PlayStation VR Review Roundup: All the Pre-Launch Impressions of Sony's PSVR Headset

Several technology and gaming reviewers tried the PlayStation VR ahead of next Thursday's worldwide release on October 13, 2016. Read and watch what’s good, bad, and ugly about Sony's PSVR below.

Have you preordered the PlayStation VR? If so, what are your thoughts on it so far? Has any pre-launch coverage so far changed your mind about the PSVR? Let us know by commenting below, by visiting 1Pvs2P.com/contactus, or by emailing us at podcast at 1Pvs2P.com. We might just read your comment on our next podcast episode!


The Good

CNET’s Jeff Bakalar points out that the PlayStation VR is currently the most accessible and affordable full VR headset on the market, and has no installation issues or driver problems that Oculus Rift and HTC Vive users experience. Aside from the VR-ready games available at launch, it’s also good to know that most PSVR games fall in the $20 to $40 price range, with only a few going up to $60. "Overall it's clear that plenty of polish has been added to the group of PSVR launch titles. There's a real sense of production value in nearly everything offered."...READ MORE

Kotaku's Kirk Hamilton admires how comfortable the PSVR headset feels, even for longer play sessions. He added that it fits comfortably, with optics framed by soft rubber blinders that gently block out most outside light from around your eyes and nose. With its adjustable halo headband, balanced weight distribution, and fine-tune fit knob, you can even wear bulky glasses comfortably while wearing it...READ MORE

TechCrunch’s Lucas Matney thinks that although PSVR’s 1080p resolution is lower than that of other VR headsets, it did not feel too far off from the experience he sees from the Rift and Vive running off his $1,000+ gaming PC. The PSVR and PS4's cheaper total price tag is another advantage Sony has over its rivals and their heavy minimum PC requirements...READ MORE

GamesRadar's Louise Blain is impressed by Batman Arkham VR, a PSVR-exclusive launch title, calling it heroic wish fulfillment in a sandbox world. "Whether you’re feeling like a Batarang master as you throw them at targets in the firing range section...or appreciating tuning into the GCPD’s police scanner under the giant dinosaur of the Batcave, you’ll be happy to just spend hours in this universe you’ve watched at a distance for so long. Everything is here to be touched and pressed."...READ MORE


The Bad

IGN’s Dan Stapleton claims the overall price of PlayStation VR is misleading. The headset alone is being sold at $399.99 at release, but it's mostly useless without the separate $59.99 PlayStation Camera for head-tracking. The motion-tracking Move controllers are also sold separately for around $20 and $30 each. It's obviously easier to just purchase the $499.99 bundle that includes all the necessary peripherals, but it's currently sold out at all major online retailers...READ MORE

Engadget’s Devindra Hardawar believes that PSVR's 100-degree field of view makes the gameplay experience feel less immersive. He thinks that most players won't notice this issue, but those who have tried the Rift or Vive will notice the more limited field of view immediately....READ MORE

Destructoid's Chris Carter noted that the PSVR requires annoying new hardware setups. First, the separate processor box includes a new power supply and inputs for two HDMI cables, one from the TV to the box, and another from the PS4 to the box. This might make cable management a bit messy. Also, since the PlayStation Camera takes up one of the PS4's USB ports, that leaves only one USB port left. Keeping the PSVR and Camera connected at all times might mean constantly having to unplug cables to charge controllers or use other USB devices...READ MORE

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The Sixth Axis's Stefan L. reviewed PlayStation VR Worlds, a $40 launch game which seems like a demo reel of what the PSVR is capable of. Unfortunately, that's all it seems to be: "Overall, VR Worlds is an interesting but inconsistent bundle of smaller experiences, and it’s full of games that feel too beholden to the tech demos that they’re derived from. The London Heist cries out for a few more set pieces, Danger Ball could be bettered with multiplayer and more variety in gameplay, and it’s only really Scavengers Odyssey that feels like it’s getting close to the size and scale of a full release in its own right – even that ends on a cliffhanger of sorts."...READ MORE


The Ugly

Giant Bomb's Jeff Gerstmann complains how imprecise the PlayStation Camera tracks head movement, even in different lighting conditions and sitting or standing distances. He stood perfectly still while playing some games and experienced intermittent yet very noticeable stuttering in virtual environments. "That is the most nauseous and disoriented I've felt...in any [sic] VR thing."...WATCH

Gizmodo’s Alex Cranz argues that PSVR’s motion-tracking Move controllers aren’t as smooth as what its competition offers. "The HTC Vive uses a complex array of infrared pulses from its two base stations and infrared lasers spewing from the headset and controllers to track movement. The Oculus Rift only has one base station—the Constellation—and instead of infrared lasers, it uses infrared LEDs for tracking. In the end, giant balls of light just aren’t as precise as dozens of infrared lasers."...READ MORE

GameSpot's Jimmy Thang says the biggest issue plaguing PSVR is motion sickness. The main reason appears to be how its launch games bind first-person movement to a joystick. When playing the PS4 normally on a TV, this isn't an issue, but your eyes are tricked into thinking your body is moving while playing PSVR and your body isn't getting the same cues. This disconnect can lead to a wobbly sea legs sensation when gameplay moves quickly with sudden turns or jumping movements. "Most first-person titles on the Vive use a teleport mechanic that allows you to point your controller and beam around the environment. On the other end of the spectrum, Oculus has implemented VR motion sickness ratings for each game. While this isn’t the most elegant solution to fix this problem, Sony doesn’t have anything similar in place. Instead, Sony tells me that gamers should take 15-minute breaks each hour to combat motion sickness. Many of the launch titles will make a large percentage of people sick, and it may lead to the false impression that VR has to make you nauseated."...READ MORE