News Update 18/04/2016:
Sony just announced that they’d be bringing PlayStation VR demos to around shops in the month of June. The news is that the headset will also be demoed in stores showing HTC Vive or Oculus Rift.
PlayStation VR: Release Date
Two years on and Sony has finally been given an official release date. For the longest time the question was, when will the PlayStation VR be released. Prior to the GDC 2016, I was tearing my heads off asking “When will I be able to buy the PlayStation VR?”. Now we know that the PlayStation VR headset will be available to buy from October 2016.
The headset was initially rumored to get an early 2016 release and was anticipated to give the big players in the market a run for their money. But then Sony decided to have an October release giving its competitors – Oculus Rift and HTC Vive Pre, a six months advantage. Although, if you ask me this might be clever tactics that’ll allow Oculus and HTC to take the brunt of early release while Sony brings out their brand new and comparatively cheaper product at the end of the year.
PlayStation VR: Price
We already knew that the Sony VR was going cost less than its competitors and we have to say, the fact alone is very exciting. At the GDC Sony confirmed that the PlayStation VR costs $399, £349 or AU$550.
Given the shock and disappointment fans had experienced due to the high price of other high-end VR like HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR’s price point was lauded. Even Oculus founder Palmer Luckey spoke up on the affordability of the device and called it “totally fair.”
This is not really surprising since the company had in its early stage of developing confirmed that it was important to build something that everyone can use. In an inteview that PlayStation vice president Masayasu Ito gave to Polygon, he said the PSVR “is not for the person who uses a high-end PC. It’s for the mass market”.
However, you should note that the cost only includes the headset and you’d have to get the PlayStation Camera, or any PlayStation Move or Dualshock controllers, separate. These items can be picked up from various retailers if you don’t own them already. OR you can also opt to buy PlayStation VR Launch Bundle at $499.99 which includes VR headset, Processor unit, VR headset connection cable, HDMI cable, USB cable, Stereo headphones, AC adaptor, AC power cord, PlayStation Camera, PlayStation VR Demo Disc, 2 PlayStation Move motion controllers, and PlayStation VR Worlds Game Disc. Check out the ‘how to pre-order PlayStation VR’ post that I wrote for more details.
PlayStation VR: How To Pre-Order
I’ve got a dedicated page on this, so you might wanna head there. Or you can follow the link below to pre-order on Amazon:
PlayStation VR Launch Bundle: Available on AMAZON
PlayStation VR Headset: Available on AMAZON
PlayStation VR: Design
PlayStation VR is pretty comfortable to wear, and its well-padded design easily slips on your head and securely clinches there with the help of a dial at the back of the headset. The front section, which is the real deal, comfortably sits over your eye at the press of a button. Moreover, it accommodates your eyeglasses too, perfectly. You can, of course, adjust the headset to fit and even take a sneak peek at the real world without having to remove the headset. The majority of the device’s weight rests on top of your head so don’t worry about the front section falling forward.
Now getting down to the actual external design, the headset is made of matte-finish plastic that brings the device a sleek, futuristic look. By not hiding the nine standards LED light that is present in all VR headset but usually not revealed, the Sony VR has come up with an unrivaled unique look.
Read more in our PlayStation VR hands-on review.
To highlight one more unique feature, remember when we told you that users could take a peek at the outside world without removing the headset. That’s because there’s a flappy rubber fringe on the outside that is supposed to conceal light from coming in but unlike other headsets, the rubber here doesn’t completely seal off. This is done deliberately in favor of gamers who’d like to avoid motion sickness.
PlayStation VR: Features
The PlayStation VR is a pretty unique kind of VR headset. It’ll, of course, hook up to the Sony PlayStation 4 – 36 million of which have been sold worldwide. The headset is your answer on how to avoid buying super expensive PC for games.
Like the other two high-profile virtual reality contenders, PSVR too uses special curved lenses to stretch and magnify its 5.7-inch screen across the user’s field of view. It’s equipped with full positional motion tracker that allows users to have a sense of the real-time environment. And its hosts of sensors will tell the headset which way your head is pointed so even when you look behind; you’d see a portion of the virtual world that is supposed to be at your back. The PlayStation camera tracks the VR headset around 1,000 times per second providing a seamless experience. Honestly, it’s the headset’s ‘cinematic mode’ that has got me all excited. It puts a player on a virtual big screen.
Sony says PlayStation VR will offer “amazingly smooth visuals, ” but graphically it doesn’t matches with Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. When quizzed on this PlayStation vice president Masayasu Ito, said “If you just talk about the high-end quality, yes, I would admit that Oculus may have better VR. However, it requires a very expensive and very fast PC.” When I tried my hands on PSVR, I noticed that the games ran smoothly for the most part and looked pretty crisp and clear. Except for when playing Nintendo Wii, I could see pixels and a corner that got a little blurry. Personally, I don’t think this is much of an issue when playing a game like Nintendo Wii.
The headset is not going to hook up with PS4 on its own and will require an additional box. In order to deal with the specifics of the headset’s operation, Sony has created a secondary box so that you can connect the headset to the PS4 via USB and HDMI. The broken box will allow the user to hook up the headset and a TV at the same time.
The PSVR is controlled using the standard DualShock 4 controller which has got certain in-built motion-controlling features so that gamers can play without having to see which buttons to press. Sony has also opted to incorporate elements from its PlayStation Move Batons that earlier had a face-off with Microsoft’s Kinect motion control system and got completely written off. I personally like the Baton very much as it allows me to interact with the game by using motions and gestures and I’m glad Sony decided to keep this on.
PlayStation VR: Key Specs
- Display: 5.7-inch OLED display
- Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
- Field of View: 100-degree
- Frame & Refresh Rate: up to 120fps and 120Hz
- Sensors: Six-axis motion sensing system (three-axis gyroscope, three-axis accelerometer)
- External Dimension: Approx. 187×185×277 mm
- Mass: approx. 610g
PlayStation VR: Games
The one thing that PlayStation headset isn’t gonna lack in is games. Sony has promised that the PSVR will come with up to 50 games at launch. At the GDC the company told us that there are around 230 game developers working on the headset.
Note: We’ve made a list of the confirmed PlayStation VR games. It’s constantly updated.
- 100ft Robot Golf
- Ace Combat 7
- DEAD OR ALIVE XTREME 3
- Driveclub VR
- Gran Turismo Sport
- The Modern Zombie Taxi Co.
- O! My Genesis VR
- The Playroom VR
- Playstation VR Worlds
- RIGS: Mechanized Combat League
- Rez Infinite
- Robinson: The Journey
- Star Wars Battlefront VR, etc
There are two games that everyone’s looking out for – Eve: Valkyrie and Job Simulator. These are some really cool and neat stuff, and I’m pretty sure a lot of you would want to buy the VR headset so that you can play these games. I know I would!
Check out The Top 10 PlayStation Games To Look Forward To
It’s worth noting the Sony VR isn’t simply a gaming platform, and like any other VR headset, this too offers PlayStation Video arms and PlayStation Music and in some form of virtual movie theatres or immersive music visualization.
PlayStation VR Glove:
The US Patent and Trademark Office revealed that Sony is presently working on a special glove controller for the PlayStation VR. Back 2014, Sony filed a patent for a glove controller. This could really set the device apart from contenders like Oculus and Vive. The actual patent says that it’s a ‘glove interface object’ and comes with ton sensors for each finger that “quantifies an amount of force applied” which basically means you can apply pressure in the virtual world. The detailed description says, “a glove may be used by one or more remote users to interact in a collaborative way to examine documents, screens, applications, diagrams, business information, or the like.” While not all patents end up becoming a reality or at least not anytime soon anyway but at least we know companies are trying to develop new ways to interact with virtual reality.
PlayStation VR Name:
Before wrapping this up, I’d like you to share something interesting with you regarding the name of the headset. Up until the 2015 Tokyo Game Show, all knew that Sony was working on some very secretive project called the Project Morpheus. When we got to know that it was actually a VR headset they are building; many speculated the name would be stuck with the device. But we are glad they went ahead to change the name to Sony PlayStation VR, as it makes the technology recognizable and accessible.
Thanks For Reading
I hope you enjoyed reading about the Sony PlayStation VR. If you want to keep getting news updates on the device, then join my email list down below and don’t forget to drop a comment if you have a query.