Sony will have taken its time, but the Japanese giant finally presents his VR headset, which is merely an extension of the PS4, I named the Playstation VR! Formerly called “Morpheus Project,” this helmet will have made a lot of ink and all console players eagerly awaited it. So I tested the beast, and as always my altruism and my exuberant generosity push me to share my impressions. I will tell you everything!
Presentation of the VR Playstation
If you do not have a PS4 then you must start by ordering one, the headset does not work alone and does not connect to a PC. However, it is the most affordable solution to offer quality virtual reality. Indeed, to properly run an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, you need an excellent computer that costs at least 1000 to 1200 €, we add the price of the headphones, and we have fun therefore from 1800 at 2 200 €. It’s delicious, I loved these helmets, but it’s not available to everyone. With PlayStation VR, you need a PS4 around 350 €, the PlayStation VR whose price still varies between 400 and 600 € for a total of 750 to 1 000 €. It’s always a bit expensive, we will not lie, but it’s still more affordable. It must again add about 100 € more for the PlayStation camera, and PS Move which controllers are, undoubtedly optional, but otherwise more immersive than the controller.
If I found the Oculus Rift beautiful, I now lack superlative for this Sony headset; it will teach me to be too demonstrative. It is IMHO the most beautiful VR headset in the history of virtual reality in our solar system. It is sexy, and stands out from these competitors all black, by its white plastics of excellent quality which integrate blue LEDs. It is merely more modern and more elegant than what we already knew, it is a beautiful object. With 610 grams on the scale, it’s not the lightest, but we’ll see below that it does not affect its comfort.
Nothing new here, since it is the same remotes used a few years ago on the PS3. They are not mandatory but become in my opinion still essential for many games. You can use the joysticks on the console, but the controllers are much more immersive. By testing some games, we realize that the PS Move deserves to be replaced by a new generation of controllers. Indeed, they are much less accurate than what offers the particular HTC Vive, and suddenly we tend to get upset a few times when playing.
Like the HTC Vive, when you unpack all the necessary elements for installation, we take a little fear. We are already waiting for the advent of VR Wi-Fi headphones, which will connect by simple contact in the coming years, but we are not there yet. Fortunately, if the installation seems complex, it is not really. Colors, patterns and other visual elements make it easy to navigate. There is a processor to which are connected all the features that are the TV, the PS4, and the PlayStation VR headset. A mains plug is also needed for this processor. The camera remains only connected to the PS4.
On the cord connecting the headphones to the processor, there is a remote control that allows us, among other things, to turn on and off the headphones. If you wish, you can connect the supplied audio headphones to this remote control, change the volume, or mute the microphone on the headphones. Then there is no particular setting. When you start, the camera just above the TV detects our positioning and adapts accordingly. In the end, what could seem to be very complicated it turned out very simple. The updates are done automatically, the calibration is fast and straightforward, and in a few minutes, you can start playing. For friends is pretty cool, since you can play while displaying a view on the TV. So we can do without the headphones and see what the other is doing in his game. At startup, a large diagonal screen appears before our eyes. It’s the same as that of the PS4, suddenly we find very quickly, and everything happens very naturally.
PlayStation VR headset comfort
I found that this headset outperformed that level. It is so beautiful, but it is also carried with a lot of facilities. Its weight is a little more critical than HTC Vive and almost equal to that of the Oculus Rift, but the weight distribution seems better. It is configurable and adjustable at will, which allows adapting perfectly to all the curves of our skulls sometimes random shapes. For glasses wearers, no problem either. The PlayStation VR offers enough space to be comfortable even with big binoculars. There is no wide strap on the top of the head, which improves comfort, and finally, the whole system of implementation is well thought out, including the wheel at the back that allows the last adjustments.
The helmet does not heat at all, which allows to keep it on the head for a long time without any discomfort. At the forehead leather is good quality and well padded, it feels immediately right. The only shadow on the board, or rather only light on the board, there is always a slight space in the nose. A little day passes so quickly. We will, therefore, prefer to play in a room dark enough to gain immersion. In return, this allows the entire part of the face embedded in the helmet to breathe correctly, and therefore not to sweat. In the end, it’s pretty good for general comfort.
The performance of the Playstation VR
Here, regarding image quality, the Sony headset is handicapped by a lower definition than its competitors. Indeed, while other high-end headphones offer a resolution of 1080 x 1200 px per eye, the Playstation VR offers 960 x 1080 px. The viewing angle is also reduced to 100 ° against 110 °. If we could expect a less impressive result, it is finally nothing. Sony combines its 5.7-inch Oled displays with a rear-projection technology that doubles the frequency from 60 Hz to 120 Hz. I did not quite understand how this technology works, but in the end, I do not find a glaring difference between the image quality of the different headsets.
What audio quality?
Like the Oculus Rift, the PS VR comes with a pair of headphones. Nothing unusual at first glance, it’s just about in-ear that merely connect with their mini-jack on the headphone remote. We can use another headset very simply or have the sound directly on the TV. If the comfort of the proposed headset is quite average and that the plastic and rather cheap headphones did not appeal to me at first, I was finally surprised by their sound performance. The rendering is homogeneous, with good bass and distinct voices. I did not notice any distortion in the ear, and I found the audio immersion of excellent quality.
Sony had promised it, and Sony did it! The PlayStation VR is a VR headset with performance comparable to the two main competitors, the Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive, but at a much lower price. Quality virtual reality is starting to be affordable, and we owe it to the undisputed champion of the game console. The only shadow on the board is probably PlayStation Move. They are old controllers, and they lack precision. For all the rest it’s a very useful VR helmet. The resolution is not better, but the grid of the pixels appears much less, which considerably strengthens the immersion. It is a helmet that is more particularly comfortable, and especially very easy to install. It only takes a few minutes to put everything in place, to make the necessary adjustments and to start playing or watching a video. I loved it, I will order a soon as possible, and I advise all fans of the genre to do the same.
- Excellent immersion
- No grid effect
- Good video quality
- Good audio performance
- Very easy to install
- Value for money currently unbeatable
- Controllers not precise enough
- Cables still a little too present