The Sony Playstation VR was my first VR headset with 6 Degrees Of Freedom headtracking and two 6 Degrees Of Freedom controllers. I got in on launch day back in 2016 and I loved it. Since then nearly 2 years have passed and there is quite some competition on the market now. Is the Sony Playstation VR still worth it in 2018?
I don’t want to beat around the bush here. The answer is a resounding YES. Even though I own all VR headsets that are on the market right now and even some that aren’t yet, I keep coming back to the PSVR for a couple of reasons.
The Sony Playstation VR is still the most comfortable headset. I can spend hours upon hours in the headset without feeling the need to go back to the harsh reality. It’s quite amazing that no other headset has yet reached these comfort levels yet.
Also in terms of visual quality the Playstation VR can still compare against the competition. Even though the display resolution is quite low with 1080 * 960 pixels per eye, the picture in VR looks good and at times better than the Rift or Vive, which both sport higher resolution displays. The reason is that the PSVR uses an RGB stripe matrix as opposed to Pentile which results in one additional subpixel per pixel. Therefore there is nearly no Screen Door Effect (SDE) visible in the PSVR. Also the PSVR does not use Fresnel lenses so it is not plagued by god rays like most of the competing headsets. Overall, it is still a very enjoyable experience to delve into VR using the Playstation VR.
Now what makes me coming back over and over are the exclusive games for the system. Sony just does an exceptional job in that department. Some games like for example the horror blockbuster Resident Evil 7 are still only available for the PSVR if you would like to play the game in Virtual Reality. And still, the exclusive games keep on coming while most of the cross platform VR games are available on the PSVR as well.
On top of all that, you can get the fantastic PSVR Aim controller, a two-handed rifle accessory that will make shooters much more immersive. It is a great accessory and anyone who loves immersion should get it together with a copy of Farpoint, which was my pick for VR Game Of The Year 2017.
Now after so much praise let’s also talk about the drawbacks of the system. The biggest problem is the tracking. The PSVR is tracked by one camera that you either position on top of the TV or beneath it. Unfortunately this only allows for front-facing tracking. If you turn away from the camera and block the line of sight to your controllers, these will lose tracking. That is truly unfortunate and the competition will allow you to turn all around in 360 degrees. Also the Playstation Move controllers that are used for 6DOF input have actually not been developed with VR in mind and it shows. While they do come with a trigger, you won’t find an analog stick or a touchpad here. It is inconvenient and makes playing games like Skyrim not as comfortable as on the competing VR systems.
Still, the PSVR is a great VR system, also in 2018. And with all the discounts and attractive bundles that are available now, everyone who owns a Playstation 4 (Pro) and who is interested in VR should get one.