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Sony's PlayStation VR reviewed

by on24 January 2017


Headset specifications

playstation vr earbuds and volume controller

PlayStation VR headset, remote control cable, and wired earbuds

Sony’s original virtual reality headset for the PlayStation 4, codenamed Project Morpheus, featured a 5-inch LCD with 1920x1080p resolution, or 960x1080 per eye. In March 2015, the prototype was then upgraded to a 5.7-inch RGB OLED display which expanded the field of view to 100-degrees. The updated unit also enabled a feature called “low persistence.” This method reduces motion blur artifacts caused by a delay in the color transitions of pixels. After about 1 millisecond of non-use, a pixel will now switch to black to resolve the issue. When the persistence refresh rate takes longer, the human eye sees more incorrect data, so it is important to keep this value as low as possible.

With latency being such an important component to the headset’s sense of presence, the company decided to reduce the rate on the retail PlayStation VR to less than 18 milliseconds, or about half of what Project Morpheus was using.

The company also decided to double the refresh rate on its new prototype and the final retail unit known as PlayStation VR, which now features a 120Hz refresh rate. Existing PS4 hardware is already capable of rendering games at 120 frame per second, so it was important to match this with the headset’s capabilities as well.

In terms of fitting and sizing for individual users, the headset includes a button to add or reduce its distance from the neck strap. The strap itself includes a rotary dial to adjust headset tightness and placement in proximity to a wearer’s eyes. The company has adjusted several components to make the headset lighter over the Morpheus developer kits, and while it is marginally heavier at 1.34lbs than the HTC Vive (1.2lbs) and Oculus Rift (1lbs), the absence of heavy cabling actually makes the overall experience seem a bit lighter than the other two devices. Sony has been careful to use just a thin double wire fitted with two HDMI ports that connect into the PlayStation VR processing unit.

Last modified on 25 January 2017
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