Over the past few years at Tokyo Game Show, Sony has been slowly showing off their evolving VR technology. At last year's show, the then named Project Morpheus was the hit of the show. Sadly, we weren't able to get our hands on it. However, this year we got the chance to play around with the newly named PlayStation VR.
The PlayStation VR headset is a sight to behold; combined with the accompanying headphones, it provided complete immersion in the demos we played. The head tracking works like a charm and had no noticeable lag or delay whatsoever. Additionally, the motion blur that is associated with moving the "camera" is practically nonexistent, even when whipping our head about in quick, frantic motions. The headset itself is fairly light weight, probably around 2 pounds or less, although the Sony staff on hand were not allowed to give us an answer as to its exact weight. I'm sure the model we were using will go through some more design revisions before we see it at retail. The VR headset does require a PlayStation camera in order to function and needs to be calibrated using the camera as well.
However, the experience wasn't without its problems. Because of the VERY limited time the booth attendants had to calibrate the headset to you (we weren't allowed to adjust the headset ourself, or even told how to) the headset tended to slip and tilt slightly and as a result the VR would blur and lose focus. I constantly found myself having to slouch in my chair and look up in order to get the set back into focus while trying to maintain a balanced "camera" view. I also noticed the set needing to be re-calibrated using the PS Camera if there was a fairly large differential in the next users height and relative positioning in the chair.
I highly doubt our complaints are a result of a flaw in the actual tech, its just a simple fact of life of the assembly line nature of these trade shows. Given the time to properly adjust the headset to your individual needs this thing would be fantastic. Oh, and to all you glasses wearers out there, you can wear your glasses while using the headset without any problems whatsoever.
The PlayStation VR headset has the potential to offer a really interesting new perspective to the home console arena, but at the same time could fall into the novelty trap that so many other motion control devices have in the past. In the end, PlayStation VR's true use and value, like so many other things, will come down to its retail pricing and software line up.
Check back with us shortly for our take on the two of the demos we tried out, Kitchen (horror game) and Summer Lesson (dating sim).