The PlayStation VR, a virtual reality headset that is not without its flaws

The PlayStation VR, a virtual reality headset that is not without its flaws

Sony’s headphones are out this Thursday in stores. If it has strong competitive advantages, certain limitations must be taken into account before deciding whether or not to acquire it. Le Figaro reports.

After the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift, around Sony to market its virtual reality headset. The PlayStation VR goes on sale worldwide from this Thursday. Cheaper than its direct competitors (399 euros), this headset has several assets up its sleeve to seduce the general public: the popularity of the PlayStation brand, the 40 million PlayStation 4 sold worldwide, and a less selective “entry ticket” than at HTC or Oculus. No need to have a high-end PC to know the joys of virtual reality: a console at 350 euros is enough. The helmet, on the other hand, is marketed at 399 euros. This is much less than the 900 euros of the HTC Viveand the 700 euros of the Oculus Rift, which they only work on PC.

The editorial staff of Le Figaro has had a PlayStation VR for several days and was able to try it in the best test conditions: at home. What better to appreciate the strengths but also the weaknesses of Sony’s offer. You have to keep them in mind before deciding whether or not to buy the PlayStation VR. We strongly recommend that you try the helmet in store beforehand. Most specialized brands, such as Fnac or Micromania, offer test terminals.

Plan more than 400 euros to enjoy the experience. At this price, you will only have the headset: or, a PlayStation Camera (59 euros) is essential to be able to use it. Another useful addition, a pair of PlayStation Move motion-sensing controllers(79 euros). If they are not essential (many games are playable with the classic controller of the PlayStation 4), they greatly improve the accuracy and comfort of the game. Total invoice: 537 euros.

Plentiful cables: before diving into virtual worlds, a session of cable connections will prevail. The PlayStation VR is indeed connected to the PlayStation 4 via a small processor, which takes, in miniature, the design of the console. All these elements are linked to each other with USB and HDMI cables to which is added a mains power supply for the processor. Sony had the good idea to number these cables, so that it can follow step by step the installation instructions that came with the headset. Their length is more than enough to fit most salons. For optimal comfort, count at least 1.50 meters between your TV and your sofa.

A helmet not always easy to put on… It will take the helping hand to put on in the blink of an eye the PS VR. Two buttons extend and adjust the helmet, while a wheel tightens it on the head.

… but comfortable to wear. This is a big positive for Sony. Immediately put on, his helmet is forgotten. It is not heavy and does not press heavily on the nose, unlike some competing helmets. Glasses wearers do not need to remove them.

Graphics that can disappoint. If you expect to find graphics equivalent to those of the games of the PlayStation 4, you risk to quickly disillusionment. The games of the PS VR are technically rather similar to those of the early years of the PlayStation 3. Aliasing is very present, except on some titles like Job Simulator. The possible texts then become painful to read, and the eyes tend to quickly tire. The more powerful PlayStation 4 Pro should solve this problem. It will be released on November 10th.

Uneven games. Sony can boast of having a large library of games compatible with the PS VR right out of the box. Unfortunately, few stand out. Special mention to Until Dawn: Rush of Blood, where we find ourselves thrown into a ghost train that goes wrong. Prepare to startle many times. Job Simulator also stands out for its pretty use of virtual reality, just like Batman Arkham VR. Keep in mind, however, that these games are short, with a lifespan of about an hour to two hours. The library of games will grow over the months and it will surely wait a little before the release of the title that will put everyone in agreement.

Pay attention to the space around you. The vast majority of games are played quietly while sitting on the couch, without the need to actually move. But others will ask you a little more movements. So beware of obstacles like the coffee table or simply the armrests of the sofa against which PlayStation Move can crash. Better to have a safe playing space of about one or two meters around you.

Remove your helmet at the slightest sign of discomfort. This is the black point of virtual reality: no one is equal in the face of its side effects. Games where you have to move your character with the joystick of the controller are the most likely to make you sick. Watch out for VR Sledge and Scavengers Odyssey, included in the PlayStation VR Worlds compilation, which caused the most nausea among testers-Le Figaro included. Cold sweats, fast breathing, stomach that suddenly weighs very heavy: stop playing immediately.

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