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PlayStation VR Review

The PlayStation VR is a fantastic introduction to VR gaming, provided you already own a PS4
PlayStation VR
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Price:   $500 List | $499.00 at Amazon
Pros:  Exceptionally visually immersive, very user friendly, highly interactive
Cons:  Not super comfortable, only works with PlayStation
Manufacturer:   PlayStation
By David Wise and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Sep 21, 2017
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72
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 10
  • Interactiveness - 35% 7
  • Visual Immersiveness - 20% 8
  • Comfort - 20% 6
  • User Friendliness - 15% 8
  • Ease of Setup - 10% 7

Our Verdict

The PlayStation VR did very well in our test. It provides a highly immersive and interactive experience and is by far the easiest of the tethered headset to set up.

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Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award  
Price $500 List
$499.00 at Amazon
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$299.00 at Amazon
$300 List$899 List
$899 at Amazon
$999 List
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Pros Exceptionally visually immersive, very user friendly, highly interactiveVersatile, easy to use, very immersiveExceptional image quality, super comfortable, very user-friendlyHighly interactive, very immersive, easy to useVery immersive, highly interactive
Cons Not super comfortable, only works with PlayStationCould be a little more comfortableTether can be finickyCould be more comfortable, can be hard to set upNot the most comfortable, could be easier to set up
Bottom Line The PlayStation VR is a fantastic introduction to VR gaming, provided you already own a PS4If you are searching for the best of the best when it comes to VR, we think this product is hard to beatFeaturing excellent image quality, user-friendliness, and comfort, we think it's hard to go wrong with this top-notch tethered modelFor those experienced VR aficionados seeking an incredibly immersive experience, this top-tier headset is sure to pleaseThe Index has some great features for the VR enthusiast but probably isn't the best headset for most people
Rating Categories PlayStation VR Oculus Quest 2 Oculus Rift S HTC Vive Cosmos... Valve Index
Interactiveness (35%)
7
8
7
9
9
Visual Immersiveness (20%)
8
9
9
9
9
Comfort (20%)
6
6
8
6
5
User Friendliness (15%)
8
9
9
8
8
Ease Of Setup (10%)
7
9
8
4
5
Specs PlayStation VR Oculus Quest 2 Oculus Rift S HTC Vive Cosmos... Valve Index
Phones that fit N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Adjustable Lenses No, need to move the headset around Slight IPD Only side to side Only side to side Only side to side
Sound Headphone Jack or TV Integrated Integrated Integrated Integrated
Available Controllers / Remotes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Field of View 100 92 110 110 130
Refresh Rate 120Hz, 90Hz 72Hz, 80Hz, 90Hz 80Hz 90Hz 120Hz (Up to 144Hz in Experimental Mode]
Room For Glasses? - Fits fine with glasses, but lets in a lot more light Glasses get pressed against the face Presses, even with glasses spacer Glasses get pressed against the face Glasses get pressed against the face

Our Analysis and Test Results

For those that want a premium VR experience without all of the hassles of running it through a gaming PC or for those that already have any of the PS4 family of gaming consoles, the PlayStation VR or PSVR is a product that we would highly recommend.

The PlayStation VR a solid performer.
The PlayStation VR a solid performer.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Performance Comparison


To find out which VR headset is worthy of an award, we bought the best models available on the market today and put them through an exhaustive set of side-by-side tests to find the winners. These tests were divided into five weighted rating metrics: Interactiveness, Visual Immersiveness, Comfort, Ease of Setup, and User Friendliness, with our results explained fully in the following sections.

The PlayStation camera uses the lights on the visor and controllers...
The PlayStation camera uses the lights on the visor and controllers to track you in VR.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Interactiveness


Comprising the largest chunk of the overall score at 35%, Interactiveness is our most important testing metric. The scores for this metric are based on how easy it is to interact with each headset, the accuracy of the motion tracking, and the amount of area covered by the external sensors. The PSVR did quite well in this test, earning a 7 out of 10 and comparing very favorably with the rest of the group.


There are no buttons on the headset itself, though it is decently easy to interact with the PlayStation VR headset using the pair of PlayStation Move controllers or a normal PlayStation controller.

Most games utilized the PlayStation controller making it feel less...
Most games utilized the PlayStation controller making it feel less immersive.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The PSVR used the PlayStation Camera to track your movement throughout the room, which we found to be a little limiting. The image would black out if we backed up too far from the sensor, which we found to be about 7' in our tests. The camera also failed to detect if we turned around completely when using the Move controllers. We also found the motion tracking of the controller to be a little finicky and unreliable — definitely the worst out of the tethered models. The controllers were unresponsive a handful of times and would drift off center and just felt less accurate than the other handheld controller. However, it usually only caused minor annoyances, rather than persistent problems.

The PlayStation camera has some trouble tracking if it is too dark...
The PlayStation camera has some trouble tracking if it is too dark in the room.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Visual Immersiveness


Ranking second in terms of importance, this metric is responsible for 25% of the total score for each headset, based on the resolution and sharpness of the image shown, overall image quality, the field of view, and if the headset adequately prevented ambient light from leaking in. The PlayStation VR scored very well, earning an 8 out of 10 and tying for the top score.


The PSVR blocks out the majority of ambient light, though a little can leak in around the bridge of your nose, but not enough to be distracting. The displayed text is very crisp and sharp, even though the PSVR has slightly lower resolution than the HTC Vive or the Oculus Rift, 960x1080 compared to 1080x1200 per eye. The field of view for the PlayStation is claimed to be 100°, but we found we could see slightly more of our test image than the Rift or the Vive, making it an incredibly immersive experience. All in all, the viewing quality of the PlayStation VR is simply superb and one of the best when it comes to providing a rich and visually immersive VR experience.

The weight of the PSVR felt evenly distributed around the head and...
The weight of the PSVR felt evenly distributed around the head and not being front heavy like all of the other models.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Comfort


Our Comfort metric consisted of evaluating how it felt to wear each headset for an extended period of time, whether or not there is sufficient room to comfortably wear glasses, and if the headset had enough ventilation to prevent your face from becoming sweaty and fogging the optics. The PlayStation scored decently well in this metric, worth 20% of the overall score, meriting a 6 out of 10 for its above average performance.


The PSVR felt great to wear for longer periods of time, feeling super comfortable on your face. We particularly liked that this headset doesn't feel front heavy like many other models, with the weight more evenly distributed along the larger headband. There is enough room to wear glasses, though it is a little tight for some larger framed models. However, the headset does let in a decent amount of ambient light when used with glasses.

The only way to adjust an uncrisp picture is to move the headset...
The only way to adjust an uncrisp picture is to move the headset around your head. There are no adjustment knobs.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Unfortunately, the PlayStation has hardly any ventilation and covers a large part of your forehead, which can cause your face to get decently sweaty after extended gaming periods, bringing down the score of this headset.

The PSRV is easy to put on and adjust.
The PSRV is easy to put on and adjust.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

User Friendliness


Taking credit for 15% of the final score, our User Friendliness metric evaluates how much work it took to get each headset ready to go after the initial installation had been completed and if you were prone to hitting buttons accidentally, as well as how much work it was to get headphones set up. The PlayStation VR scored very well, earning an 8 out of 10.


It is extremely easy to get a set of headphones plugged into the PSVR, but they can occasionally be pulled out by the headset tether when moving around a ton. This headset is very easy to use after the initial setup, with it being all ready to go as soon as you don the headset in view of the camera. There also aren't any button on the headset, so no possible way to accidentally press one while putting it on or using the headset.

The PSVR was the easiest of the tethered headsets to setup and get...
The PSVR was the easiest of the tethered headsets to setup and get going.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Ease of Setup


Taking responsibility for the remaining 10% of the final score, this metric evaluated the difficulty at setting up the hardware and installing the software for each headset, as well as the amount of prerequisite hardware to run the VR system. The PlayStation VR again delivered a solid performance, earning a 7 out of 10.


The hardware setup for the PSVR is extremely quick and easy, by far the fastest out of the tethered headset. You just need to hook up the PS4 and point the camera in the correct direction and you are all set. The software setup is also very fast, with helpful prompts and tutorials to guide you through it. All told, we only spent about 15 minutes getting the entire VR system ready to go. This system does have limited compatibility, only working with the PS4 line of consoles.

Value


The PSVR can be a solid value option for a premium experience, provided you already have a PS4.

Conclusion


The PlayStation VR provides an overall great VR experience that is interactive and immersive, though the lack of widespread compatibility is a bit disappointing. This product is for sure something to consider if you already have a PS4 and want to expand your gaming options.

David Wise and Austin Palmer