PlayStation VR – All You Need to Know

It has finally been announced and priced up! The arrival of the PlayStation VR is imminent and all of us fans are saving as we speak to get one. I have compiled a report on everything you need to know about this awesome looking piece of kit arriving October 2016.

It’s the price of a new console

At Game Developers Conference 2016 a few days ago, Sony announced its price tag for the PlayStation VR to be £349/$399. Whilst this is a hefty price for most, it is utterly affordable against its competition, putting it around half the price of the HTC Vive and a lot less than the Oculus Rift. It’s a price I expected. Sony is hell bent on outdoing its competition with affordable pricing. They did with the PS4 and they are continuing the trend with the PSVR. Well done, Sony.

You will need the camera and move controllers

Well, if you thought the price was high for a headset, here is one for you. You will need the PlayStation Camera, as the unique placing of the lights around the visor of the headset is used for the tracking and placement within games. It’s also optional to buy two PlayStation Move controllers which help with immersion in the cool looking library of games set to explode onto the scene. Rumor has it that the PlayStation VR will be bundled with the camera and controllers, plus the PlayStation Worlds VR disc, but this is yet to be confirmed.

What comes in the box?

The PlayStation VR comes with the headset, a processor unit, earphones, an HDMI cable, a USB cable, an AC adapter and power cord, and a headset connection adapter for the PlayStation VR. 

What games will be coming out for the PSVR?

We saw some superb trailers showcasing snippets of some of the most unique gaming experiences we’ve ever seen. The games on show included RIGS Mechanized Combat League, Until Dawn: Rush of Blood, PlayStation VR Worlds, Eagle Flight, Rez Infinite, EVE: Valkyrie, Tumble VR, Robinson: The Journey, Wayward Sky, Headmaster, Superhypercube, and The Playroom VR.

To see trailers of all of the upcoming games, go HERE!

What does the processor unit do?

At a Sony presentation, senior staff engineer Chris Norden spelled out the basics:

  • It provides no extra GPU or CPU power.
  • It’s not any form of PS4 expansion or upgrade.
  • It’s not directly accessible by the developer in any way – code cannot be written to it.

So what does it do, exactly? Well…

  • It carries out object-based 3D audio processing (“really good and important to VR”).
  • It displays the social screen – undistorting the VR output for display on TV. Quality is lost in this process, so it scales the image up and crops it so you don’t see edges.
  • “Separate mode” – a completely separate audio and video stream you can send over to TV, as opposed to the mirrored social screen. It’s sent compressed to the PU and then uncompressed by the device and sent to the screen. We’re told that this was “an innovation that came quite late” in the development of the system.
  • It displays PS4’s system software interface in cinematic mode, handling the display of traditional 2D content.

In short, it just helps render a replica screen onto a television so other people can see what the VR player is seeing and increases the immersion of 3D gaming to the player by utilising 3D audio.

Can I only play PlayStation VR titles with the headset?

Wait for it, wait for it………nope! Any PS4 title can be played using the VR headset although the VR tracking and anything VR related will be disabled. The player will just be able to play the game on a smaller screen, although when it’s close up, it wont feel so small. It also acts as a second screen so you can play multiplayer games without the need of another TV.

So, that’s all we have for you regarding the PlayStation VR so far. It’s great news for Sony, as the PlayStation VR is surely set to fly off the shelves. I can’t wait!

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