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article imageReview: Playstation Virtual Reality — Good, fast and fun

By Paul Wallis     Mar 31, 2016 in Entertainment
Sydney - VR has been around for a long time, and has been one of the most expensive, as well as the most frustrating, areas of gaming tech for years. In a sort of poetic justice, the ubiquitous SONY Playstation new VR is getting rave reviews.
The other good news is that the hype is looking justified. SONY’s VR is a good cool-looking headset, with 100-degree line of vision, all-round views, and no nausea, an achievement of itself. Interestingly, the description which is getting the biggest workout is “immersive,” rather than “godawful,” from reviewers.
This is a plug and play feature for Playstation 4. No additional tech or gear is required, unless you don’t have a Playstation camera. Headphones are separate. SONY’s tech specs include 120Hz and 90Hz refresh rates, and includes an accelerometer and gyroscope. (The gyro may account for the no-nausea effect.) Resolution is 1920x1080p, at 120 frames per second. Playstation VR uses two move controllers, which are pretty basic, easy to use handheld stick controls.
Graphics seem to be very good, well within top quality gaming parameters, and the in-your-face experiences are obviously real enough for most reviewers.
Finally, good VR? Much nitpicking, but reviewers like it.
The new VR is a case of making a fundamentally good idea work, and the possibilities are quite literally limitless. If you’re a gamer, imagine getting personally involved in games like Assassin’s Creed, Call of Duty, War Thunder, or any of the other great racers and shooters. It’s also a major plus for game developers, turning 3D games in to accessible options for VR without much fuss and extra costs in development, code rewrites, etc.
At consumer level, putting a reliable VR in to a popular platform is a major plus. Removing VR from its current “high tech” status and putting it in to the mainstream market will give VR the sort of boost it needs to It’ll encourage other game sets to follow suit, and build the next generation of games in a much wider context. This VR can be applied to a lot of different types of games, including puzzles, mysteries, sim training, etc.
I first saw SONY VR on ABC Australia’s Good Game show, a real fountain of gamer wisdom, reviews, and a lot of fun which often includes some pretty cutting, sometimes dismissive, expert reviews. This is a non-sponsored review, so it doesn’t have the level of suspicion which normally attaches to industry babble about new products. (I’m an ad person from birth. The more dribbling digressions, simpering buzzwords and fizzy non-substance I hear, the less I believe.)
Industry reviews have been predictable, from nitpicking about tech not being “the latest”, (which means that it’s designed to work on mainstream market systems) and comparing it with Oculus Rift, the other major VR product this year. Apparently the two are in a similar bandwidth in terms of performance, with comparative strengths and weaknesses (you don’t say?) and there’s some bitching about the relative merits of stereoscopic vision capabilities.
This is where tech expertise and market demand separate. The market wants a fun VR experience with minimal issues. What plays best will ultimately sell best, and the best games will rule.
SONY Playstation VR will be released in October 2016, retailing at around $399 US.
More about Sony, Sony playstation, Sony playstation 4 VR, oculus rift, virtual reality marketing
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