Leaping off the Screen: PlayStation VR Hardware Review

Posted in Kulturecade by - July 25, 2017
Leaping off the Screen: PlayStation VR Hardware Review

Like most people, I was very hesitant about the PlayStation VR. The lack of games in the library was enough to steer many people away, but I decided to take the plunge and get one. Surprisingly, I was highly pleased with the headset and its many features. There are many features, in fact, so I would find it easier to break down each feature and share my thoughts individually.

The Games


 

Obviously, the biggest feature to the VR headset is the games. Of course, what made me so hesitant about the hardware in the first place was the lack of games but what is there makes up for that loss. The biggest seller for me was Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham VR. This is the game that made me want a VR in the first place, and this is the game I demoed at my local Best Buy on the headset, so naturally, I was excited. I will be writing a review for this game later for further detailing but I will say that it is easily an experience that needs to be tried.

There are also several games that are great such as the wacky Job Simulator or Until Dawn: Rush of Blood. These games are great examples of the capabilities of VR, and if other developers follow in these footsteps, VR has a great future ahead.

Cinematic Mode


 

Have you ever just come home from work and want to play games or watch a movie but just don’t want to sit up to do so? The VR’s cinematic mode gives you the chance to just lay in bed and chill out and still play that game or watch that movie. It’s such a great experience and one that must be experienced yourself to understand how amazing it is. There are three screen size settings on cinematic mode; Small, Medium and Large. This feeling is great. I use this feature while lying in bed and it feels as if I have a personal movie theatre in my bedroom.


3D Blu-Ray

Another feature that I didn’t know about until after I had bought the headset was the feature of being able to watch 3D Blu-Ray movies through the headset which is marvelous. I am not a 3D guy, and this is because I can’t stand to sit in a theatre for two hours or more with those annoying glasses on. The VR headset takes those uncomfortable glasses away and gives you the same experience, just ten times more comfortable. Once I found this feature out I did buy a couple of 3D movies as I didn’t own any. I watched Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and the Amazing Spiderman, and I will say that the experience is something that must be witnessed. Just imagine sitting in a theatre with no one around you and the greatness of 3D but without the glasses that takes that 3D awesomeness away. It’s something that I could use daily if I owned more 3D movies.

Hulu and YouTube VR


 

If you are fortunate enough to have a Hulu subscription, then you will unlock access to the Hulu VR mode. This mode is just Hulu; however, it offers multiple settings to choose from to watch your shows or movies. There is a movie theatre, a beach, the void which is a black pit and a modern apartment. The feeling makes you feel as if you’re watching a 75-80-inch television or an actual movie theatre screen and I was always a strong believer that I wouldn’t feel as if I was in a movie theatre, but I was proven wrong.

Now that we have the main features out of the way let’s talk about the functionality of the device.

 

First, I’d like to talk about how the device feels. I have tried all the major headsets, the Vive, Oculus, and PSVR. This headset is by far the most comfortable. The problem with other headsets is that the front of the headset weighs your head down too much in my opinion. This isn’t an issue with the PSVR. It’s lightweight, doesn’t hurt your face after extended periods of time and the eye strain is very limited. The lens is by far the best in any headset, as well. Occasionally, I will have to take the headset off to wipe my eyes and get comfortable again, but this usually doesn’t happen unless I am wearing the headset for over an hour while watching a show or a movie.

Secondly, the functionality. The headset works amazingly. The motion tracking seems to be the only slight problem at times, but this seems to only be with the Move controllers, which I am against in the first place. I think they should have made fresh controllers instead of recycling a dead fad from the PS3 days, but either way, it works. Most games have no issues with tracking, but some unfortunately do. This can mostly be fixed, however. Calibrating is very important. Make sure that every time you move the headset from place to place the controllers and headset get calibrated properly. This is an excellent way to dissolve the issues of motion tracking. Also, make sure that if you are planning to buy a VR that you have plenty of space to work with. The camera has to pick up all of your arm’s movements, and for some games, this includes reaching, and if you don’t have enough space to reach, you’re going to have a bad time.

Overall, the PSVR is a state of the art piece of technology. If the PSVR is an example of where VR can go, then I am on board. The tech is there; however, it gets dragged down by a lack of games in the library, but that is only at the moment. Of course, Skyrim VR is coming, and this experience will be the first ever game that is at least longer than 7-10 hours. We will see how the future goes for the VR and I hope I made the right decision with making the plunge. If you’re interested in a cheaper alternative to the Vive and Oculus, pick up a PSVR! Of course, you will need a PS4 to operate the device. Also, shoot for a bundle if possible. It is cheaper all the way around as you do have to have the Camera at least and Move controllers optional but preferred! VR is a next level step in gaming, and only the future can tell what will come out of it!

  • Release Date: 10/13/2016
This post was written by
Tucker Boyd is a gaming staff writer for Kulture Shocked. Growing up, all he wanted was to play video games. Jokes on you, he never grew up. His life consists of video games every day, reading comic books and watching movies. These things have molded him into a giant pop culture fanatic and he's not a bit ashamed of it. He loves sitting down and having discussions about games, movies, and comics and dreams that one day he will be able to make a living off these things.
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