What Else Is In The Box?
The Playstation VR HMD is available two ways. First, Sony offers it as a standalone purchase for $399, which is perfect for gamers who already have Move controllers and a PlayStation camera at home. The basic PSVR package includes the HMD and everything you need to hook it up to your PlayStation 4, and that's all. A PlayStation camera on its own sets you back an additional $60.
If you don’t have the camera and you want Move controllers, Sony offers a bundle for $499 that includes everything you need to enjoy the full range of PSVR experiences.
The Processor Box
The PSVR kit also includes a device that Sony calls the Processor Box. Don't let the name fool you, though. The processor box isn’t an external GPU enclosure, and it doesn’t include an extra CPU to help with the VR workload. When we spoke with Richard Marks last year, we asked him to clarify this box's purpose. Marks explained that the PS4 processes the image displayed in the HMD. The box takes that warped image and converts it to an unwarped 1080p output for your TV screen.
Up front, the processor box features an HDMI port and a data port for the headset cable, along with an LED that indicates the processor box’s status. The light is red when the box is connected to power, but the PS4 is off. The light turns white when you turn the PS4 on, but the PSVR headset is off or unplugged. The light turns blue when you power on the headset.
Around back, the box exposes an AC power connection, a micro-USB interface, HDMI in, and HDMI out ports.
What Do You Get With The Bundle?
Again, the bundle includes everything you get with Sony's basic package, plus a pair of Move controllers and the PlayStation camera.
The Move controllers aren’t new. Sony introduced them in 2010 for the PlayStation 3, and the design is no different today. Developer support for the Move controllers didn't take off the way Sony wanted, despite its decision to carry Move support over to the PS4. We now know that Sony didn’t need developer support in 2013. The company was simply laying a foundation for PSVR by adding the technology to PS4.
Sony didn’t change the controllers, but it did improve the camera that tracks them. The PlayStation camera for PS4 is a depth-sensing stereo device that improves tracking accuracy compared to the PS3’s PlayStation Eye single-camera system. If you haven’t used Move controllers since the PS3 days, set your preconceived notions aside. The tracking isn’t perfect, but it’s probably better than you remember.
Bringing Back The Demo Disc
In the days of the original PlayStation, developers used to share parts of their games for free to let prospective customers try before they bought. These days, demos are few and far between. But virtual reality appears to be bringing the old trend back to life.
Both PlayStation VR packages include a bundled demo disc that features a collection of different experiences. The disc includes short trials of EVE: Valkyrie, Battlezone, Headmaster, DriveClub VR, Job Simulator, and more than a dozen other VR titles. Thanks to the demo disc, you don’t have to worry about wasting money on a game that may make you sick.
Sony even includes a copy of PlayStation VR Worlds with every PSVR bundle, which includes a street luge game, an undersea shark cage experience, and the famous London Heist.
|Header Cell - Column 0||PSVR Base Package||PSVR Complete Bundle|
|Hardware||PSVR HMD with integrated mic, in-line control box||PSVR HMD with integrated mic, in-line control box|
|PSVR Processor Box||PSVR Processor Box|
|Row 2 - Cell 0||PlayStation Camera|
|Cables||10-foot, 2-in-1 cable extension (HDMI 1.3/proprietary)||10-foot, 2-in-1 cable extension (HDMI 1.3/proprietary)|
|Micro-USB cable||Micro-USB cable|
|HDMI cable||HDMI cable|
|AC power cord||AC power cord|
|AC power adapter||AC power adapter|
|Controls||Row 8 - Cell 1||PlayStation Move controller x2|
|Row 9 - Cell 0||Mini-USB cable x2|
|Miscellaneous||Cleaning cloth||Cleaning cloth|
|Bundled Software||PlayStation VR demo disc||PlayStation VR demo disc|
|Row 12 - Cell 0||PlayStation VR Worlds|