If you own a PS4 and are looking for that headliner gift for Christmas, the PlayStation VR could be it. Considering how affordable it is, it competes credibly well with the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive and delivers a very believable virtual reality experience.

PlayStation VR brings affordable virtual reality to the PS4. While the aforementioned Rift and Vive offer a crisper, more detailed experience, they have quite the cost barrier to entry. At ‘only’ $399 or $499 for the PlayStation VR Launch Bundle which includes the VR system, PlayStation Camera, two PlayStation Move Motion Controllers and a copy of PlayStation VR Worlds, this is much more affordable.

You will need a PlayStation Camera to play in VR, so if you don’t have one already, the Launch Bundle makes sense. That’s especially true as VR Worlds is actually pretty good too.

The PlayStation VR hardware

The main hardware is obviously the Sony VR headset but there are also a couple of controllers and the PlayStation Camera required to make it all work. The headset is black, silver and white and sits on the head with the googlebox over the eyes. Despite its ungainly look, it isn’t uncomfortable to wear. Sure it might ache a little after three or four hours, but by then you should take a break anyway.

The VR aspect uses the PlayStation Camera to track your movements through lights on the headset and on each Sony Move controller if you use them. This translates into feedback within the game you’re playing and reflects your movements in the real world within the game world. It does take a bit of getting used to but once you’re adjusted quickly becomes second nature.

The hardware is capable of running 1080p at 920 x 1080 on an OLED display. The refresh rate is either 90Hz or 120Hz depending on the hardware and game you’re playing. Latency is locked by Sony at 18ms, which is pretty much undetectable by eye.

Using PlayStation VR

The limitation of a single camera means the PlayStation VR isn’t as sensitive as Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. It occasionally has trouble tracking fast movements so you will find yourself mainly sitting or standing in one position and moving while static. While not a big drawback, it is something you will need to get used to.

This review video from IGN shows you how and how well the PlayStation VR works.

Is the PlayStation VR worth it?

So is the PlayStation VR worth the investment? If you like gaming and want more immersion then I think that it is. Given that Sony is promising 50 games before Christmas with more to follow. If you own a PS4 Pro, there are currently more than 30 VR games available with more on the way before the end of the year. If you like Sony games, this is even more worth it.

VR is coming and gamers have so far embraced it with open arms. Considering the PlayStation VR Launch Bundle is $300 cheaper than the Oculus or Vive, I think it makes a very good investment.