PlayStation VR Reviews: What’s the Verdict?
After years of trade shows and press previews, virtual reality finally landed on consumer heads in 2016, and now PlayStation VR reviews are piling in. But is this the headset to invest in? We loved our time with PlayStation’s cozy VR headset strapped on our big dumb heads, but it was only a brief preview.
Making the decision to splurge on PSVR isn’t easy, thanks to the still nasty price of $549.99 or $699.99 for the camera and controller bundle that Canadians have to pay. To make things easier, here’s a list of PlayStation VR reviews from some of the top critics in gaming and tech.
You won’t find one game that revolutionizes how games are played within PlayStation’s VR, says Adi Robertson. What is present, however, is a balanced launch lineup accompanied by a comfortable headset and a company insisting they’re in this for the long run.
“Sony is providing a home for interesting, low-key experiences that highlight some of the medium’s strengths. More than any single piece of cutting-edge technology, the key to making VR succeed is just getting more people to use VR. And with PlayStation VR, Sony has just made that a lot easier”
“The word ‘incredible’ gets thrown around a lot, but virtual reality actually earns that praise,” writes IGN’s Dan Stapleton in their PlayStation VR Review. IGN sees how the “you get what you pay for” caveat applies to this lower priced product, but still finds the tech “astonishing.”
“VR games that rival current console blockbusters are a long way off, so it won’t be as immediately useful as you might expect for a $400 to $500 price. However, it’s a lot of fun to be on the forefront of something as exciting as VR. Some of the best times I’ve had with my VR headsets are from wowing people who come over and try it for the first time, and that never gets old.”
Kotaku’s Kirk Hamilton spent a week with the hardware and was dissatisfied with the limitations of the outdated peripherals. Ongoing issues included Move wand instability, and the unfortunate reality that control is lost when crouching, due to the PS Camera losing sight of the Move wands.
Hamilton also notes a startling trend with the required peripherals that may tease the impending future of PSVR: the PS Move controllers, originally launched in 2010 as an answer to the Wiimote, as well as the PS4 Camera, underutilized since launch in 2013, are both failed and abandoned Sony hardware, making the PSVR ecosystem feel like an island of misfit toys. “It’s a magnet for gadgets that didn’t succeed on their own merits, and it’s hard to believe that, together, they might finally break through.”
Brian Chen believes the comfort and ease of PSVR compared to competitors will please early adopters and tech enthusiasts. Casual game fans, however, would be better off waiting for a more refined experience.
“Initially, virtual reality will probably mesmerize you because it’s so unlike any gaming experience you have ever had. But the scarce number of good games available today, combined with the fatigue you will experience after 30 minutes of game play, may drive you back to gaming on your smartphone or television screen.”
Alex Cranz insists Sony has the best chance at getting game developers motivated to work with VR. This is because of their track record of letting dev teams go all in on new ways to play.
“If you want to experience a VR world beyond what mobile offerings like Google Cardboard and Gear VR provide, then save up your pennies. This is the VR system for people looking to take the next step into a virtual world.”
Kinda Funny co-founders and former IGN PlayStation Editors Colin Moriarty and Greg Miller experienced small hiccups in VR such as nausea on elevator and roller coaster simulations, but otherwise believe the hardware has a limitless future. They do, however, acknowledge that the setup is still rather expensive. Gamers should not view PlayStation VR as a replacement to the way we play games, but rather an additive experience.
“This has crazy f***ing potential,” Moriarty mentions in his closing thoughts. “I think we might have seen what games can do on a flat screen for the most part…they can get prettier, they can run better, they can become grander, and bigger and more beautiful – and of course I think all of that is great and I’m looking forward to those experiences…but if we want something new and exciting, [PSVR] is where it’s going to live.”
Have you tried PlayStation VR yet and if so, are you a believer? Let us know what you think about VR and if you’ll be buying a headset any time soon.