The PlayStation VR headset is now over four years old and we know many of you continue wondering if it’s a worthy acquisition in 2021. It’s still one of the more affordable ways to get into the virtual reality space, but a lower price point doesn’t always equate to a smart purchase.
See also: Sony PlayStation VR review
Competition continues to grow and the newer PlayStation 5 is upon us. Rumors of a PlayStation VR successor are also starting to emerge. We know this can make many of you wary about splurging hundreds of dollars on a VR set-up. Let’s take a look at the PlayStation VR headset and see if it’s worth your hard-earned cash right now.
PlayStation VR price and the competition
Let’s start with the main factor whenever you are looking to buy anything new. Unless you are a millionaire, money is always a factor, and if you don’t want to shell out a significant amount of cash on a virtual reality system, the PlayStation VR is among your best bets even in 2020. This is especially the case if you already happen to own a PlayStation 4 console, which is needed to use the PSVR.
The PlayStation VR headset is hard to find on its own, but currently, the cheapest bundle costs $349.99. This comes with Marvel’s Iron Man game, a PlayStation camera, two PlayStation Move motion controllers, and a demo disc.
This bundle makes it super easy and affordable to get in on the VR fun. Most other VR headsets are more expensive than the PlayStation VR. The price gap can be small with devices like the $399 Oculus Rift S. But the difference starts stinging when you consider products like the $549-$899 Vive headsets. And that’s not even expensive these days! The Valve Index starts at $499 (for the headset alone). The full kit can cost near $1,900.
Not expensive enough? There’s also the fact that most of these also need a PC. And your average computer likely won’t cut it. We’re talking about a full-on gaming rig, which can cost a very pretty penny.
Even if you don’t own a PS4, you can buy a new one for as low as $299.99. This means you can put together a full VR set-up for as low as $650. You get a PlayStation 4 gaming console too, which also works as a media streaming device, a Bluray player, and a DVD player.
The only device that can truly compete with the PSVR in the pricing category is the Oculus Quest 2, which costs $299 and needs no PC or console. It’s a stand-alone VR headset, which is an enticing offer you should consider.
What if you want a PlayStation 5?
This is another big deciding factor. With the PlayStation 5 right around the corner, some of you may want to hold on to your horses and get the newer console instead. And if that’s the case, why spend money on a PlayStation 4 accessory?
The good news is the PlayStation VR will work with the PlayStation 5. The only caveat is that you will need a special adapter for the camera. You can fill up an online request form to get a free one.
Furthermore, the PS5 is also backward compatible with PS4 titles. Sony mentioned that the “overwhelming majority of the 4,000+ PS4 titles will be playable on PS5”, which should include VR titles. This means you can keep using your PlayStation VR even if you purchase the newer generation console!
A PlayStation VR successor might come soon
It’s been four years since the PlayStation VR launched, not to mention a newer console is out. Chances are Sony might be working on a successor. In fact, plenty of PlayStation VR 2 rumors have emerged.
We’ve seen diagrams of the new controllers, as well as patents for motion sickness reduction, finger sensors, wireless capabilities, movement tracking, and even eSports streaming improvements.
Taking all that evidence into consideration, we can assume a new PSVR is in the works and should come relatively soon. And while the older version will work on both the PS4 and PS5, there’s no denying its specs are starting to look outdated and you might want the improved version whenever it’s launched.
PlayStation VR vs the competition: Specs
|PlayStation VR||Oculus Quest 2||Oculus Rift S||Valve Index||HTC Vive Pro||HTC Vive Cosmos||HTC Vive Cosmos Elite|
|Resolution||1920 x 1080||1832 x 1920||1280 x 1440||1440 x 1600||1440 x 1600||1440 x 1700||1440 x 1700|
|Refresh Rate (Hz)||120||72 / 90||80||144||90||90||90|
|Field of View (Degrees)||96||92||88||107||88||99||99|
As you can see, specs on the PlayStation VR are no longer as impressive as they were four years ago. The 1080p resolution is acceptable, but inferior to the competition. It technically only beats the Oculus Quest 2 in terms of FoV (field of view). The PSVR has a nice top refresh rate at 120Hz, some others match it and the Valve Index can beat it with its experimental 144Hz refresh rate. We must also remind you many of these other headsets cost significantly more, though. It makes sense that they come with more premium specs.
Should you get a PlayStation VR near-end of 2020?
The PlayStation VR is by no means a bad option. It has managed to stay strong despite being over four years old. While newer headsets are technically better, the PSVR still offers a very acceptable VR experience. Not to mention it already has a wide portfolio of titles readily available. Sony touts its 500+ VR title selection, and the list continues to grow.
With that said, it’s getting harder to recommend the PlayStation VR with an updated version likely launching soon. We would say it’s a worthy acquisition if you already own a PlayStation 4 (or 5), or are planning on getting one anyway. You can enjoy it and decide if you want the PlayStation VR 2 later, once we know more about it. But the truth is we wouldn’t advise getting a PlayStation console just for the PSVR.
If you don’t care for a console and affordability is key, the Oculus Quest 2 is probably a better budget choice. If money is less of an object and you already own a powerful enough PC, you have plenty of options available, including the before-mentioned Oculus Quest 2, Valve Index, Vive headsets, and more.