Being immersed in virtual reality is a truly mind-blowing experience unlike any other. This holiday season you can grant people the gift of something that once was only in science fiction. The PlayStation VR transports you to all new places. This popular holiday gift is sure to make your friend's or loved one’s jaw drop when they put it on their head for the first time. Shop Gamestop with Purch Perks to earn 2.5% cash back on your holiday shopping.
Until recently there haven’t been any midrange VR headsets. For instance, the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift are extremely pricy and require the additional expense of a powerful gaming computer. On the other end of the spectrum are cheap headsets made from thick plastic and even cardboard that use your smartphone screen.
Sony wants to solve this gap with the PlayStation VR headset. We think it is one of the best options for VR gaming and experiences thanks to its comfortable design, impressive launch games and strong performance.
If you know your friend or loved one already has a PlayStation 4 with a PlayStation Camera and two PlayStation Move controllers, you should get them the $399 “core” bundle, which includes the headset and an eight-game demo disk. But you’d be safer getting the $499 launch bundle, which has everything you need to get started with VR, including the two Move controllers, the headset, a demo disk and PlayStation Worlds, which costs $40 on its own. Neither bundle includes a PlayStation 4 console, which is required.
The PlayStation VR weighs more than other headsets, but it doesn’t feel less comfortable because it is incredibly adjustable and doesn’t squeeze on your head like a ski mask would. You can also wear the headset while wearing glasses.
Its setup is one of the most simplistic. The included “processor unit” interconnects the PS4 console, your TV and the headset. After those are linked just plug in the PlayStation camera to the dedicated port at the back of your console and you’re all set, assuming your PS4 is already hooked up. We did have minor issues pairing the PlayStation Move controllers to the console.
The PlayStation VR has a single screen that offers 1080 x 960 pixels per eye compared to the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive’s two vibrant OLED displays that have a 1080 x 1200-pixel resolution for each eye. This means the PlayStation VR is grainer than the competition. It’s equipped with one tracking camera, similar to the Rift. However, it doesn’t track the controllers as well as other virtual reality systems.
While we really enjoyed playing Batman: Arkham VR, a game where you suit up and defend Gotham, we found that the system required frequent recalibration of the camera and the controllers, which became frustrating. Sometimes when you look down at your hands in VR while using the Move remotes, you’ll see them shaking and pulsating. This is due to improper tracking. Besides these hiccups, Arkham VR is a fantastic and thrilling game. You will probably experience a sense of vertigo while standing on skyscrapers and looking over their edges like we did. Our palms even got sweaty.
PlayStation Worlds and the Demo Disk have several games and experiences ranging from a deep water ocean dive, a street luge simulator and several first person shooters. A handful of our testers did experience slight motion sickness though, which didn’t happen with other VR headsets. Most reviewers were able to play the games with no issues at all. We recommend playing in 30-minute intervals then resting your eyes for a bit.
We think the PlayStation VR would make a fine gift for the holidays. It’s hard to put into words how exciting stepping into virtual reality for the first time is, but it is an incredible and unforgettable experience. The PlayStation VR headset is affordable and powerful, plus has an impressive game library that will only continue to grow. Virtually anyone would be excited to receive a PlayStation VR headset as a present this year.