Sony launches virtual reality peripheral

By Anthony Kinney, Advocate Staff

Sony is ushering in the next generation of console gaming entertainment with its new virtual reality headset, the Playstation VR.

Released on Oct. 13, the PSVR (also known by its code name Project Morpheus) provides players with a new gaming experience that literally puts them into the action. The PSVR broadcasts two images simultaneously into each side of the headsets display. The PSVR’s camera features tracking capabilities by using the 3-axis gyroscope and 3-axis accelerometer in the headset, creating a virtual realm around the wearer.

The PSVR is the excellent, and comparatively affordable, introduction into the world of quality VR that we’ve all been waiting for.

Virtual reality gives the user the experience of being a part of the world they are seeing trough the screen. When one thinks of virtual reality, imagine a less intuitive version of the matrix.   

Those who are familiar with the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive virtual reality headsets admit that the PSVR experience isn’t as crisp or as immersive as the PC-compatible headsets. However, for a headset that runs on a Playstation 4 system instead of an expensive gaming computer, there isn’t much to complain about.

Unlike its competition that requires an expensive graphic card to get the job done, the PSVR is visually breathtaking, using only the PS4’s built-in GPU. The PSVR’s release was accompanied by more then 30 VR-compatible titles, including “Hustle Kings VR,” “RIGS: Mechanized Combat League,” “The Playroom VR,” and the stunning “Batman Arkham VR.”

Owners of the PSVR can look forward to “Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare” which will include a free virtual reality downloadable content which will allow players to be fully submerged in the gunfire of war. The headset can handle 1080p games on its 920 x RGB x 1080 OLED display with a refresh rate of up to 120Hz, depending on the game or application.

The PSVR isn’t just for VR-compatible games. Players can also enjoy their non-VR games and applications on the headset as well. One of the best features of the headset is the ability to watch applications such as Netflix and Hulu on a personal theater-sized screen with the included surround sound earbuds.

The basic PSVR package comes with the VR system, headphones, and all the required cables for $399.99. The price tag of the PSVR is pretty hefty since you still need two other items that are sold separately. Consumers will need a Playstation Camera, $59.99, and the Playstation Move controllers, $99.99, to have the full PSVR experience. Sony has also released a PSVR launch bundle is composed of the full package for $499.99.

After setting up the PSVR, I eagerly popped in “Drive Club VR” for my very first experience into the virtual reality realm.

I was immediately stunned, after slipping on my PSVR headset, to see that what was once my living room, was now transformed into a fully immersive world. It allowed me to look in awe at the beautiful tranquil mountainous environment that surrounded me within 360 degrees.