The PlayStation VR (short: PSVR), formerly known under the codename Project Morpheus, was released in October 2016 by Sony Interactive Entertainment. As the name suggests, the headset is designed to work with Sony’s PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro video game consoles. It uses a 5,7″ OLED display with a resolution of 960 × 1080 pixels per eye, featuring a 100° field of view and 90-120 Hz refresh rate. In order to work properly, the PSVR requires a PlayStation 4 console and the PlayStation camera for positional tracking.
The PSVR includes a microphone for social experiences and offers 3D sound via a headphone jack, but the headphones are not included. In October 2017, Sony released a slightly upgraded version of the headset with installed headphones, a thinner connection cable to the console, and an upgraded HDR-capable processing unit. Unfortunately, this version is currently exclusive to the Japanese market. Over here, the headset can be purchased bundled with the camera (but without the PlayStation Move controllers) and certain games for less than 400€ (USD $349). Considering the PlayStation 4’s price is below 300€, the Sony VR experience is the most cost-effective tethered solution. Therefore, it is no wonder that PSVR outsold both the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift.
Even though the PlayStation 4 lacks computing power, compared to modern gaming PCs, the PSVR is able to deliver reliable tracking and a responsive and smooth gaming experience. Sony claims to offer over 100 VR-compatible games and applications, including music and movie streaming services. The only small downside is that most bundles exclude the PlayStation Move controllers (100€) and the Aim controller (90€) for shooting games. Adding those useful accessories so that players can enjoy the whole PSVR experience puts the PSVR closer to competitor Oculus Rift in terms of price.
In conclusion, the PSVR offers a high-quality experience at a considerably lower price tag compared to the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. Yet, if starting from scratch, buying the PlayStation 4, a PSVR bundle, and additional controllers aren’t exactly cheap.