Feature Article

PlayStation VR: Everything You Need to Know About PSVR

Below you can find news and features detailing what you need to know about PlayStation VR.

After months of waiting, PlayStation VR has finally launched. But what is Sony's VR headset all about and how does it compare to others in the market? Below we detail everything you need to know about PSVR, as well as answer important questions you might have about it.

For more on PSVR, check out the articles below, and be sure to check back often as we update this article with more news and features.

The Review

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"PlayStation VR always had a tough road ahead of it. Compared to high-end gaming PCs needed to power the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, the PlayStation 4 is under-powered. The fact that Sony was retrofitting its old 2010-released Move controllers and PlayStation Camera to work with PSVR, which were peripherals that weren’t initially designed for VR, also does not bode well for the platform. After going eyes-on with it over the past few days, I must admit that it’s surprisingly impressive in some areas, but it also has some issues." [Read the full review]

PlayStation VR FAQ

What is PlayStation VR?

PlayStation VR is Sony’s virtual-reality head-mounted display (HMD), which requires the PlayStation 4. Like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive HMDs, it features a stereoscopic 3D display with optics that allow you to place the screen directly in front of your eyes. Coupled with head-tracking, it simulates depth and positional awareness within a virtual environment.

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What is VR like?

A common misconception about VR is that it’s a cross between the motion controls of the Wii and 3DTVs, but that comparison is largely inaccurate.

Generally speaking, VR attempts to fully immerse you into a virtual environment--to make you feel like you’re somewhere your body is not. When this effectively happens, many VR enthusiasts refer to this sensation as feeling “presence.”

For instance, Sony’s London Heist VR experience does a good job making you feel like you’re in a virtual shootout as you drive down a freeway in a getaway vehicle.

What does the basic PlayStation VR package come with?

PlayStation VR comes with the headset, necessary cables, stereo headphones, a breakout box that includes an HDMI splitter, and and a demo disc with a compilation of free PlayStation VR demos.

What will you need for PSVR?

Aside from the PlayStation 4, you’ll need Sony’s PlayStation Camera. To get the complete experience, you’ll also want to get the PlayStation Move controllers. Coupled with the PlayStation Camera, they allow you to track the position of your hands so that you can pick up and play with virtual objects.

You will need the PlayStation Camera to use PSVR.
You will need the PlayStation Camera to use PSVR.

At E3 2016, Sony also revealed a new gun-shaped Aim controller for the PSVR, which the company showed off during the demo of the PSVR shooter Farpoint.

How important are the Move controllers for PSVR?

Sony asserts that nearly all PlayStation VR titles will support the PlayStation 4’s standard DualShock 4 controller, and many games will be enhanced with the Move controllers. Some games will require the Move controllers, however.

If you want to get the full PlayStation VR experience, however, we recommend you get the Move controllers, since the added hand-tracking capability can greatly bolster the sense of immersion and feeling of presence.

The optional PlayStation Move controllers come highly recommended.
The optional PlayStation Move controllers come highly recommended.

Will there be a more complete PlayStation VR package with all the peripherals included?

Sony has yet to announce any VR combo packages.

What are the PlayStation VR specs?

PlayStation VR uses a single 5.7-inch 1920x1080p OLED display. It features an approximately 100-degree field of view (FOV) and a 120Hz refresh rate panel.

How does PSVR compare to the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive VR systems?

The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive both need high-end gaming PCs, whereas the PlayStation VR requires a PS4. The HTC Vive, developed in partnership with Valve, is generally seen as the highest-end VR system, since it comes with sophisticated tracked controllers designed specifically for VR. The Vive also supports “room scale,” a mechanic that allows you to walk around and leverage your physical space. It’s also the most expensive VR system at $800.

The Oculus Rift doesn’t currently offer tracked VR controllers, but it will be getting them later this year when the company releases its Oculus Touch controllers. It’s also more expensive than PSVR, retailing for $600 without the Touch controllers. Conversely, PlayStation VR will use the existing PlayStation Move controllers, which came out in 2010 and were not originally designed for VR.

PlayStation VR is currently seen as the most accessible VR system out of the three, but it’s also not as powerful as either the Rift or the Vive. This is partially due to the PlayStation 4’s comparatively modest processing power. VR is extremely graphically demanding and generally requires a higher-than-90 frame rate coupled with low latency to help achieve presence and to mitigate VR nausea.

While all three headsets feature a similar FOV, the PSVR’s 1920x1080 resolution isn’t as sharp as the Vive or Rift’s 2160x1200 equivalent panels. One advantage that Sony’s HMD does have over its competition, however, is the fact that its headset can support 120Hz. The Rift and Vive use 90Hz displays.

Will I experience VR motion sickness?

It really depends on the individual and the game. Some users are more sensitive to VR motion sickness than others. In addition, games that use artificial locomotion are often the biggest culprits of this issue.

If VR nausea is an aspect that concerns you, we suggest you try it out in a store or at a friend’s place before making your purchase.

How much does PlayStation VR cost?

  • AUD $549.95
  • CAD $549.99
  • EUR €399.99
  • NZD $629.95
  • Pound £349.99
  • USD $399.99
  • Yen 44,980

How do I setup PlayStation VR?

The process is actually quite simple. Sony has released videos detailing the process in easy-to-follow steps.

How do I clean my PlayStation VR headset?

Sony recommends wiping it down with warm water and a dry microfiber cloth. For the full details on how to clean the headset, check out Sony's two-part instructional video series.

Gameplay Videos

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Matt Espineli

Matt is a GameSpot Editor who, like a Dragon Quest Slime, strives to spread love and joy to the world. He's been with GameSpot since 2014 and specializes in guides and features for the site. He likes to play video games, watch Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, learn musical instruments, and mod GBAs.

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