Is PSVR going to rule VR market?

Hello everyone! Today I just want to write down some thoughts and start a discussion with you. The topic is the third important headset that is going to be released: PSVR.

PSVR is the headset of the Playstation, that you can plug directly in your Playstation 4 and have virtual reality straight from your console! As controllers you can use PS Move, so you can have the exact setup of the other competitors, with an high-end HMD and two controllers in your hands.

PSVR is going to be released and I’ve still not tried it. There’s lot of interest and curiosity about it, and the fact that it got sold out in a super short time on Gamestop (and that my sharing of that linked article on reddit got tons of upvotes) shows how people are interested in it. But how is it good? Reviews from people on the web may vary. As I asked for reviews on reddit, someone gave me first-hand opinions. Some of them are negative: for example /u/tinmans_folly points out that

The PSVR had lightbleed from the nose and sometimes it felt blurry. It was difficult to see individual pixels but I only used it for 20 minutes. Likely an inferior product to Oculus and Vive but at ~800$ total, it’s price point is unbeatable.

while /u/lordtyr says that the headset is fine, but is the console that is not good enough

I’ve tried all 3 at gamescom and I have to say, they did a great job with what they had. It’s comfortable, controllers are great, and the visuals are solid. Problem is, as I suspected from the start, the ps4 just does not have the power to drive it. The FPS was bad. For reference, I tried the batman intro demo.

Someone says that it’s good, like /u/cinemadness:

The resolution is lower, but has least amount of screen door effect, and it’s very comfortable since you don’t have actual straps to deal with. If you have glasses too, it’s the most well-fitting for that purpose.

These are just some examples. The overall opinion about PSVR seems to be something like this: it’s slightly inferior to Oculus and Vive, but it’s price point is awesome. The reasons for it being inferior, in my humble opinion, reside in the fact that:

  • They started later;
  • They’re focused on using a device (the PS4) that was not designed to run VR experiences, so it has not the same processing power of a VR-ready PC. Even the controllers are the already existing PS Move controllers, that were thought for other kind of experiences.

    A girl playing with PSVR... unluckily she's not included in PSVR bundle
    A girl playing with PSVR… unluckily she’s not included in PSVR bundle (photo by Sony)

This is surely a weakness, since they had to think about a VR device running on a platform not engineered for virtual reality. But this is at the same time their strength: this means that every PS4 owner in the world HAS ONLY TO BUY THE HEADSET. Oculus and Vive problem is not only their high price tag, but also the fact that they require a super powerful VR-ready PC that costs around 1500$. With PS4 you just need the console to run the headset. And there are really lots of PS4 in the world: more than 40 millions! This means that 40 millions of people, spending only 400$, could have high-quality VR for gaming. It’s a huge market, at least 40 times the one of Oculus and Vive! And since they’ll come out with this new amazing tech before Christmas, we all think we’ll see a lot of PSVR given as gifts to gamers. This is why all analysts say that PSVR, even if technically less performant than the competitors, will just outperform them in sales and will become the king of high-end virtual reality systems and will help a lot virtual reality to spread.

I agree with them, even if I think that in the end, PC-based headset will take their revenge (in some years, when lots of PCs will be VR-ready and so the price point will lower a lot). So, initial market of VR should be dominated by mobile headsets (like Cardboard) and by console ones (PSVR). In the meanwhile, Oculus and Vive fanboys are just killing each others… 😀

What’s your opinion about this? Have you tried PSVR? Will you buy one? Let me know in the comments!

Join my super-exclusive club!

Receive for free AR/VR articles like this + a weekly roundup of the most important XR news of the week straight in your inbox!

4 e-mails/week circa. No spam, no ads, no GIFs of kitten (not sure about the last point, though)

Skarredghost

AR/VR developer, startupper, zombie killer. Sometimes I pretend I can blog, but actually I’ve no idea what I’m doing.

I tried to change the world with my startup Immotionar, offering super-awesome full body virtual reality, but now the dream is over. But I’ve still not waken up…