If you’ve ever touched a video game in your life, chances are, you’ve heard of the new PlayStation VR. Marked at just $400 and available for purchase, accessible virtual reality is on its way. For such cutting edge technology, this is exciting news!
While it’s fun to imagine blasting enemies as if you were doing it in real life, we need to address the downsides. Cutting edge technology has its risks. Since the PlayStation VR is so new, you can expect it to have problems.
In this article, we will go over the main issues with the PlayStation VR. Before digging in, it’s fair to acknowledge what’s good about the PlayStation VR. Sony managed to take what costs thousands of dollars and make it available for $400. Best of all? They’re making it available to the entire public!
Anybody outside of the gaming and tech bubble probably doesn’t even know that virtual reality exists. This is a great opportunity to introduce even more people to the gaming world with the enticing offer of real life immersion. Before we can successfully do that, we must first fix the major issues with PlayStation VR.
Top 5 issues with the PlayStation VR
#1: Lens fog
How many of you have ever worn a bad pair of glasses? If you have, you know how annoying lens fog can get. For some who have tried the PlayStation VR, they felt like they were wearing those glasses. While it doesn’t happen to everybody, it can happen to you. In some cases, it’s mild enough to simply ignore. If you breath heavier, the experience may differ.
This is why beta testing is so important. Now that many people have experienced this frustration, Sony can work to improve it. For now, some of you are going to have to deal with wiping the glasses clean here and there. Nobody likes to feel like they’re gaming in a fog bubble!
Yes, the PlayStation VR introduced cutting technology for a price far below their competitors. Yes, anybody can rake up the money to buy one if they really wanted to. However, it’s safe to admit that $400 is still a large chunk of change to cough up. For the gamer who invests in his hobby, this may not be the biggest deal.
For the average Joe who doesn’t even own a PlayStation 4, this is a much bigger deterrent. The average consumer may not be willing to spend $300 on a console just to spend another $400+ for virtual reality. Not yet at least. And if you want to truly take full advantage of PSVR then you’ll need to buy the PS4 Pro which is $400.
For somebody who is only somewhat interested in gaming, $400 alone for just the PSVR headset can seem a bit high. But you also have consider that you have to buy the PlayStation Camera and the PlayStation Move controllers to complete the experience.
As of now, it looks like only serious gamers and those with disposable income are interested in PlayStation VR. Though, that will surely change with time. In the coming years, Sony will work to make PlayStation VR cheaper and more accessible. Just like the personal computer.
#3: New technology will need a lot of testing
The PlayStation VR is considered cutting edge technology. That does sound new and exciting, but there’s a problem. There are problems people haven’t even run into yet. This is especially true considering PSVR has just recently hit the mass markets. The truth is, there are going to be problems in the future. It’s almost guaranteed.
Cutting edge technology has a cycle. First, Sony releases the product to the markets. Then, many customers find an issue. Sony fixes the issues and updates their software or re-releases the product. Repeat. Since the PlayStation VR is so new, there will be years of this cycle before the product is polished. Or with a couple of software updates, it could be only months. Who knows.
#4: Motion tracking
The Playstation VR is affordable, but affordability doesn’t come without its costs. The motion tracking mechanism has to make some sacrifices in order to make up for the cheap price. As a result, certain experiences have sub-par tracking. Think motion-based games such as first person shooters.
Testers and users have reported that motion tracking starts to lose its effectiveness after about 10 feet. Most gamers don’t sit right up to their TV unless they play on a gaming monitor. For the majority, bad motion tracking will be a frustrating problem. Sony seemed to sacrifice some functionality for convenience.
Take the HTC Vive for example. HTC requires a more involved setup process with multiple sensors. The PlayStation VR seems to be taking a more “plug and play” approach. There’s a reason setting up isn’t always super easy. It’s because motion tracking is one of the most important aspects when gaming. A lengthy set-up process would be worth it if it is guaranteed to fix this issue.
#5: Hard to use a controller
If you’re an avid gamer, chances are, you know your way around a DualShock 4 controller. For new gamers or those unfamiliar with consoles, that’s not the case. When you put on the virtual reality headset, you can’t see the controls. This is a problem since the PlayStation VR won’t completely eliminate the need for a controller. This can make some games hard to control.
If Sony is targeting new gamers, a way to help control the game better may be needed. A controller is fairly straightforward, but it can always put off new gamers. When you sit down to play a game, you should be able to play without constantly questioning what button you are pressing.
PlayStation VR is finally here!
While I did go over some pain points, this shouldn’t prevent you from buying the device. It’s an amazing piece of technology that is the start of a revolution. If anything, persistent complaints will make the PlayStation VR better because Sony will actively improve their product. The same thing happened with the consoles, controllers, and so on.
If you’re willing to deal with a bit of fog and have an extra chunk of change, you should go for it. The PlayStation VR is a potential first step into the evolution of gaming. Personally, I’d like to take part in that.
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