HANDS ON: PlayStation VR, is it worth the hype?

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TechGeek is currently at PAX Aus 2015 in Melbourne, and I was lucky enough to get my hands on the upcoming VR headset from PlayStation. There’s been a lot of hype about the hardware recently, with rumours of a new Until Dawn title being in development for use on the headset (and also general excitement that it’s even coming out).

But I’m here to give the straight facts about this thing. Is it any good? Motion sickness? Focus? I played a short demo of The Deep, a shark cage simulator, which very quickly allowed me to judge the quality of the new VR competitor. Let’s get started.

  • Was my vision impaired in any way? Were the images out of focus? Simply put, no. The screen within holds 1080p resolution, and though it could be slightly impaired depending on your ability to adjust the focus, it was still an extremely high quality image. The headset, as alluded to, has an adjustable headband and adjustable screen (the goggle section), so the focus depends on whether you’ve properly fitted the headset. The level of the graphics obviously depends on developers, but the demo which I played was gorgeous. It also has appropriate 360 degree vision that has little to no warping.
  • Did I get motion sickness? Also no. The refresh rate on the headset is 18 milliseconds, anything over 20 causes motion sickness. The headset adjusts to head and body movement with no lag, so it appropriately reacted to my walking around and ducking. The only thing that removed me slightly from my immersion was that, well, my character was programmed to have legs. It was weird to not see them when I was clearly walking around.
  • How heavy was the headset? Was it cumbersome? The big thing that people worry about. Is it heavy, taking into account the addition of headphones? It feels like wearing a motorbike helmet, only half the weight. It would also depend on the headphones you’re using, as the booth ones were very lightweight. Overall though, I felt it was on the lighter end of what it could have been. The whole thing is very cushioned too, so it’s not uncomfortable to wear, nor does it fall off your face.
  • Any other technical issues? Other that the “no legs” thing, not really. I guess, if you don’t adjust the focus correctly, it’s not as effective. No lag, no jumping, decent graphics and overall, a pretty cool experience.

Verdict: I’m happy with this. For the hype that PlayStation are building around this, this is meeting my expectations. I think it’s definitely something to look out for.

To finish, here’s me being jump scared by a shark. Happy PAX friends!

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