6 Reasons Why PlayStation VR Is Set To Shine in 2018

PlayStation VR has been in the market for about 18 months now. Whilst PlayStation seem to be happy with the launch period, it’s been clear that there’s more that could be done in terms of the software lineup. Here’s six reasons why we believe that PlayStation VR is set to have its best year yet in 2018.

AFFORDABILITY

At launch PlayStation VR launched at a rather meaty pricepoint of $700 on our shores. For a niche item, this was a bit of a stinger for those looking to delve in and see what it’s all about.

At the time, the software was somewhat lacking and the tech was first-run, meaning there could easily be a number of issues to deal with. When compared to other VR headsets, PlayStation’s is actually extremely reasonable and it’s only just now become even more affordable.

The recently announced price-cut has seen the retail price for PlayStation VR drop to $419.95, though it has already been spotted in a number of flash sales for sub-$400 so there’s certainly value in the box these days.

300 STRONG LIBRARY

Make no mistake, not everything on the platform is going to be quality but the fact that PlayStation VR boasts a varied catalogue of over 300 titles, which is growing exponentially, proves that not only does Sony back in their hardware but that developers are on board, too.

The showcase I attended showed off over a dozen new games and experiences launching this year. From charming child-friendly tower defense wonders like Animal Force to music-crafting tools like Track Lab. There are even out of the box puzzle titles like the stylish Salary Man that add another string to PlayStation VR’s bow.

GAMES ARE GETTING LONGER

The first handful of PlayStation VR titles I got to play were very short-lived experiences, lasting only an hour or so in total. While they were incredible to behold at first, titles like London Heist and Arkham VR left us only wanting more and hoping that developers could one day flesh out these titles.

Fortunately, these days the standard has blown out to almost six hours which is pretty respectful for a medium like VR.

Games like Eden Tomorrow and The Persistence both boast six hour runtimes according to the team members I spoke to and I have to say, given the fact I still labour with motion sickness, I think it’s a pretty healthy runtime provided the price is right or the replay value is there.

AIM IS THE REAL DEAL

I missed Farpoint at launch as I found it tough to justify the peripheral for one game alone. Fortunately a number of games have trickled out since that make use of Sony’s own minimalist-looking light gun.

Doom VFR used it and the upcoming Firewall: Zero Hour, which has been warmly accepted as Rainbox Six: Siege’s VR sibling, is a stunning example of the attachment in use. It feels genuine and there’s a certain weight that’s added to shooting in a game when you can feel the grip in your sweaty little hand.

ALL OF THE CO-OP GOODNESS

One thing that pleasantly surprised me at the showcase I attended was how many developers were crafting experiences that featured co-operative play. Given the headset is an expensive piece of kit, it’s nice they’re going so far as to add a lot of asymmetrical co-op modes that sees a couched player playing along either on-screen or on a tablet.

The Persistence is a minimalist example of this where it allows a player to greatly influence the world at large by luring mutants toward the player, killing the lights or even being helpful by pointing out weapon caches. Though there are examples like Smash Hit Plunder, a very cute game developed by a husband/wife indie start-up team led by John and Katie, the latter of which was lovely enough to guide me through their tear ’em up. In Smash Hit Plunder, your sole task is to traipse through a castle, leaving a trail of broken goblets and crates in your wake in what is essentially a pixel-art treasure hunt. The second player here gets to play along in a stunning isometric view of the proceedings that is, arguably, as gorgeous as the game from within the headset.

Being able to share the experience with someone else without the need of another headset is certainly a nice touch.

NOT JUST GAMES

While most are going to indulge in PlayStation VR for its games, of which there are plenty, the hardware’s uses aren’t restricted solely to gaming in the traditional sense. A word that gets floated by a lot of the higher-ups is “experiences” and there’s a number of them that get released through VR; more often than not they’re licensed movie tie-in experiences that aren’t as interactive as you’d like.

But every so often, some cool stuff does sift through like a neat interactive Safari that I watched during the showcase. It drops you smack bang in the middle of the wildlands as nature’s most fearsome big cats, among others, stalk through the tall grass.

It’s intense and the kind of thing I dig seeing tech like this used for. Get David Attenborough to do the next Planet Earth in VR and you’re sitting on a damned gold mine, Sony.

  1. That’s applicable to all other VR headsets in the market. I guess HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Windows Mixed Reality are all set to shine too then.

      1. That actually isn’t even remotely true… PC VR sales combined (Rift, Vive, and WMR) have been pretty much keeping pace with PSVR accordingly most sources.

        The Oculus Rift accounts for a bit more than half of the PC sales, with the Vive having roughly just under the other half. Windows Mixed reality hasn’t even been out for a year, but for a starting price of $200 gets you the full VR experience (6dof tracking and 6dof motion controllers), so they’ve been gaining a bit of traction.

        The difference isn’t as much as some would think though; if PC VR had sold about 1.5 million headsets in 2017, then PSVR would be about 1.7-1.8 million.

        PSVR still sells more a bit more, mostly because the base platform is cheaper, which is just the traditional game console and gaming PC difference in general (PS Pro is about $350-400 these days, while a gaming PC is about $700).

        The actual VR kits are about the same price though (PC VR is about $200-500 for the full VR experience; PSVR is about $350-400 for the full experience).

        PSVR is also available in more retail stores than gaming level PC hardware in general. In contrast, demo stations, VR arcades, and schools/libraries/etc. are using PC VR. This is mostly due to PC VR having better tracking for roomscale experiences and uses beyond general media consumption.

    1. Well it’s saying PSVR just entered a range of affordability that will push it to less die hard gamers. That isn’t true of the competition as they are still more expensive (though getting cheaper too), at least not Vive and Rift. I don’t know the whole deal with Windows. PSVR’s affordability is probably the main reason it is selling so much more than the competition, so as it falls lower it will just reach even more audiences before the competition does.

      Also Aim controller doesn’t have a PC counterpart last I checked.

      Of course for people who already own a gaming PC that can handle VR, Vive Pro sounds like it will be epic, and the quality difference between that and PSVR will be like night and day. I’d love to see what Skryim and Fallout 4 are like in a Vive Pro. I’m not a PC gamer but if I was, I’d be in the quality over price boat and play on Vive Pro. Part of me wishes PSVR was higher end and more expensive, though I know if it was it wouldn’t have done so well, so I suppose it was a necessary sacrifice in order to show more people what VR is like and get a bigger customer base for developers to profit from and grow.

      1. The VR kits themselves are are about the same really:

        PSVR ~$350
        Rift ~$350-400
        Vive ~$500
        Windows ~$200-500

        The prices include the motion controllers, sensors, etc. Rift also comes with quality built in headphones by default (removeable), while the Vive sells it as a separate add-on ($99), some of the WMRs have built in audio, and PSVR doesn’t have an option for it (separate headphones). It’s a super convenient option though, making the process of hopping into VR a lot simpler (just put on the headset and go). It also allows for better 3d spatial sound.

        PC VR also has all sorts of kits for gunstocks; some are 3d printed. All are designed to allow for movement of the forward hand in order to reload, etc.

        I didn’t include the Vive Pro ($1100) in the list above, because the complete kit is just so much more expensive than everything else for what amounts to minor improvements overall. The $800 price some may have seen is for the “upgrade” if you have a normal Vive (It’s just for the headset only). While it’s clearly the best VR headset out at the moment, the difference it provides doesn’t justify the price at all, unless you are a seriously hardcore dev, but even then…

        1. Yea, it’s only the PC cost relative to PS4 cost that does it. I cant see ANY reason to go PSVR if you already have a sufficient PC. The loss in quality and freedom isnt anywhere close to being worth the money in that case.

          I really like the idea of built in headphones too. Would be so much better. PSVR is just all around a compromise.. visuals sure.. but the camera and PS3 Move controllers are big issues as well. You are almost always aware of their faults.

          I love PSVR and think it was the right way to go (for Sony) so early in VR.. JUST high end enough to be a proof of concept and get non-enthusiasts excited for the future of VR.. though I am getting impatient for PS5 and PSVR2 haha.

          Those Move controllers really need a price reduction too. It’s like $100 for two PS3 controllers. That should be $50 tops and shave another $50 off bundles.

          Also cool that they have PC guns. My coworker has Vive so will have to tell him. He told me there werent any. I think he mostly just uses some program to play non-vr games in vr.. like Borderlands. Another awesome reason to get PC VR. Think tge program is called Vortex or something..

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