
Moreover, PSVR is more accessible. If you already own PS4, it goes for less than half the price of the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Another impressive fact about PSVR is the sheer number of games you can play. Most game developers opt Sony over HTC and Oculus to launch their games. This is because Sony is already a world-class game publisher.
That goes to say, updates and improvements often happen to PSVR games than on PC VR games.
PSVR Specifications 2021
PlayStation VR comes with a 5.7-inch OLED screen. It can handle 1080p games on its 1920 x RGB x 1080p screen resolution. It is not super sharp since other high-end VR headsets boast 2560 x 1440p like the newly unveiled Oculus Rift S.
It may not shine in the resolution. But you can be sure it won’t be nausea-inducing playing at an awesome refresh rate of 120Hz. It also boasts a lower latency at 18ms on a wide 100-degree field of view.
Combined with the game variety found on PSVR, you are sure to get an immersive experience. Even better, if you play on PS4 Pro, you will enjoy detailed textures which means games will be less grainy.
Games from world-class publishers like Resident Evil 7 Biohazard and Batman Arkham VR allow you to experience great immersion. All thanks to their graphics and polishing.
PSVR is more than capable of playing most games with great graphical fidelity. But Oculus and Vive offer better immersion. This is because of their room-scale tracking.
PSVR does not offer full room tracking. It has a PS4 connected camera that will track your head movement and monitor the LED lights on the headset’s side.
The camera can track the PSVR up to 1000 times per second. It combines this with a sensor located at the back. This combo allows you to turn your head over 360 degrees in the virtual world.
Vive has laser position sensors, an accelerometer, and a gyrosensor. It combines the lighthouse base with lasers that track the controllers within a 15ft x 15ft space. Because of this, you can be able to stand up and walk in the virtual world. Also, you can see the real world using the front-facing camera while still wearing the Vive headset.
While Vive is good at games that require you to walk around, PSVR is best suited to games that don’t need turning. Like boxing or Beat Saber.
Although HTC Vive and Oculus Rift seem to have a vantage point in room-scale tracking, they are expensive, more difficult to set up and require a considerable amount of space.
PSVR’s control is achieved by combining the DualShock 4 controller, PlayStation Move Controllers, and HDM head movements. These features are all you need to interact with the virtual world. The move controllers are important. They add to the whole immersion feeling unlike with the DualShock 4 Controller alone.
The wands boast an ergonomic design and advanced motion sensors. They make it easy for you to bring everything to life. From holding guns to wielding swords and even throwing punches. You will feel truly in the moment as you explore the endless possibilities of the virtual world.
PSVR Aim Controller
This is another aspect of control when using PSVR. The PSVR Aim Controller gives you precision aiming and control while shooting. If the DualShock 4 is giving you trouble when navigation menus, the PSVR Aim controller makes it a seamless experience.
It also bears an ergonomic design which gives you a realistic shooting experience. Coupled with precise motion tracking, intuitive controls, and vibration feedback, it is a more immersive method of interacting in VR.
When PSVR was first released, there was a mix of titles that could be played on the headset. Some were made for the headset while others had to be converted. Today, there’s a slew of games that will immerse You into the VR experience.
Here are my favorite games and the controllers you need to play them.
1. Tetris Effect
Controllers: DualShock 4
This tile-matching puzzle game gives you an incredible trip into the virtual world. In regular PS4, the game is not much. But on VR, the game opens into a music visualizer. In a game that only requires you to line up blocks so that they can disappear, it has such a strong emotional effect that is hard to explain.
The game puts you in an ecstatic state of flow. It allows you to lose yourself and be on the alerts for actions lest you will be booted before you finish a level.
It may not be your first choice. But if you are willing to immerse yourself in its strangely beautiful world, then go for it.
2. Space Junkies
Genre: First Person Shooter (FPS)
Controllers: Two Move Controllers
Space Junkies is a game that is supported by PSVR, HTC Vive, and Oculus Rift. The Zero-gravity Arena Shooter is a multiplayer game.
It also supports cross-play compatibility across various platforms. You don’t need a fellow player to use PSVR. They can be on Vive or Rift and it will still play.
With an arsenal of weapons, you get to face off against other gamers in orbital arenas. On PSVR, you have a unique navigation system. It takes you through vertical spaces at supersonic flying speeds. There’s lots of mayhem. Amidst bullets flying and explosions, it all happens in zero gravity.
Pump some adrenaline as you take on targets with this very immersive game.
3. Beat Saber
Controllers: Move Controllers
Beat Saber is one of the most popular VR games.
It is a unique game that is surprisingly fun while giving you a secret workout. In this game, you use move controllers to slash through the beats as they fly at you. It is so much fun because you don’t realize you are moving and anyone can learn the basics of the game within seconds.
This game gives you the perfect perception of rhythm. In 2021, it has incorporated new songs thanks to its new user interface. It has that level of depth that both young and old can be familiar and satisfied with. For those who want to jiggle and wiggle to the beat, Beat Saber, is the PSVR game for you.
PSVR in 2021- Verdict
Console gamers have every reason to pick PSVR as their VR headset of choice. With over 90 million units of PS4 consoles sold, it makes virtual reality more accessible to the masses. PSVR is ready to play out of the box. And, it does not require a powerful PC to run.
If you are looking for affordability rather than the raw VR experience, PSVR is the ideal headset in 2021. It is worth the money and experience.