Earlier on I informed you that Sony has got its own virtual-reality hardware for the PlayStation 4 in this blog post. The VR headset goes by the name PlayStation VR. The headset is expected to start shipping from 13th October, 2016 and apparently it will cost less than the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive which retail at $600 (approximately Ksh.60,000) and $800 (approximately Ksh.80,000) respectively. The PlayStation VR will set you back $399 (approximately Ksh.40,000). From the look of things it could be the most accessible high-end VR hardware. Sony promises that the PlayStation VR will come with up to 50 games at launch and we have highlighted some of them in our previous post. Key among them been the newly announced Star Wars Battlefront game.
The PlayStation VR can run any PlayStation game on its screen, or show your movies or apps, in a simulated cinematic 16:9 2D big-screen mode. It can also play 360-degree videos and show panoramic photos.
The PlayStation VR plugs into your PS4 with a breakout box that includes an HDMI splitter, so you can hook up the headset and a TV at the same time. That way, friends and family can see a portion of what you’re seeing, and play certain kinds of games together. Now that is awesome.
The headset features a Full HD 1920 x 1080 OLED 5.7 – inch display which gives a 100-degree field of vision. It also features RGB subpixels which help smooth out the image. The refresh rate runs at 120Hz higher than both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive’s 90Hz. The VR headset also features nine head-tracking LEDs.
What is in the box?
The price of the PlayStation VR is relatively fair compared to that of the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. For this reason you won’t be getting all the necessary equipment you would need. The $399 price tag grants you;
- VR headset × 1
- Processor unit × 1
- VR headset connection cable × 1
- HDMI cable × 1
- USB cable × 1
- Stereo headphones × 1 (with a complete set of earpiece)
- AC power cord × 1
- AC adaptor × 1
What you will miss is the PlayStation Camera and the motion tracking Move wand controllers. If you have the DualShock 4 controllers for your PS4 you can go ahead and use them as they are compatible with the PlayStation VR.
The camera is basically for tracking the sensors on the headset and the ones in the gamepad as well as the Move wands simultaneously. That way, no matter where you look (even if you turn around and look behind you), you see the portion of a virtual world that you’d expect to see if you were actually there, looking at it with your own eyes. The camera tracks the VR headset around 1,000 times per second providing a seamless experience. The Move wands let you have a pair of basic hands to pick up and drop virtual objects, fire virtual guns or manipulate all kinds of virtual tools.
Sony has hinted that it will offer bundles that include these accessories. Unfortunately we expect the price of these bundles to be above the $399 entry price tag.