Why You Should Buy PlayStation VR Rather Than Upgrading to the PS4 Pro
While the PS4 Pro might look tantalizing, PlayStation VR is the real upgrade that gamers need to be making this holiday season.
PlayStation VR has been on the market for a couple of years now and I can admit that its success has been a pretty slow crawl. At launch, I couldn’t justify purchasing the unit because of its expensive entry price and the lack of truly ambitious titles. However, after two years in, PSVR finally has a large list of great to masterful games that makes it a complete must buy. While the PS4 Pro might be tantalizing and make your favorite games look prettier and run a little more smoothly, PlayStation VR is the real upgrade you need to make this holiday season.
The list of titles that have released on PSVR this year alone is absolutely incredible, not only by the number of games but in their overall quality as well. Firewall: Zero Hour was one of the coolest things I have ever experienced while playing a video game. Hell, the game is so much more fun to play now that the developers have gone and tweaked many issues I originally had with it at the time.
Earlier this year, Moss flipped the idea of what a VR game could be on its head to provide one of the most beautiful and creative games this year. Don’t even get me started on Tetris Effect: who knew that VR would make Tetris that much better?
Shall I go on? Yeah, you know I will. Beat Saber blends virtual reality into a rhythm game oh so perfectly. Finally, there is Astro Bot Rescue Mission, a game that I am ashamed to admit that I haven’t touched yet. However, I am frothing at the mouth to play it after the holiday season because BOY, everyone has nothing but excellent things to say about it. It is currently sitting at a 90 on Metacritic and is one of the best-reviewed games of the year.
The ideology of PSVR not having enough games to play is not only ridiculous but objectively false. To top that off, those are only games that released this year! At this point, PlayStation’s wonderful headset has a long list of excellent games in its back catalog. Resident Evil VII: Biohazard is a totally different experience while playing through the headset. It is so cool to experience The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, one of the most popular and best games of all time, in virtual reality. SUPERHOT in VR makes you feel like an absolute badass.
The PS4 Pro might look intriguing at first glance to current base PS4 and PS4 Slim owners. I am not going to lie, I am looking to upgrade soon, at least sometime before The Last of Us Part II releases (which could possibly be late next year? Probably not though). Anyways, the main reason I have held off on purchasing a PS4 Pro — or the even more powerful Xbox One X — is that I didn’t own a 4K HDR TV yet. So, if I did upgrade, my games would run smoother, but look roughly similar on my 1080p LED screen.
However, even if you do own a 4K HDR TV, I would argue that PlayStation VR is the more worthy upgrade. Playing a game in 1440P – 4K is great, but if you aren’t playing on a 55″ screen or bigger and sitting within five feet of the display, the comparison between 1080p and 4K is not very noticeable. Although, if you turn on HDR, you should probably notice a big difference immediately, and both the base PS4 and PS4 Slim supports the HDR10 standard for video games on capable screens. If you are really wanting your PlayStation games to look prettier, you already have the power to make them, you just need the right TV to do the job.
This is why it is the perfect time to jump into PSVR. Sadly, the shockingly cheap $200 Black Friday bundle is over now and the price has jumped back up to $300 for the headset, camera, Moss, and Astro Bot Rescue Mission. However, I believe that even at the bundle’s non-discounted price, it is still a great price point for anyone to hop into PSVR. If you can find it, you can even purchase the Creed: Rise to Glory and SUPERHOT bundle that comes with two PlayStation Move controllers for only $50 more.
Virtual reality has the power to transport you into other worlds, something regular video games can only do if they have fully immersed you. If you just put on the VR headset, you are (almost) literally there. You would be surprised how many people I know that have still not tried any virtual reality headset, but when they do, almost every time their eyes light up. Even my legally blind grandmother was absolutely floored by the experience when I showed her PSVR in-person. Her reaction to just PlayStation VR Worlds: Ocean Decent brought a tear to my eye, as she was able to see once again.
I can go on and on about the depth of fantastic titles you are missing out on if you do not own PlayStation’s more affordable VR kit, but what really separates it from the pack are the experiences described above. There have been absolute masterpieces that have released on current consoles in the past year and beyond, such as God of War, Red Dead Redemption 2, Marvel’s Spider-Man, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, Fallout 76. All perfect tens. OK, maybe not that last one. But they were all masterpieces in what we know games to be already, and upgrading to beefier hardware won’t change the core structure of those games (outside of making them look a little better, visually).
Every time I try a new VR title though, it is almost like a religious experience: it is something that is incredibly hard to describe and is best showing rather than telling. Each title I have played this year has brought a gigantic smile to my face and fills my head with many different possible ideas that the industry can take it. While Firewall: Zero Hour makes me think of the insane places a first-person VR shooter can go, Moss makes me wonder of the possibilities of exploring tiny places we couldn’t imagine to get to in real life. The possibilities are really endless with VR.
Upgrading to beefier hardware will probably make your games run a little smoother, but if you own a 4K HDR TV right now, you already have the capability to make those games look much prettier since the base and slim PS4 can give the experience of playing games in HDR. However, I think the real upgrade that PlayStation 4 owners need to make this holiday season is PSVR. The headset has not only a long list of fantastic games, but some of the best games of the year, and quite possibly one of the best 3D platformers of all time in Astro Bot Rescue Mission (everyone keeps saying this, but I’ll be the judge once I play it). If you don’t pick it up, you might miss out on the next industry-defining experience.
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