What is PlayStation VR? Everything you need to know
Find out more about Sony’s virtual reality headset with our guide to PlayStation VR…
You can now buy PlayStation VR – the last of the 3 big virtual reality headsets being launched this year. But what actually is PlayStation VR? How does it work, what games does it play, and how is it different to Oculus Rift? Our guide tells all…
What is PlayStation VR?
With PlayStation VR, you can enjoy your favourite games in an entirely new way. Slip on the headset to interact with the virtual world around you.
The best VR experiences come from a tethered headset – one that runs off external computers rather than your smartphone.
And PlayStation VR is tethered to the PlayStation 4.
As well as PlayStation VR headset you’ll need:
- PlayStation 4 console – either the original PS4, the new PlayStation 4 Slim or the upcoming PS4 Pro
- PlayStation Camera – this is how your movements in the real world are replicated in the virtual game
- Move controllers – these motion controllers will deliver the best VR experience, though you can play with the standard PS4 controller
The PlayStation Camera and Move controller are sold separately.
How does it work?
Setting up is simple. If you already own a PS4, simply plug the headset into your console to get started.
Slip on the headset and your game will be streamed at high speed to the screens inside from your PlayStation 4. This creates a 360° experience while a 100° field of view and a fast refresh rate (120Hz) put you at the centre of your virtual world.
Built-in sensors like the accelerometer and gyroscope and 9 LED lights track your head movements and position. These are then picked up by the PlayStation Camera and replicated in your virtual world.
The game is best controlled with the PlayStation Move motion controllers. Your movements are picked up by the PlayStation camera and again reflected in the game – whether you’re throwing a ball or a punch. So your PS4 always knows where you are.
How is it different to Oculus Rift and HTC Vive?
Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive are also tethered headsets. They however work with a powerful PC or gaming laptop rather than a games console.
To run Oculus or Vive you need some seriously powerful hardware in your computer – from processor to memory and graphics chips - and that doesn’t come cheap. The PlayStation VR is considerably lower priced than both the Rift and the HTC Vive.
HTC Vive and Rift have more power and sophistication but games look and feel incredible on the PS VR when you consider it’s running on the less powerful PlayStation 4 and costs considerably less.
What games can I play?
There’s no shortage of games coming to PlayStation VR, with Sony confirming more than 50 titles for the first months after launch. The highlights include:
- Battlezone – This first-person tank shooter set in space is one of the most eagerly anticipated VR games of 2016. A reboot of an ‘80s Atari game, it’s made for VR.
- Batman: Arkham VR – this dark, shadowy Batman game is short at just a couple of hours. But it’s seriously atmospheric and a tantalising sign of what’s to come.
- EVE: Valkyrie – this classic space shooter looks and feels spectacular in VR. Soar high above planets and dogfight with other spaceships.
VR Worlds – London Heist is the standout in this collection of mini games where you take on the role of a gangster on a diamond heist.