Virtual reality is here and there are already a bunch of different ways to access this brave new world- from low cost solutions like Google Cardboard to the cutting edge of the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.
These different options all have various issues- from being extremely expensive to looking rather crappy, which remains a barrier to entry for many people who are interested in stepping into VR. Next week, that's all about to change with the arrival of the PlayStationVR.
This system is relatively affordable at €399, and provides much higher quality graphics and better frame rates than the smartphone solutions available to date. It's also tied to an existing ecosystem of millions of PlayStation users, which guarantees a steady stream of high quality games for years to come.
In many way it's the safest bet for sampling this new technology, and many people will be very interested to see how it works in person. Ahead of all that, PlayStation has put together a huge and exhaustive list of frequently asked questions on their site. This is a really useful effort from the team, especially as users are trying to wrap their heads around the biggest change to home console consumption in decades.
You can read the full list here which should answer any question you might have. Some samples follow.
Q: What do I need to own to experience PS VR?
PlayStation VR allows you to experience the future of gaming through virtual reality with a PS VR system, your PS4 and PS Camera. Most games utilize the DualShock 4 Wireless Controller. Many PS VR games give you an option to enhance your experience through the use of two PlayStation Move motion controllers, while there are a limited number of games that require two PlayStation Move motion controllers. The PS VR exclusive sci-fi FPS game, Farpoint, utilizes the PS VR Aim Controller to offer a realistic and precise way to control the game.
Q: When I’m using PS VR, will other people in the room be able to experience what I’m seeing?
Yes, PlayStation VR displays what you’re seeing in VR or a completely different image as a 2D image on your TV screen via a feature we call “Social Screen.” This allows others to observe and, in some cases, play alongside you. For example, the free launch game The Playroom VR offers several experiences where players are working with, and against, one person wearing the PS VR headset.
Q: How many games are currently in development for PS VR?
Hundreds of developers are currently working on games and experiences for PS VR, with approximately 50 titles slated to launch before the end of 2016. Stay tuned to PlayStation.Blog for more information on games and experiences in development.
Q: How will I know what games are PS VR-compatible?
Whether on PlayStation Store or in your local retailer, you will see prominent branding elements that will indicate PlayStation VR support and whether peripherals such as the PlayStation Move Motion Controller is required. See below for an example.
Q: Will my existing, non-VR PS4 games work with the PS VR headset?
Yes, PS4 games will work using Cinematic Mode, which is used to view the PS4 system interface and non-VR games and applications on a virtual screen. Non-VR games which use the PS Camera like the original non-VR PlayRoom and Tearaway Unfolded are not supported by PS VR Cinematic mode.
Q: Is PS VR safe for my eyes?
Yes. But as with all display devices (TVs, mobile phones, tablets, etc), we recommend taking 15 minute breaks every hour.
Q: How much physical space will I need to play?
The recommended play space measures approximately 9.8 feet by 6.2 feet total, with the user in VR sitting about 5 feet in front of the PlayStation Camera / TV. Make sure that no walls, furniture, or objects can impede your VR play space.