Virtual reality has been around for a while but with the arrival of PlayStation VR, regular folks can now get their hands on it. Sony’s headset is the cheapest among the market’s largest players, and it’s currently the only option available to console gamers.
The PlayStation VR initially came with a $399 price tag, but today its basic package is even cheaper at $299. It’s even more inexpensive than the $399 Oculus Rift and $599 HTC Vive.
To maximize the experience, you’ll also need a $59.99 PlayStation Camera PlayStation Move controllers (the two-pack costs $99). When added up, the total cost should be around $457, which is still cheaper than the Vive.
What’s in the box
Here’s what you get when you buy a basic PlayStation VR set:
- A processor unit
- A VR headset connection cable
- An HDMI cable
- A USB cable
- Stereo headphones
- An AC power cord
- An AC adaptor
The bundle also includes instruction manuals, a lens-cleaning cloth, and a demo disc.
The setup process is deceptively simple (see below), taking around 30 minutes in all. You simply need to connect HDMI cables from the PS4 to the PlayStation VR processing unit, then to the headset itself.
The processing unit was a mystery for a long time before Sony revealed what it actually does – and it’s all pretty important stuff.
The processing unit
This is a rather odd device. It needs a dedicated power supply and stays in a semi-powered state (with a red “off” bar permanently lit) even when you switch off the PlayStation 4.
Thus, it’s constantly using up electricity. You’ll still need to unplug the processing unit to totally power down. But to Sony’s credit, once everything is connected, the headset works with no issues.
That means you won’t have to worry about system requirements or graphics settings. There’s an occasional software update, but it’s essentially fuss free.
Don’t let the cheap price tag fool you; the PlayStation VR looks and feels expensive. Putting on the headset feels like you’re naturally wearing a helmet, thanks to its automatically retracting strap. To adjust the strap, you can turn the dial at the back.
There’s also a handy release button to remove the headset.
If we have one criticism, it’s the overall weight when worn. You’ll feel anchored, especially with all the cables connected to the headset. It’s not a big deal but this feels noticeable after a while.