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Sony PlayStation VR (PSVR) Review

So, What’s Wrong With It?

Fragility

The PlayStation VR is an impressive piece of tech, but it’s certainly not perfect. As mentioned previously, the headset construction has a couple of weak points that could prove to be a problem over time.

The mechanical headband is clever, but we worry that it will eventually fail. Tension comes from a rubber band on each side of the headset. Every time you put the HMD on your head, you must pull the elastic bands. Nothing lasts forever, especially after repeated stress. It's not a matter of if, but when the elastic breaks.

The relief system for the headset is also clever, but again we suspect it might be a weak point. It’s easy to forget to grab the headset by its headband, rather than the visor, when you pull the PSVR off your head. This puts a lot of strain on the mount.

How’s The Tracking System?

You may have read complaints about the PSVRs tracking system, but in our view those concerns are blown out of proportion. The tracking system isn’t as robust as Valve’s Lighthouse technology, but it also doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. We think it's good enough for most people.

Yes, Sony could have implemented a solution with better tracking performance that never needs to be recalibrated. But that would have delayed the PSVR’s launch, likely driving up its cost at the same time. Sony already had Move controllers, so it was much easier to adapt the same tracking system to the PSVR.

You will find that the headset and controller’s orientation drifts to the side sometimes, and we've seen incorrect controller orientation, too. Fortunately, recalibrating the headset and controllers is as simple as holding the DualShock 4 controller's Options button, or the Start button on the Move controllers.

Most of the orientation problems happen during the day, when there's a lot of sunlight beaming into the room. The darker your play space, the better the tracking. This makes sense. The PlayStation Camera can track LEDs easier in a dark room. You probably want to avoid positioning the camera near large window to avoid calibration problems.

Expensive Content

Most of the content for PlayStation VR is expensive compared to the titles available for the Vive and Rift. You can find dozens of free and cheap experiences on Steam, but you won't find much free content on Sony's marketplace. Several developers offer demos of their games, but the full cost of admission exceeds the average VR game on Steam.

For example, Batman Arkham VR is $20 and Robinson Journey costs as much as a triple-A console title. The hardware is relatively affordable, but the price of content isn't going to help attract new users to VR.

Kevin Carbotte is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He writes news and reviews of graphics cards and virtual reality hardware.