Sony’s much-anticipated virtual reality headset for its PlayStation 4 console, PlayStation VR, launched globally last Thursday. And the online world has responded vocally.
On paper, PSVR doesn’t quite compare to its pricier PC rivals, the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift: it features a single 960 x 1,080 display versus the Rift’s twin 1,080 x 1,200 screens; at 610 grams (21.5 ounces) it’s more than 100 grams heavier than its nearest rival and its optional motion-tracking controllers are nowhere near as accurate as those of its competitors.However, none of these things seem to have deterred PlayStation VR’s early adopters, with GameStop reporting that its stock of the headset sold out faster than any piece of gaming hardware to date.
Here’s a quick sample of PSVR tweets from commentators and everyday consumers alike following their first weekend with the headset:
Twitch streamer Erika Ishii was seemingly in love with the unit before she’d even got its box open…
— Erika Ishii (@SamuraiErika) October 15, 2016
Others, meanwhile, waited until they’d spent a bit more time with the headset before venturing an opinion or sharing their predictably silly videos…
On a scale of one to awesome…
After a weekend with Playstation Virtual Reality (PSVR) I can definitely say it's pretty damn awesome.
— Coert (@coert) October 17, 2016
— Mark Julio (マークマン) (@MarkMan23) October 14, 2016
Had a go on James's new PS virtual reality and holy god it was intense. Seriously thought I was about to be eaten by a shark #PSVR
— Jessica Knight ღ (@JessTea93_) October 13, 2016
I AM Batman
Batman on the PSVR is absolutely amazing!! Didn't know what to expect and got blown away
— Jacksepticeye (@Jack_Septic_Eye) October 16, 2016
Send in the (Murderous) Clowns!
UNTIL DAWN: RUSH OF BLOOD Gameplay | CRAZY A$$ CLOWNS!! #PSVR
— Tpindell (@Tpindell) October 14, 2016
A few days in, and I’m mostly very happy with my PSVR. The tracking isn’t perfect, but the experience jives with me more than my Rift & Vive
— Jake Baldino (@JakeBaldino) October 15, 2016
Head-tracking is an issue that a number of critics have touched upon in their reviews of the PlayStation VR so far, with some commenting that room lighting and reflective surfaces can disrupt communication between the headset and the console proper—something that Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland touched upon in his tweet on Sunday evening.
Really loving #PSVR. Make sure you set the camera above the height of your head, and look out for reflective surfaces in your play area!
— Justin Roiland (@JustinRoiland) October 16, 2016
Overall, tech and gaming pundits have responded positively to PlayStation VR, describing it as the most affordable and easy-to-use virtual reality experience available, regardless of its technically inferior innards.
“This headset isn’t perfect,” said BBC Click’s Marc Cieslak, “but right now it represents one of the strongest cases for virtual reality in the home.”
Tech Crunch’s Darrell Etherington, meanwhile, commented that despite being the budget approach to virtual reality, PlayStation VR represented “the new gold standard” for consumer headsets.
Popular YouTube-based video game commentator Boogie2988’s tweet suggested that a lack of compelling software would be the biggest hurdle Sony had to overcome before PSVR could win a spot in the living rooms of the world’s 40 million existing PlayStation 4 owners.
invited tons of friends over to try #PSVR. everyone is pleased with the tech, but not the game selection. Seems about right.
— Boogie2988 (@Boogie2988) October 16, 2016
With a price-tag of $399.99 (£349.99) for the standalone headset (you’ll also need a PlayStation Camera and, should you wish to play with dual motion controls, a pair of PlayStation Move controllers), PSVR is far from a minor purchase. Even so, compared to the cost of the HTC Vive ($799/£689) and Oculus Rift ($599/£549), not to mention the price of a PC capable of running said headsets, PSVR is an undeniably tempting tech offering, and is sure to wow more than a few aunts, uncles, grandmas and grandpas later this year as it inevitably finds its way into more fortunate kids’ Christmas stockings. Let’s just hope that Sony can come up with some quality games to justify the not-insignificant price of entry to the virtual world.
To get hold of a piece of the action, you can buy the Playstation VR right now.