I’d like to address some common myths or concerns I’ve seen about PSVR (and in some cases, VR in general).
Table of Contents
- Is PS4 Pro Necessary?
- Are PSVR Framerates Bad?
- I Can’t See 3D/3DS 3D Doesn’t Work For Me
- I Have Tunnel Vision
- I Need Glasses
- Can I Bring My Own Headphones?
- Is VR Only for Short Sessions?
- I Have Long Lashes, Will They Touch The Lens?
- Is It Only For PS4?
- Is Move Essential?
- Are There “Full” AAA Experiences?
- Does Everyone Get Sick?
Is PS4 Pro Necessary?
I firmly believe PSVR launched before PS4 Pro to help break this illusion, but no, PS4 Pro is not required/expected for a good experience in VR. Most games still look and work great on a standard PS4 (the only way I’ve played PSVR myself).
So no, PS4 Pro isn’t required for a good experience here. It might be nice, but I don’t feel like I’m missing much before it’s out.
Are PSVR Framerates Bad?
Related to the Pro myth, no, framerates on current PSVR games are fine. Some are 60 FPS, but due to Frame Reprojection they feel seamless themselves. The only “jitter” I’ve noticed in VR is when Move or DS4 controllers pop out of camera range, the actual head tracking and animation have been smooth in every game I’ve played. I honestly can scarcely tell the difference in framerate between Thumper (90 FPS) and most of the 60 FPS experiences personally.
Of course, it’s always possible for someone to release a game with poor performance. But this far, sony and/or devs have done a great job keeping frames intact.
Forget what you know about 30 FPS-targeting console games. VR games are a different target platform with different minimum expectations. Thus far, devs understand the importance of framerate, and I don’t see that going away.
I Can’t See 3D/3DS 3D Doesn’t Work For Me
Not a problem. VR is actually mostly about tracking head movement to give the illusion of “presence”, the feeling of being in a different place. 3D is a nice additive feature for VR that most VR headsets include by default, but if you can’t see 3D or don’t have two functioning eyes, VR still works fine.
Even if 3DS 3D doesn’t work for you at all, VR will still do 95%+ of what it’s supposed to. You’ll miss the same depth cues you miss in the real world, but the feeling of moving your head around and seeing the world around you is still totally there. In fact binocular vision is largely overrated as most depth cues are monocular in nature.
I Have Tunnel Vision
The general thing with eye issues in VR is that VR emulates real life that any difficulties (and solutions to those) you have in real life will be about the same in VR. If you have tunnel vision you might find yourself moving your head more in VR than most players (as you may do in real life). But since VR isn’t a fixed perspective like a normal 2D display, moving your head a lot actually works much better in VR than it does when trying to clearly see a very wide 2D display.
Current VR headsets including PSVR actually already have a fairly low FOV compared to typical human eyes, so experiences don’t tend to depend on amazing peripheral vision.
As a bonus tip, in most PSVR games you can easily press the Options button to re-center your position in VR based on your headset’s position. If a game’s default is a bit too close for you to see well, lean forward, hold Options to reset the view to this more forward position, then lean back again and the game world should be an extra few inches away for better viewing.
I Need Glasses
PSVR is designed to accommodate glasses. I personally wear the typical fashionable and all-too-common lately thick frame style of glasses from Warby Parker, and PSVR accommodates them fine. You’ll want to move the scope back a scosh so the lenses don’t bump your glasses (and potentially cause both to fog up), but aside from a tiny bit more light bleed at the bottom due to the more distant scope, wearing glasses is fine and how I normally use the headset.
Can I Bring My Own Headphones?
Headphones are even easier, just…wear ’em. They might fit a bit looser, but I wear a rather large pair of headphones and they work fine. The included earbuds aren’t really that terrible either as a backup option.
Is VR Only for Short Sessions?
This one’s about half true. When starting out in VR you’ll definitely have to get used to the feeling of the headset, adjusting it, how things play out. But after just 2 days of experience putting on the headset is no longer any form of struggle and just a couple quick movements have everything in place and playable.
Many VR games are definitely designed for shorter bursts and I do find myself taking off the headset frequently, but on the other hand I played an hour of 100ft Robot Golf totally without realizing, and only stopped because I had to start a livestream.
Not all games are equally comfortable and not all people are equally comfortable at all. But personally, I could easily spend an hour in a game if I didn’t have to do anything out of VR in that time.
I Have Long Lashes, Will They Touch The Lens?
I wasn’t expecting this question TBH, but just like with glasses, the scope containing the lenses can be moved out a bit. If your lashes brush the lens you should be able to move the lens out for comfort.
Is It Only For PS4?
For native VR games, yes. There’s some potential for hacking PC support together, but the PS4 camera is a very important part and it uses a strange non-standard USB connector. If an adapter could be whipped up, PC support could possibly happen but I’m no expert.
What you might not know, is the “Cinema Mode” where a 2D game is projected as a large VR screen in front of you, works with any HDMI input. You could output your PC, Wii U, Xbox One or anything over HDMI to the headset. Just plug it into the PSVR processing box with the headset and camera on. Obviously some PS4 functions won’t work, and it won’t make 2D games VR, but it’s a neat bonus.
Is Move Essential?
Most games are specifically designed for the Dualshock 4, and contrary to popular belief, VR games can feel totally fine (or great!) using a more traditional controller. My favorite games Thumper and Superhypercube are both super immersive and very easy to play in VR with traditional controls.
The feeling of presence really doesn’t require hand-controllers. If you think about it, a lot of things we do in real life use “controllers” after all—keyboards, mice, steering wheels, heavy machinery.
A few games like Job Simulator and Catlateral Damage do actually require PS Move however. So there are a few games you can’t play without Move, but it’s not an extreme limiting factor.
Are There “Full” AAA Experiences?
This is a common catching point, and no, you’re not currently going to find many multi-hundred-million dollar budget 200+ hour Skyrim-style games on PSVR. Whether this is a killer totally depends on you, however at present the best stuff on PSVR is mostly from indie and smaller teams with really interesting, exploratory games.
However, DriveClub VR and Thumper show how well some games can transition to VR and definitely not feel like a brief or cut down experience. If you’re into VR, I encourage you to be open minded and try many indie games. The PSVR demo disk is a fantastic start. A lot of this stuff really does need to be played to be evaluated, even more so than usual games.
Does Everyone Get Sick?
VR Sickness varies a great deal person to person. I’ve heard of some people unable to play much of anything at all where the camera moves due to analog or “on rails” movement. On the other hand, I’ve experienced basically no nausea at all in my days in VR thus far. The biggest offenders being Rigs with a slight ‘woo’ feeling that quickly went away, and the PSVR Playroom platformer that made me feel like my chair was moving forward, but didn’t make me barfy, to use a technical term.
If you have any doubts, I’d definitely try to play at a demo station or a friend’s house. But just because one person did (or didn’t!) get sick doesn’t mean you will.