What is PlayStation VR?
Sony has been paying close attention to their audience over the last couple of years, and has seen a shift between gamers who want short bursts of entertainment and gamers who want to take their experiences to the next level. While every PS4 console is the same, the gamers who connect those consoles to 4K televisions with surround sound systems and play while sitting in special chairs are likely to pay for a more immersive PlayStation experience. Based on that, Sony's PlayStation VR was built to extend the existing PlayStation 4 by offering games that let you move around and interact as though you were stepping into the game.
It's a head-mounted display with lights on the casing that work similarly to the light on the front of the PlayStation 4 controller to add motion controls when the PlayStation 4 camera is connected. A pair of lenses in the headset display the PlayStation 4 environment as though you were standing inside of it, with games that make you feel like you're right in the middle of the action.
This will work with my existing PlayStation 4?
Absolutely. Sony has made it clear that this is an accessory for the PlayStation 4, and will work with the existing PlayStation Move and PlayStation Camera accessories to create the virtual environment. If you already have the PS4, PS Camera, and PS Move controllers, you'll only need the headset to get the complete experience. If you don't have any of the accessories and only the PlayStation 4, Sony is going to offer a bundle that includes everything to connect to your PS4.
What about PlayStation 4 Pro?
With an increasing focus on 4K and HDR television, Sony needed to release a console that would take advantage of those features. PlayStation 4 Pro features slightly more capable internal hardware to address these needs, and some of those enhanced graphics will make their way to PlayStation VR. Any game developer who builds VR games with PlayStation 4 Pro will be able to offer players more detail when compared to the standard PlayStation 4, and Sony promises a more consistent framerate with this updated console.
Do I use my normal DualShock 4 controller?
Unless a PlayStation VR game explicitly states you need the Move controllers, your default will be the standard PlayStation 4 controller. We know that Sony is offering the ability to play normal PS4 games in a virtual environment through the PlayStation VR, and all of those games will require the controller. Sony will also be selling the PSVR Aim controller, which is designed to feel more like a rifle in your hands, for use in first-person shooters.
Once more games are available after the launch, we'll have a better idea of how many games will require the PlayStation Move controllers to play.
How much room do I need to use PSVR?
PlayStation VR includes experiences that allow you to stand up, move around, and wave your arms about. As a general rule, you want to make sure you have enough room to take a single step in every direction with your arms outstretched. As long as you can move around that much without hitting a wall or your television, you will be fine for most games. If there are experiences that come out later with more detailed requirements, they will be clearly labeled before you buy the game.
What games are available for PSVR?
We know of 55 games currently planned for PlayStation VR launch. Many of the titles are ports from existing VR platforms, like Adr1ft or Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes. Other games are from Sony's list of usual exclusives, like Dynasty Warriors 7 VR and Final Fantasy XV. We also know Batman: Arkham VR is a big title expected at launch. There's a healthy mix of indie games in the list as well, which is great news for Sony fans and keeps in line with the mix of content Sony has been working hard to deliver on the PlayStation 4 already.
Is this actually better than using my television?
Using the head-mounted display is going to offer much greater immersion than you could ever get on your television. You can look left and right in the seat of a race car and feel like you're actually driving, or enjoy being able to step to the left as an enemy lunges with a sword and behead them with a swing from your actual arms. It's a futuristic experience, made all the more impressive by the special 1080p display Sony is using in the headset.
Will this be comfortable?
For some people, PlayStation VR may be the only headset that feels comfortable. Where Sony's competitors focused on strapping the headset directly to the face, Sony's design takes the pressure away from the eyes and instead rests the display just in front of your face with a clever head mount no one else is using. There's still some potential for eye strain, and if the PlayStation VR ever drops below 90FPS in a game there's a very real chance the wearer could experience nausea, but in all of the demos we've seen so far this hasn't been an issue.
This sounds incredible! Where can I get a PlayStation VR?
Sony has announced pre-orders for PlayStation VR have all been sold, so until the system is released on October 13th the only thing you can do is head to a local Best Buy or GameStop for a free demonstration of the hardware.