Are you ready for VR?

Playstation VR, the Oculus Rift, or just hold off
Playstation VR - 7.5
Oculus Rift with Touch - 8.0

If you're like me you're an early adopter, and that's not always a great thing. I don't get any kick backs from any company or advertiser so you know that i've spent some money on these things and i'm going to shoot straight. You will need AC or a fan with either of these, because you will get hot if you play over 30 minutes. Or maybe i'm just out of shape?

 

Pre-ordering the latest game based on a trailer and some future content has bitten me in the past (Remember Aliens: Colonial Marines) So when I prepared to shell out 500 bucks for the PSVR launch package based on the 20 minutes I played at E3 I also got ready to get hurt again. Then Ubisoft made me an offer I couldn't refuse, Star Trek Bridge Crew. On the other hand there's the Oculus Rift, i've played it several times over the years at E3 with both action and standard VR type roller coaster or snowboarding simulations and was impressed every time but there's just one problem... The price! Lets get more in depth with each system 

PSVR: Really easy setup. My first impression is the same I had last year at E3, when you pick it up it is solid and a little heavy. You'll need to move around some furniture to put yourself in central and optimal location unless you have the perfect 8 feet from couch to TV. Once you turn it it's very easy to set up and is no harder than syncing a new controller for the most part once the software is installed. Now it's on your head and adjusted you don't really feel the weight of it, instead of other VR headsets straps all over the PSVR primarily sits on the crown of your head and is well balanced there. Gameplay wise, as with every console or peripheral you will live and die by your games. Remember this phrase "Content is King" The in box demos are standard fare, I played the shark game first and was not disappointed, A great white did not care that my cage was labeled shark proof it came right in. Then I put in Batman Arkham VR and played the whole game in 1 sitting. I was that immersed in the game. And how about the 1 reason I bought the PSVR, the aforementioned Star Trek Bridge Crew? Delayed for 7 months. All in all the graphics are on par with other PS4 games but you're not really paying for graphics with this you're paying for immersion.

 

Now the down sides. You should know up front if you aren't buying a bundle or have the PS Eye camera already you'll need to pick that up. Most of the games are playable with the controller but this is VR so also budget yourself the PS Move controllers for the full experience too. Earlier you read it doesn't feel that heavy when you first put it on but eventually it does start to weigh you down and you start getting sore, but I don't believe you're supposed to play for 6 hours straight like I have a few times. The audio is pretty average with the included ear buds simulating 3D sound somewhat competently, but they are as uncomfortable as every other earbud. Playstation has released a number of games for their PSVR and most of them have been entertaining but nowhere close to the amount of games that Oculus has, and there's a reason for that.

Oculus Rift: I will start with the bad here as they are by far the biggest reason you might say no to VR in general not just the Rift. You're going to spend a lot of money, and that is saying it lightly. I picked up my Rift with the Touch controllers and Eve Valkyrie during a summer sale for about 500, the same as the PSVR bundle, but also know this you need serious power behind it. You need a gaming rig for this to run, just for the minimum requirements i'd be able to put one together for under a thousand. But not much under. If you don't have a solid PC already or an extra grand to throw around to get one I just made your decision for you! If you're all set on the PC front get ready for at least an hour of setup as you minutely fine tune the IR sensors to see your "play area" and not intersect each other. Once you get the sensors set up you have to walk around your room to show it where your play area is.

The good? There's plenty of that too. The headset is light and comfortable for even a marathon gaming session, and since you've got that monster rig doing the heavy lifting the graphics are stunning. I've floated my way through the International Space Station and flown the star ships of Elite Dangerous and Eve Valkyrie with ease. The touch controllers are a little much to handle at first but you get used to them. The built in headphones do well in surround sound but much the same as the PS4 earbuds the built in headphones become uncomfortable after awhile. Where the Rift really shines is in the games. A few paragraphs ago I told you to remember a phrase? Content is King, and that is the huge difference in the two. There's virtually hundreds of VR titles in every shape and size with the addition of Steam VR. You will be hard pressed to run out of things to do with the Rift and Steam.

In conclusion: I'm not going to do the tough work for you. If you're looking for a good first step in to VR then the PSVR is probably the right setup for you. Not too costly, but you wont be going back to it daily. If you've got the money the Oculus Rift is going to give you the best graphics, sound, and replay-ability with the ever expanding list of big name and indie games.

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