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Everything You Need To Know About PlayStation VR: Setup, Contents, and Gameplay

Author: Unbox TherapyTime: 2024-01-25 09:20:00

Table of Contents

Introducing PlayStation VR - A New Era of Immersive Gaming

The world of gaming is entering a new era of virtual reality. With the launch of PlayStation VR in October 2016, Sony became the first major console manufacturer to release a virtual reality headset designed specifically for gaming.

Virtual reality (VR) tech has been around for decades, but it's only in recent years that the technology has advanced enough to deliver truly immersive consumer-ready experiences. The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive PC headsets pioneered this new wave of VR, but their high price tags and extensive setup requirements created barriers to mainstream adoption.

PlayStation VR aims to bring VR gaming to the masses. With an install base of over 50 million PS4 consoles globally, PlayStation VR taps into a huge pool of potential early adopters. Not to mention, its $399 price point makes it one of the most affordable premium VR solutions currently available.

What is PlayStation VR?

PlayStation VR is a virtual reality headset developed specifically for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro consoles. Featuring a 5.7 inch OLED display with 1080p resolution, PlayStation VR provides a 110-degree field of view and head tracking capabilities thanks to nine embedded LEDs. While PC-powered VR headsets generally offer higher fidelity visuals, PlayStation VR offers stunningly immersive gaming experiences on a PS4 console you may already own. Smooth visuals are delivered at up to 120 frames per second for gameplay that feels responsive while avoiding motion sickness issues faced by earlier VR headsets. The PlayStation VR headset connects to your PS4 console via an external processor unit. This unit handles 3D audio processing and uses the LEDs on the headset to provide six degrees of freedom motion tracking as you game. The bundled PlayStation camera tracks headset and controller location, completing an immersive, interactive experience.

PlayStation VR Bundle Contents

For $399, the PlayStation VR Launch Bundle includes everything you need get started with immersive PS4 gaming straight out of the box. Key components include:

  • The PlayStation VR headset
  • PlayStation VR connection cables
  • Stereo headphones with an inline remote
  • HDMI and USB cables
  • A processor unit
  • PlayStation Camera
  • 2 PlayStation Move motion controllers
  • The PlayStation VR Worlds gameplay demo disc
With this bundle, Sony delivers almost everything you need to jump into virtual worlds on your PS4. The only extra purchase required is the PS4 console itself. Those who already own a PS4 or PS4 Pro can simply connect PlayStation VR to their existing console.

Setting up PlayStation VR - A Quick and Easy Process

One appeal of PlayStation VR compared to PC-powered setups is its sheer simplicity. With just a handful of cables and components, getting everything hooked up is a breeze.

The processor unit serves as the main connectivity hub. HDMI cables link the processor unit to both the PS4 console and PlayStation VR headset, handling stereoscopic 3D video output. A USB cable then provides power and connectivity between the processor unit and PS4.

With cables sorted, players simply need to position the PlayStation Camera and power on the VR headset. The camera provides critical motion tracking by monitoring the headset and controllers. Its dual lens design offers expanded tracking range, keeping tabs on your movements as you explore virtual worlds.

Connecting Cables and Hardware

Getting everything hooked up only takes a few minutes thanks to thoughtful design and included cabling:

  1. Connect the processor unit to your PS4 via HDMI and USB
  2. Connect the PlayStation VR headset to the processor unit with HDMI
  3. Optionally connect headphones to the inline remote on the headset cable
  4. Place the PlayStation Camera 6-10 feet away on a stable surface
  5. Turn on PS4, processor unit, PlayStation VR, and pair controllers
With these basics covered, calibration guides will take new users through adjust headset fit, measure eye spacing, and define a play area. Once complete, you're ready to dive into spectacular PS4 virtual worlds! ### Putting on the Headset The PlayStation VR headset itself features thoughtful ergonomic design to provide comfort for long gaming sessions:
  • Rubber light shielding blocks ambient light for greater immersion
  • Adjustable straps adapt the headset to different head sizes
  • Cushioned support helps distribute weight across your forehead and lower skull
  • Glasses can be worn thanks to eye relief adjustment
Donning PlayStation VR is like putting on an extra cushiony bike helmet. Turning a wheel on the back lets you match the tight yet comfortable fit to your head size. Further tweaks allow you to move the headset closer or farther from your face based on whether or not you wear glasses.

Playing PlayStation VR Games - Complete Immersion

With everything hooked up, calibrated, and comfortably fitted, it's finally time to play some games! PlayStation VR aims to completely immerse players in fantasy worlds, delivering new gaming experiences unattainable through traditional displays.

PlayStation VR Worlds provides an ideal launching point by offering five VR vignettes in different game genres. But PlayStation VR is just getting started, with over 100 dedicated VR games already available and many more in active development.

Controllers and Interaction

PlayStation VR doesn't just put you in the game visually but also enables natural interaction:

  • DualShock 4 controllers handle traditional gameplay mechanics
  • PlayStation Move wands act as your hands in-game for pointing and object manipulation
  • Some titles like racing games instead have you hold steering wheel peripherals
  • Headset and controller movement is mirrored in-game for intuitive control
This combination of familiar inputs alongside headset and wand tracking enables all sorts of interaction approaches tailored precisely for each title. Shooters give you virtual guns to aim as you blast away enemies. Adventure games let you reach out and grab objects with disembodied hands. The possibilities span so much further than pressing buttons on a plastic gamepad. ### Immersive Gameplay Experiences So what can you actually do in PlayStation VR games? Pretty much anything you can imagine:
  • Brave the front lines of warzones in gritty first person shooters
  • Solve escape room puzzles by physically interacting with contraptions
  • Create worlds, sculptures, or art with intuitive 3D design tools
  • Perform surgery on virtual patients as their lives hang in the balance
  • Experience entirely new genres built around room scale VR gameplay
These are but a tiny fraction of over 100 titles already supporting PlayStation VR. More arrive all the time as developers tap into unprecedented creative freedom. No longer confined to screens and thumbsticks, PlayStation VR transports you to vivid locales where you control the action with your own body in 3D space.

PlayStation VR Worlds Demo - Your First Taste of VR

For most new adopters, the PlayStation VR Worlds demo disc will provide that magical first dive into virtual reality. This collection of five gameplay demos spans various genres to showcase the creative potential unlocked by VR.

One standout is London Heist, an action thriller set in gritty crime filled London locales. This demo places you in a buzzing pub when suddenly a gangster meeting turns violent. After an intense shootout, getaway driving intensifies as you virtually handle vehicles at breakneck speeds.

What's truly revolutionary about VR experiences like London Heist are embodied interactions only possible in virtual spaces. Dodging realistically simulated bullets by physically moving your body then grabbing the steering wheel as you screech around corners finally fulfills childhood fantasies of living inside video game worlds.

Trying the London Heist Game

In the London Heist demo, you'll experience:

  • A vivid London pub setting with cockney voice acting
  • Shooting sequences requiring real dodging and aiming
  • Grabbing objects like beer bottles, lighter, cash stacks, etc
  • Physically lighting a cigar then stealing a car key
  • Breakneck high speed car chase demanding quick reactions
Few non-VR games allow you to litterally stand up and lean around cover as you return fire upon gangsters, feeling bullets whiz right past your head. This level of immersion was simply impossible on traditional screens and thumbsticks, yet comes naturally inside a VR headset. ### Reacting to the VR Experience It only takes seconds before being awestruck at just how realistically your body and motions are translated into virtual worlds. Grabbing stacks of cash then tucking a cigar in your mouth demonstrates precise finger tracking. Aiming guns by point shooting rather than thumbstick targeting completely changes shooters. The full environmental sound design paired with 3D audio also sells the believability. You instinctively turn as you hear a bottle smash behind you or bullets zing past your ears. The complete freedom to not just observe environments but physically move and interact with them revolutionizes the very concept of gaming. After spending serious time in high fidelity worlds like those created for PlayStation VR, returning to traditional screens can feel boring by comparison. Why play games on a flat TV when you can step into fully realized virtual worlds? Once hooked by room scale VR gameplay, there's simply no going back.

Is PlayStation VR Worth it? - Key Pros and Cons

PlayStation VR convincingly delivers on the dream of immersive gaming thanks to thoughtful tech innovations tailored specifically for the PS4 platform.

This accessibility does involve some visual compromises compared to pricier PC VR solutions. However, PlayStation VR currently provides the most straightforward and affordable entry point into highly immersive virtual worlds.

Pros of PlayStation VR

PlayStation VR nails the essentials for an awesome VR experience:

  • Very affordable at $399 all-in versus $1000+ for PC setups
  • Leverages 50m+ existing PS4 consoles
  • Easy plug and play setup process
  • Comfort focused ergonomic industrial design
  • Responsive head and motion tracking freedom
  • Growing library of 100+ dedicated VR games
For the price point, PlayStation VR provides exceptionally compelling and accessible room scale VR gameplay. Stepping into vividly rendered worlds and grabbing the steering wheel or aiming guns with your actual hands sets a new high watermark for immersive gaming. ### Cons to Consider The trade-off for convenience and affordability comes in visual fidelity:
  • PS4 console power limits graphic quality versus gaming PCs
  • Modest 1080p resolution stretched over 100+ degree views
  • PS Move controllers and camera date from PS3 era
  • Only 180 degree tracking range versus 360 on PC
  • Less advanced hand presence with fewer finger tracking points
Make no mistake, PlayStation VR still enables best-in-class levels of immersion on a PS4 console. However, visual clarity falls short of what dedicated PC GPU setups now deliver. Provided you set realistic graphical expectations given PS4 system constraints, PlayStation VR satisfies on its core promise of finally making lifelike virtual worlds easily accessible.

Conclusion - An Awesome Journey Into VR Gaming

PlayStation VR successfully brings virtual reality gaming into the mainstream by making exceptional experiences achievable on the PS4 consoles owners already love. No competitor in market currently provides such accessible and affordable high-end VR.

Despite some visual compromises inherent to console horsepower limitations, PlayStation VR nails the most vital metrics. Putting on the headset transports you into living, breathing environments whether dodging bullets or grabbing cash stacks. Intuitive head and motion tracking then enable unprecedented levels of immersion.

For those eager to dive into breathtaking virtual worlds at home for the first time, look no further than PlayStation VR. This thoughtfully designed headset and ecosystem make cutting edge VR gaming approachable for millions of gamers worldwide. PlayStation VR truly inaugurates the next era of interactive entertainment. Brace yourself then prepare for an awesome ride!


Q: What comes in the PlayStation VR bundle?
A: The PlayStation VR bundle includes the VR headset, PlayStation Camera, two Move controllers, VR headset connection cables, stereo headphones, and a VR game demo disc.

Q: How do you set up PlayStation VR?
A: To set up PlayStation VR, connect the Processor Unit to your PS4 via HDMI and USB. Connect the VR headset to the Processor Unit with the AV cable. Position the PlayStation Camera correctly and turn on VR mode.

Q: What games work with PlayStation VR?
A: Many PS4 games are PlayStation VR compatible including popular titles like Resident Evil 7, Skyrim VR, Beat Saber, and Tetris Effect. New VR games are being added frequently.

Q: Is PlayStation VR good for kids?
A: PlayStation VR provides an immersive and fun experience for kids. However, some VR games may not be suitable for young children so parental supervision is recommended.

Q: Does PlayStation VR make you sick?
A: PlayStation VR can cause motion sickness in some people. Starting off with short play sessions and choosing games wisely can help minimize discomfort.

Q: Is PlayStation VR better than Oculus?
A: Both Oculus and PlayStation VR offer high quality VR experiences. Oculus may have better overall graphics but requires an expensive gaming PC. PlayStation VR is more accessible and budget-friendly.

Q: How much does PlayStation VR cost?
A: The PlayStation VR bundle retails for $399.99 which includes the VR headset, camera, controllers and cables. The basic VR headset alone costs around $299.

Q: Can you watch movies on PlayStation VR?
A: Yes, PlayStation VR has several apps like Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu that allow you to view movies, shows and other 2D content on a virtual theater screen inside the VR headset.

Q: Does PlayStation VR work with PS5?
A: Yes, PlayStation VR is backwards compatible and works seamlessly with the PS5 console. A PS5 VR headset is also in development by Sony.

Q: Is PlayStation VR worth buying in 2023?
A: With many exciting PS VR2 games on the horizon, PlayStation VR is still worth buying in 2023 for an immersive PS4 and PS5 gaming experience.