Specs & Performance

Tech Specs

Product Name PlayStation VR
Product Code CUH-ZVR1 series
Release Date October 13, 2016
External Dimensions
  • VR headset: Approx. 187×185×277 mm (width × height × length, excludes
    largest projection, headband at the shortest)
  • Processor unit: Approx. 143×36×143 mm (width × height × length, excludes
    largest projection)
  • VR headset: Approx. 610g (excluding cable)
  • Processor unit: Approx. 365g
Display Method OLED
Panel Size 5.7 inches
Panel Resolution 1920×RGB×1080 (960×RGB×1080 per eye)
Refresh Rate 120Hz, 90Hz
Field of View Approximately 100 degrees
Sensors Six-axis motion sensing system (three-axis gyroscope, three-axis accelerometer)
Connection Interface
  • VR headset: HDMI, AUX, Stereo Headphone Jack
  • Processor unit: HDMI TV, HDMI PS4, USB, HDMI, AUX
Processor Unit Function 3D audio processing, Social Screen (mirroring mode, separate mode),
Cinematic mode
  • VR headset × 1
  • Processor unit × 1
  • VR headset connection cable × 1
  • HDMI cable × 1
  • USB cable × 1
  • Stereo headphones × 1 (with a complete set of earpiece)
  • AC power cord × 1
  • AC adaptor × 1

Display & Lenses

Of the three ‘big three’ VR headsets, Sony’s PlayStation VR is the only one that has opted not to use a Fresnel lens which eliminates one of our biggest gripes about the lens system on the Rift and Vive which is the light ray (aka god ray) artifact. Despite this, PSVR still manages an impressively wide field of view, and one that I suspect will be reported as the largest among the three headsets because of its ease of adjustment.

Oculus Rift Review: Prologue to a New Reality

Field of View


Field of view is tough to measure because there isn’t currently an agreed upon method of measurement, especially because facial structure can play a big role in how wide a field of view can be seen by each individual.

With that said, Sony quotes the PSVR field of view at 100 degrees, same as the Rift. And while it’s tough to track down an official field of view figure for the Vive, it has been shown to be wider than the Rift.

Despite that, I think that many reports will state that PlayStation VR has the widest field of view, not because it has the largest on-paper field of view spec, but because of how easy it is to adjust the lenses very close to your eyes.

Because PSVR uses that ‘hanging’ style display assembly mount, which doesn’t rely on the display assembly pressing against your face to hold it on your head, the display assembly is free to move back and forth as needed, and Sony has built in a handy button under the bottom right of the assembly which allows you to slide the entire thing back and forth a significant amount.

The maximum extended position is handy to be able to peek at your smartphone or to get your orientation on the controller you’re holding. Conversely, the minimum extended position lets you bring the lenses very close to your eyes, giving an impressively full field of view that, to me, feels as large, if not larger, than that of the Vive.

IPD Measurement Tool

While PlayStation VR doesn’t have a physical IPD adjustment (to change the distance between the lenses to match a user’s eye spacing), it does have a software IPD adjustment which can help improve clarity and comfort in VR.

You can manually dial in your IPD if you already know it, or you can use the PlayStation Move camera to do an approximate measurement. You’ll find the option under Settings > Devices > PlayStation VR.


The tool works by snapping a stereo image of your eyes as you stand near to the PlayStation VR camera. After taking the photo, the software will attempt to automatically detect the center of your pupils, and you’ll be given the opportunity to fine tune that detection by moving a cursor on each photo of your eye to the exact center. The result will spit out an IPD measurement in millimeters and automatically plug that value into the IPD setting.

In my experience the IPD measurement seemed inaccurate by one or two milimeters, but the UI during the process does warn that it’s an approximate measurement only.

Don’t Listen to People Who Say PSVR Has a Bad Screen Door Effect and Low Resolution

I’m fairly certain PSVR is going to generate reports of “bad screen door and low resolution,” but these reports are going to come from people misattributing what they’re seeing to the wrong causes.

Screen Door Effect

The screen door effect (SDE)—the black unilluminated spaces between pixels—is impressively unobtrusive on PlayStation VR.

While some tend to think that PSVR’s lower 1920×1080 resolution (compared to 2160×1200 on the Rift and Vive) must mean there’s a greater SDE, that doesn’t seem to be the case, or is at least if it is, it’s extremely difficult to detect. You can make out individual pixels if you have good eyesight and focus very carefully, but it’s almost impossible to see the (RGB) subpixel structure.

Poor Mura Correction

If you hear someone saying that PSVR has bad screen door effect, they’re probably talking about bad mura correction.

Mura is an artifact that could easily be misconstrued as the ‘screen door effect’ if you asked someone to infer what ‘screen door effect’ looks like by it’s name alone. In reality, SDE and mura are two different things with different causes.

A hypothetical ideal display is capable of emitting the exact same amount of light from every pixel on the screen. This means that when you set the pixels of the display to a specific color value, they all look exactly the same.

In the real world however, most display have small discrepancies in the amount of light output by each pixel at the same brightness setting, causing a slightly different (brighter or darker) shade from one pixel to the next, even if the software driving the headset has asked for all pixels to be the exact same color and shade.

Click to enlarge. An exaggerated visual approximation of the Vive without Mura correction (left) and with it (right).
Click to enlarge. An exaggerated visual approximation with (left) and without (right) the mura artifact.

The larger the range in brightness between pixels that are supposed to be the same color and shade, the more mura artifact you will see. The result tends to look like a thin layer of linen over the image, and in most cases it’s exacerbated in darker scenes, especially when the pixels are set to their darkest lit value, where the user will see a field of grey speckled with lighter not-so-grey pixels.

Because the mura artifact is a result of an imperfect manufacturing process, the mura pattern is essentially random, making it an especially bad artifact for a stereo view, because when you see it the mura pattern won’t line up in each eye, creating an uncomfortable stereo conflict.

The mura effect looks to my eye to be more noticeable than we see on the Vive and Rift. The good news is that you probably won’t notice it in well lit scenes. You’ll probably see it (and get that uncomfortable stereo conflict) in games and experiences that like to fade to grey between scenes and loading, but this is something that can be effectively designed around once developers catch on, except for experiences that want to put you in dimly lit virtual scenes.


If you hear someone saying that PSVR has bad resolution, they’re probably talking about aliasing.

Photo courtesy Rayce185’s excellent primer on aliasing and anti-aliasing

Aliasing commonly takes the form of jagged virtual edges that result when you try to represent a vector line of unlimited detail using a finite number of pixels.

Photo courtesy Mwyann (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Anti-aliasing is the art of treating those edges to make them appear more smooth. In the exact same number of pixels, not doing any anti-aliasing will make an image look terrible compared to something that’s properly anti-aliased (see right).

Good anti-aliasing takes technical know-how and requires a good bit of processing power. A poorly optimized VR experience probably isn’t abiding by best anti-aliasing practices from the get go, and isn’t going to have much overhead for anti-aliasing when all is said and done.

Oculus CTO Shares VR Dev Tip: 'The Formula for Avoiding Aliasing'

On PSVR I’ve seen some very poorly optimized and poorly anti-aliased experiences which really do not flatter the PSVR’s capabilities. On the other hand, I’ve seen some absolutely impressively crafted experiences, like Batman: Arkham VR, which stands as an excellent benchmark for how good console-powered VR can look through the PlayStation VR headset as powered by the standard PlayStation 4.

The truth is that a 1920×1080 display is sufficient for an impressive VR experience and the resolution will not greatly distract you unless the experience throws anti-aliasing out the window.

Muted Colors & No Black Smear


To my eyes, the PSVR display has slightly muted colors, especially in darker scenes. This is one of those problems that can be quite effectively designed around once developers catch on by using brighter, more vibrant and contrasting colors.

Thankfully, I haven’t spotted any black smear from PlayStation VR, which was a problem that plagued the Rift DK2’s OLED display, causing black parts of the scene to ‘smear’ into lighter parts as the users moved their head (due to a slow response time from the pixels that were turned off completely to achieve true blacks).

The muted colors and lack of black smear may be interrelated, as Sony may have opted to prevent the display’s pixels from going to true black (thereby reducing contrast, but eliminating black smear).

Sweet Spot

PlayStation VR’s lenses seems to have a spacious sweet spot (the range of the area where things look sharp through the lenses), but it seems to be somewhat limited in the vertical direction (up and down on your face). When donning the headset you’ll want to tighten everything most of the way and then make a last second adjustment for clarity by moving the headset up and down a bit before making the final crank.

If you access the PlayStation VR settings menu in PS4 you can have it display a screen with text to help you judge the clarity and your position in the sweet spot before heading off to your VR experience.

Continued on Page 3 – Tracking & Controllers


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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • craylon

    Let me be the first to thank you for this very in depth article.
    I am currently very happy with my Vive but I will definitely considder PSVR and Pro in a year from now or so when the dust settled and the content situation matured further.

    • Charles

      There will probably be a much better Rift or Vive by then.


    Excellent & thorough review. It’s clear from your impressions that PSVR is a worthy member of the current VR triad. I especially appreciate you pointing out that the entire non-VR PS ecosystem is available to play inside the headset. This feature alone makes this a must-buy, for me.

  • LLyan

    Hi, thank you for this detailed article. I recently got to test the PS VR and I was very happy with the experience. A question though about the cinematic mode. Were you able to test the different screen sizes and if so, how was the quality? Any screendoor effect on the largest screen, or is it workable as a second screen?


    • Simon Wood

      An interesting point from Sony FAQ is that Cinematic view does not actively use the camera (just need one to set up, apparently?).
      So I wonder whether this will result in a gradual yaw if playing 2D games (or movies – before they have a proper cinema app).

  • Get Schwifty!

    Definitely plan on getting one, after the Touch comes out and I can get an order in. Disappointing to hear about the tracking, but honestly, at this stage people are wanting perfection for what are fairly low prices for new tech, so it’s not surprising its only “good enough”.

    • Paolo Leoncini

      I don’t find the PS VR tracking so bad, it’s surprisingly stable (no jitter at all), quite large area, and it rarely loose you, so, in my opinion, is more than good enough.
      Furthermore the camera also track your hand-held controller (the Dual-shock one I mean), so in the virtual scene you’ll find it graphically-represented in 6-DoF.

  • Matthew Roche

    I agree with the excellent and thorough review. I liked the part where you went over how IPD adjustments work with the PS VR and tips of finding the sweet spot.

  • wheeler

    Thanks for mentioning the OLED mura. So many people fail to mention this when evaluating a VR HMD. It can basically make or break dark experiences.

  • David Herrington

    I have personally tried PSVR after extensive use with a Vive and I was really impressed with the tracking and visuals that they could get out of a PS4. I hate to say it but it really does “punch above its weight class” and I think it will make the most money out of all the contenders so far. PSVR isn’t a bad thing guys, it is a great deal for high end VR.

    • kipsteele

      agreed. I have tested a game on one and it was fantastic. so the question really seems to be to oculus of what to do now.

      • Arian Taghdiri

        not really, PSVR tracking doesn’t hold a candle to the HTC Vive. Roomscale really is what makes VR, so PSVR really has a ways to go, in terms of sales though yes, I am sure it will be successful and kill the vive and oculus sales wise. But as a vr device is sits in the back, it does have better games for now though so I look forward to getting mine and hopefully this means HTC and Oculus will get some of these games.

        • Wiines 007

          It’s Sony, they will ALWAYS have the better games.

      • a corn

        you kids are hilarious.

        “Toyota released a cheap car. Ferrari is doomed”.


        • Jon

          bad analogy, ferrari would go under if it weren’t owned by fiat. point is, more people will likely try psvr than a vive so if enough people try it once and say it sucks then devs could abandon vr as a platform because it doesn’t sell. its like drinking mcdonalds coffee and being like “coffee is alright i guess” but no one told you that gevalia/starbucks/etc existed.

        • Wiines 007

          If everyone is buying the Toyota the Ferrari will just sit at the dealership looking good. Its public knowledge that the Rift and Vive did not sell well, compared to projections. PSVR is our last hope to keep VR around.

          • Get Schwifty!

            Not exactly true, sales estimates are about where they should be (forget analysts, they made up their own numbers) considering how things went with launch. Oculus wants approximately 400,000 sales for 2016, it’s a good bet they are approaching around say 100,000 by now and will get a surge for Xmas, still way off from 400K, but when you factor in the delayed launch by nearly four to five months its not too surprising. The other factor is Facebook realizes that its a movement that will take many years to realize its full potential, so they are not going “screw it, they didn’t make this years numbers” and bail out. HTC/Vive, now that might be another matter entirely, but I suspect they will hang in there too.

        • “Toyota released a cheap car. Ferrari is doomed”.

          That analogy only works if you’re prepared to pay ten times as much for the games as well, to make up for the lower playerbase.

      • Get Schwifty!

        And Vive if you are going to draw that point out… both Rift and Vive face competition from Sony, but I think it will only help. Many folks own a console and PC if they are serious gamers..

    • a corn

      I think the horrible tracking everyone is experiencing is a bad sign for more expensive vr. people will think this is as good as it gets and call it a gimmick. Because at this stage it is a gimmick. You cant touch the ground. You can’t raise your hands up all the way while standing.

      • Wiines 007

        The analog sticks were considered a gimmick until they cought on. Plus, going into a gaming world isn’t a gimmick. It’s the very reason why people play games, immersion. VR might be a fad, but not a gimmick. Poor choice of word.

  • A sentence in paragraph 7 reads “That elegance may *however* lead to some fragility *however*.”

    Just FYI

  • Sky Castle

    I want to like the PSVR, but it looks like there’s nothing but short experiences and tech demos. Steam has much of the same thing but at least their vr library is huge. I’m going to wait a couple years for the big AAA titles before getting a PSVR.

    • Wiines 007

      You clearly haven’t researched the launch window games. You couldn’t be more wrong.

      • Sky Castle

        You clearly have no clue what I like and don’t like. None of the PSVR game look interesting besides the AAA games which are one level of VR with the exception of RE7, and none of them are full exclusive, so I’ll be playing them on the Vive.

        • Robbie Zeigler


  • Great review. Worried about a few points like tracking. Will have to test one to see.

  • wowgivemeabreak

    On one hand, I like it if it expands the vr industry since every vr user should benefit. On the other, this apparent less than ideal tracking I have read from multiple reviewers could be a big negative for the industry if people assume that is how all vr headsets will be.

    I think Sony shouldn’t have skimped out on the tracking, even if it meant pricing the headset a bit higher. No good having something that will make people put off by it and not want to use it than simply making it correctly work and cost a bit more.

    As for the review, that was a good read and I appreciate the detail.

    • Wiines 007

      Sony has already pattened a VR glove and is in development. Research it if you’re interested.

    • zero

      No good having a product that’s so expensive that people won’t buy it either.

  • George Vieira IV

    The sweet spot was mentioned, but didn’t give a comparison to the Rift or Vive. I thought the biggest advantage of the Fresnel lenses was their increased sweet spot, at least that was the thing I noticed most going from a DK2 to the CV.

    If they were able to obtain a similar sweet spot to the Rift without the “god rays” that is a big deal. Being able to look around with my eyes and see things in focus is paramount, but I do hate those light artifacts :P

    • sfmike

      I agree, the “god rays” have really soured me on my Rift. Having tried the PSVR I was very pleased with the field of view and lack of those damn Fresnel lens. It’s like viewing the world with cataracts of fingerprints on your glasses. Really destroys presence when any bright object appears. PSVR glass lens are an improvement to me.

  • Russell Dornisch

    No one has mentioned in a single review in regards to non-gaming VR. Can you get access to other experiences such as video VR, Sports VR, Etc.? Or will there need to be an app in the future? I know the browser works but simply browsing to VR video won’t give full VR experiences.

    • benz145

      This is something I wanted to touch on but couldn’t make the review too much more bulky.

      The answer is yes, Sony is opening the door for some ‘apps’ that aren’t really games. ‘Within’ is a video portal which is already on the platform. That means it’s possible that apps like NextVR, Altspace, etc could come to PSVR.

      • Russell Dornisch

        Do you know if regular VR video that you can find on the web can be used, or only through the apps that will be coming later. I know Netflix was listed as having an app coming later for it.

        • benz145

          As of now I’m not aware of any VR browser functionality on PSVR beyond just using the regular system browser while the headset is on. I believe there might be a way to play 360 videos that you load locally onto the PS4, but need to double check on that.

  • RockstarRepublic

    Too bad they did not gear this towards PC as well. Would be a good way to get VR into both PC and console gamer’s hands. Hell could possibly get them to buy PS4’s if they didnt have one already.

  • Till Eulenspiegel

    I don’t owned any VR headset but I pay attention to all the reviews. From my observation, PSVR will most likely win the first generation.

    Vive requires a bigger space and those cables hanging on the back of the neck is distracting and the fact that you are standing, those cables can be a hazard. Playing games while standing is not comfortable, even if it is more immersive you will get tired after 30 mins. Vive is really meant for the arcade, something that you pay a few dollars to experience for 15 mins. Most gamers are couch potatoes and they want to play for hours.

    Rift is for the PC and sitting at the desk is not very comfortable either unless you bring the PC to your lounge room – but most people will not do that, they want a system that fits in with their lifestyle not the other way around.

    Mobile VR is only good for 360 videos and Youtube. Having to put your phone inside a VR headset each time you want to use it, is tedious and it drains the battery.

    PSVR seems to be the sweet spot for price and performance. Using it with a PS4 slim is so portable – you don’t even need a TV. The slim is like a laptop that you can carry in a bag with PSVR, or move around the house. This is the only VR system that fits in with people’s lifestyle and that people will want to use regularly.

    • Hotcakes

      AIUI the PSVR needs a TV for first time configuration, so that kills the portability theory.

      • Till Eulenspiegel

        Is that so? I didn’t know that. Regardless, it’s easier to carry the PS4 slim and the PSVR to a friend’s house than other VR system where you have to bring your desktop PC. You can of course get a Alienware laptop but it cost 10 times more than PS4.

      • Arwin van Arum

        That’s just first time configuration, and even then you can use remote play with, say, a PS VIta or any PC around.

    • Aragon

      You can calibrate HTC Vive as a standing experience, in this case you don’t need a big room. And you can use the Vive also as a seated experience if you want, every Oculus game is also playable on the Vive. Another big advantage of the Vive is the Huge tracking area. In my flat I have a roomscale behind the couch I could use but I it works also when I sit at the couch, both without moving the camera, this is not possible with Oculus or PSVR.

      And 360° games only work with Vive. It is still by far the best VR Headset currently available.

      But I admit that PSVR is more comfortable and has better lenses than the Vive, It’s a pity that Vives lenses are not exchangable.

  • Paolo Leoncini

    I’m a VR professional and bought PS VR for my son – we are both enthusiasts of it, and I’m very satisfied also by the tracking despite I didn’t calibrate it accurately.
    What I’d like to point out instead is the poor, possibly not at all, color distortion correction operated on the warped image. To be self-esplaining, the three basic colors, RGB, get distorted differently by the spherical lens depending on their wavelength. Thus, by considering “exact” the undistortion for the green (i.e. it doesn’t get undistorted further), there are two further polynomial undistortions to apply for the two R and B color components, usually occuring in the same shader as the geometric barrel undistortion. The desired effect is to make RGB to fall on the same “viewed position” all over the entire field of view.
    Well, in the PS VR such color undistortion is not effective, or, even worst, not done at all. The center hot spot is not touched by this problem because of the low distortion operated by the lens, but the peripheral of the field of view is. It is more evident as graphics is done by lines, or other thin primitives (text, …) with solid (i.e. non textured) color.
    It’s a pity, and hope Sony will improve (firmware upgrade?) the PS VR on this aspect.

  • HoriZon

    Just can’t get hold of one for love nor money well unless you wanna pay double price for one.

  • glassmilk

    The PSVR has the best display of all VR headsets. It has a lower resolution as the Vive and the Oculus but it has NO annoying screen door effect (this is totally impressive).
    (as i understand it they use a “real screen door” in front of the display to BEND the light, this way the eye can’t see the gaps between the pixels)

    Now the question: What prevents Vive or Oculus from using a similar technology?
    Patent rights? Any info?

    No VR side has a topic about this important topic.

    Is it so hard to add a milk glass to the display?
    I would instantly buy a VR headset if the annoying screen door effect gets removed.

    • Synyster Gates

      Sir, what the heck are you talking about? Bend the light? Rift and Vive use pentile display with 2 subpixels per pixel while PSVR uses RGB with 3 subpixels per pixels, making the count of subpixels in the PSVR higher than the concurents. That fixes the screendoor effect. Both Vive and PSVR excel at their own strong points (Vive at almost perfect tracking + room vr, PSVR at the screen/lens quality, comfort and huge userbase = more publishers interested in the platform), while the rift ended somewhat at a mediocre VR experience, not trying to get strong in a niche advantage.