Are you ready to take your PS4 experience to the next level? The already-awesome PlayStation 4 is about to get even more awesome thanks to virtual reality. Once called Project Morpheus and now known simply as PSVR, this headset isn't anything like the old Nintendo Virtual Boy that some of you may remember, and it's definitely not a gimmick. PSVR is more akin to the Oculus Rift, a truly immersive virtual reality experience where the movements you make in real life are translated directly into the game via a myriad of high tech sensors and scopes. The headset is comfortable, the graphics are amazing, and the list of supported games looks fantastic. Early reviewers have noted that PSVR truly does feel like the future of gaming, and it can be in your hands by the end of this year... so here's everything you need to know.
At its core, PlayStation Virtual Reality is a headset that you don in order to gain an up-close and immersive view of whatever game world you're currently inhabiting. Instead of using the right analog stick on your DualShock 4 to control the game's camera, you actually move your head in order to look left, right, up, or down. This movement is not only tracked by the countless sensors in the headset, but also by another PS4 peripheral- the PlayStation Camera. A third peripheral, the PlayStation Move controller, gives you even more motion control over your in-game character.
While the Move controllers do enhance the experience, they aren't required for many PSVR games. The PS Camera, however, is. PSVR is not a standalone product, so you will also need an actual PS4 in order to play. Since motion control is such a big part of the experience, you will also need a decent amount of space to play- but really no more than you would need with a Wii or Xbox Kinect. All of the cables needed to plug in and play PSVR will be included in the box, and while not really necessary, a good pair of gaming headphones will certainly go a long way toward immersion.
PSVR is currently slated for release in October 2016. On release day, Sony will have two versions of PSVR available, each of which will be examined in further detail below. The base version will be retailing at $399, while a bigger bundle, which (as of writing) is only available through preorder, will cost $499.
The base version comes with the PSVR headset, a pair of headphones, an HDMI and USB cable (for connecting to your PS4), and an external processing unit, which is used to supply extra power to the headset. You may have noticed that this version does not include a PS Camera, which means that if you don't already own one, you'll have to buy a PS Camera separately in order to play... unless you purchase the day one bundle.
For an extra $100, anyone who preorders PSVR can get this bundle, which includes a PS Camera, two Move controllers, a demo disc with some of PSVR's games, and PlayStation VR Worlds, which is a collection of mini-games and tech demos designed exclusively for PSVR (more on these later).
PlayStation VR Worlds comes with five games: The London Heist, Into the Deep (working title), VR Luge, Danger Ball, and Scavenger's Odyssey. These will definitely be worth a play if you pick up the day one bundle, but lack the depth to be any more than minor distractions after awhile. With that being said, all five of them do a hell of a job showing off the hardware to anyone playing for the first time.
AAA titles like Gran Turismo Sport and Tekken 7 can be played with or without VR, making them great choices for gamers who won't be able to pick up PSVR at launch but still want to have something to play in the meantime. Jurassic Encounter is exactly what it sounds like, and what better way to experience VR than by craning your neck to see the jaws of a T-Rex flying down toward you? RIGS: Mechanized Combat League is a gorgeous team-based arena shooter featuring mechs, and War Thunder will let you experience the thrill of high-altitude dogfighting. For horror fans (which VR is perfect for), Until Dawn: Rush of Blood and Paranormal Activity VR should do a good job of scaring you right back out of the headset. EA has even announced that Star Wars: Battlefront will be making an appearance on PSVR, but details are sparse at this point.
PSVR is already showing popular demand, will you pre-order PlayStation VR? What are your views on this exciting new technology? With its release date coming fast, leave your comments down below.