PlayStation VR works extremely well on the PS4, but it should not be anyone’s first choice when it comes to PC VR headsets as it is only officially supported by the PS4.
It seems like only yesterday that Oculus Rift first appeared, bringing the future closer to us with a little help from Kickstarter.
Back then, it seemed like a very far-fetched idea to many, one that would only achieve niche popularity before sinking into oblivion the moment the novelty wore off, just like 3D TVs.
In reality, the results were far different. You have giants such as Google, HTC, Sony, and many others investing in VR headsets, various VR technologies, and most importantly – VR content. There is simply no denying that VR has almost become mainstream, especially given how affordable the headsets are getting.
The most affordable VR headset today remains Sony’s PlayStation VR. Granted, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive have also seen price cuts in order to be able to compete with Sony, so the price gap is not as great as it was when PSVR first launched.
So, is PSVR worth buying? Before deciding that for yourself, think about the following.
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What Platform Are You On?
Naturally, PSVR holds the greatest amount of appeal for PlayStation 4 owners, especially those who have the Pro variant which offers enhanced VR. However, you might want to use on a PC as well, perhaps only on the PC if you’re not a PS4 owner.
So, can PlayStation VR be used on PC? The answer is yes, but not officially. As with nearly all of their accessories and peripherals, Sony does not provide official support for other platforms and the only way to get PSVR working on PC is with the help of a neat piece third-party software called TrinusVR.
Can Your Hardware Handle It?
As mentioned above, every version of the PS4 supports PSVR thanks to the special processing unit that comes with it. Both the original and the Slim variants will work well, while the Pro will offer enhanced graphics.
The question of hardware is more relevant when it comes to using the headset on PC, since VR is very demanding in terms of hardware. While Sony’s VR headset has the lowest resolution, it also has the highest refresh rate of 120Hz, while the Vive and the Rift stick to 90Hz. That said, you should have at least a GTX 1060 before considering VR at all.
Do You Have the Necessary Accessories?
Even though the PSVR headset itself is still the cheapest one around, you should keep in mind that it doesn’t come bundled with all the accessories that it requires. The PS Camera is mandatory, as the PS4 uses it to track the lights on the headset for motion detection. Furthermore, there are also the Move and Aim controllers, but those are only required for certain games.
As for PC users, PSVR will not be compatible with SteamVR games that rely on the HTC Vive motion controllers. That said, you don’t require any of the abovementioned accessories for PC use but positional tracking that relies on the PS Camera will not be available.
So, to conclude, is PlayStation VR really worth it?
If you are looking at that question from the perspective of someone who has never had a VR headset and are either considering getting PSVR for your PS4 or for use on multiple platforms, it’s all up to you to decide whether this VR headset is worth the total expense.
Now, when it comes to how the PSVR fares against the other two big players, HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift, they have a clear upper hand. Initially, the PSVR headset had the advantage of being much more affordable, but given the price cuts of the other two, its value is somewhat uncertain if you only intend to use it on PC. Add to that the fact that they also have native PC support, and the choice should be clear.
The bottom line is, PSVR is only really worth the money when used on PS4. It can work on PC, but should never be the first choice in that regard because it won’t offer the kind of experience that the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift can, primarily due to relying on third-party software in order to function.