The Sony PlayStation brand is easily one of the most recognisable in the gaming space, so it should come as no surprise that the brand’s foray into virtual reality, the PSVR, is among the most mentioned. In this review, we look into how justifiable all the hype is – especially in 2021.
As new as the Virtual Reality field is, it has quickly developed into a highly competitive space over the past seven or so years, with a growing selection of VR headsets to choose from. There are offerings from HTC, Facebook, Microsoft, and Now Hewlett Packard (HP) – all sold at different prices.
Which just so happens to a major factor of the VR experience at this point in time. Like most other contemporary technical developments, the price – many instances – is a good indicator of the quality of the experience.
With price vs quality in mind, comparing PSVR to Facebook’s Oculus – which many regard as the pinnacle of VR, one might quickly shrug it off without bothering to give it a try (PSVR is not by any means the cheapest on the market). That might be a mistake, because the bugger packs a bit of punch.
PSVR Experience vs The Competition
Remaining on the point of entry costs of a higher level VR experience, Sony’s PSVR has a number of clear advantages over its competitors – The PSVR is compatible with both the PS4 and PS5. When considering the fact that more than 100 million people around the globe already own PS4 consoles, and an average of selling price of around $300 (HTC Vive and Oculus Quest go for around $599), the PSVR could easily be the gateway to VR gaming.
Even for those who do not already own a PS4, Bundle packs purchases might still turn out cheaper than buying a stand alone setup like the Oculus quest. Moreover, gaming consoles are cheaper than gaming PCs if you’re not going the stand-alone route.
The PSVR has another trick up its sleeve, one that has helped it remain relevant since its launch in 2016. That trick is the sheer vastness of good quality titles available for you to play. The veteran status of the PlayStation brand came in very handy here. It was only natural that big name releases like Skyrim, Resident Evil 7, and No Man’s Sky would have eye on the PS market.
Sony’s inhouse Fist-Party Studios and independent developers also put their best foot forward on releases like Blood and Truth, Paper Beast, Astro Bot Rescue Mission, and many others. One could quite easily argue that the PSVR has the widest selection.
However, there are some downsides to committing to PSVR. Most of which stem from the year it was released. It is 2021 now and the PSVR was a little dated in 2020. The PSVR in its current state is not by any means obsolete, and still very capable of delivering a fully immersive VR gaming experience.
However, new releases from the competition means that there is a widen gulf between the PSVR and its rivals. Though compatibility might not be an issue, the releases of the PS5 may inadvertently apply pressure on Sony to update its VR headset.
Furthermore, the PSVR’s tracking is limited to 180 degrees, which causes it to lose some of its shine on a number VR titles. When adding more up to date features to that equation like, inside-out tracking, the situation starts to look worse for PSVR.
The decision on whether or not to buy a PSVR in 2021 really comes down to one’s own means. For a product on the less expensive end of VR gaming, the PSVR is still a top contender. However, a ticking clock means that there are some dark clouds on the horizon.