There’s also another piece of hardware to consider when looking at buying a PlayStation VR, and that’s Sony’s brand-new, ultra-powered PS4 Pro.
With additional processing power, the PS4 Pro is capable of creating an even more immersive virtual reality experience for the games that support it – there’s around 30-or-so titles at the moment, with about 15 more coming before the end of the year.
The improvement PS4 Pro promises can take many forms – from more detailed textures to better draw distances, and even a small reduction in graininess. The advantages differ from game-to-game, and PS4 Pro is currently setup to only support games where the developer has enabled “Pro Mode”, a hardware boosting technology that tells the PS4 to use extra processing power.
While writing the PS4 Pro review, we got the chance to try the upgraded hardware with the PlayStation VR and the results were noticeable, if a bit underwhelming in reality.
There’s definitely a distinct difference between PS4 and PS4 Pro versions of VR games, however, it’s probably not one that can be spotted by the unwitting non-techie – it’s something that you can only spot if you’re paying close attention to how certain textures look in-game or how objects look in the distance. Lag felt less prevalent on the Pro system though, in all fairness, it wasn’t something we felt was a major problem while using the standard issue console.
Whether the minor improvements are worth paying extra for the more powerful hardware is ultimately a decision we’ll leave up to you, however it’s our opinion that you can get by with a standard PS4 just fine.
PlayStation VR isn’t a wild reimagining of the VR headset, but it’s one of the most attractive efforts that we’ve seen so far.
The head-mounted display (HMD) screams minimalism with a tag team of black and white matte plastic touches. Its final iteration is interspersed with seven front-facing blue lights that the PlayStation Camera picks up to track your location and head movement. For games that require you to turn around, Sony stuck two more blue lights on the back of the strip bringing the total number of trackable lights to nine.
PlayStation VR looks good and, thankfully, also yields comfort, which is a crucial box that not enough VR headsets can tick. Sony went for a “halo” shape for Playstation VR with a single white matte strap that wraps around your head seamlessly, coming together in the back, and can be adjusted to your liking. The inside of the strap has a thick cushion with a rubber finish that holds your head gently in place. Once the headset is on, you can adjust the visor forwards and backwards to help bring items on the screen in focus.
The PSVR’s secret to comfort is that it hangs all of its weight at the top of your dome, putting less pressure on the bridge of the nose and the forehead. Where other headsets start to feel heavy after an hour or so of use, I felt that I could wear Sony’s for hours on end without getting that all-too-familiar neck fatigue.
To seal out the light, Sony has installed a rubber flap that encircle the visor. While they’re moderately effective at blocking out the incoming light on your left and right, the way the headset in constructed leaves a massive gap in between your nose and the headset, which allows light into the screen and can be pretty distracting when you’re trying to lose yourself in the virtual world.
Although the headset technically fits over a pair of glasses, this tends to worsen the light-leakage problem.