Sony PlayStation VR: What You Need to Know
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Sony PlayStation VR: What You Need to Know

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2016 is shaping up to be the year virtual reality goes mainstream, and Sony isn’t looking to get left behind. Can they really compete with the competition? Here’s what you need to know about PlayStation VR.

There are going to be three major VR releases this year. One is from Oculus; the Oculus Rift is the Kickstarter-backed project that gets credit for kickstarting (ho ho ho) the current VR trend. There’s also the HTC Vive, from one of the former smartphone giants, which was developed in partnership with Valve; it’ll run on Steam, the popular PC game distribution service.

Sony PlayStation VR: Price

So, with two (relative) giants in the VR field, can there really be room for a third? Sony thinks so, and this week unveiled the rest of PlayStation VR to the world. First, it should be said that VR is expensive, no matter who’s doing it. The Oculus Rift will cost $600. HTC’s version, although it comes with two VR-ready controllers and a superior tracking system, runs $800. This is on top of the fact that you need what amounts to a $1000 gaming PC to even think about running either system.

In comparison, PlayStation VR will run on top of the PS4’s hardware. Sony has sold over 30 million PlayStation 4s to date, which instantly builds a large install base – and if you don’t have a PS4, you can get one, usually with a game and a 500GB hard drive, for just $349.

25517685150_6595f833a8_zSo the base system will be much cheaper for the PS VR than for either the Rift or the Vive. But what about the cost of the VR headset itself? Sony plans to retail the PS VR for just $399, coming in substantially below the competition. That means you’ll be able to go from 0 to VR for less than $800 – or the price of a Vive headset alone, never mind the graphics card or PC you need to run it.

In fairness, that doesn’t include a camera or motion controllers like the PlayStation Move – but since those aren’t standard hardware kits included in the box, developers are going to be less likely to support them…thus making them less relevant to getting the most out of the PlayStation version of virtual reality.

Update: Sony’s official PlayStation UK Twitter account confirmed that the camera is a required purchase, sold separately – so we can safely add fifty bucks or so to the price.

Sony PlayStation VR: Specs

But can a system that’s so much more affordable really compete with the likes of Oculus and HTC? Especially when it’s running on a PS4 – hardly an expensive, cutting-edge PC. Yes and no. Sony’s been working to temper expectations, and has already come out and said that you’ll probably experience better graphics on something like the Oculus Rift; that’s hardly a surprise as gaming consoles have offered inferior graphics for a long time, now.

What is surprising is what the developers are saying. The recommended specs for the Rift and the Vive require at least an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 graphics card. Both systems run at 90Hz, which means you need games to run at 90 frames per second (FPS) to provide a smooth, stutter-free experience. Those developing for both devices have mentioned that if you target the Vive and the Rift, with a GTX 970 at 90 FPS, you can pretty easily achieve 60 FPS on the PS VR. That’s important.

16584376519_539490f8f0_bSony is doing some interesting trickery with the PS VR to provide a fluid experience, even on the PS4’s hardware – now two and a half years old. The VR headset included with PS VR will actually run at 120Hz, or a third again as fast as the two others. That means that you should expect little to no lag – and thus superior presence, or the feeling that you’re actually in another world – on Sony’s PS VR.

While Sony would like developers to deliver experiences that would run that fast, it’s probably not terribly likely on the PS4’s current hardware – thus the inclusion of what’s called asynchronous time-warp. Async time-warp can frame jump 60Hz content to 120Hz, automatically providing a smoother experience without necessarily doubling the necessary graphics horsepower. Additionally, that frame jumping can work on native 120Hz content to smooth out any judders or slowdowns, preventing a bug or intense scene from creating motion-induced nausea.

Xing: The Land Beyond - one of the games coming to PlayStation VR.

Xing: The Land Beyond – one of the games coming to PlayStation VR.

Another trick up Sony’s sleeve is the screen itself. The PS VR is built around an OLED (like the others) screen. This one measures 5.7 inches and has a resolution of 1920 x 1080. That’s lower than the 2160 x 1200 offered by the Rift and Vive, but rumors are suggesting that Oculus (and maybe HTC’s) efforts use PenTile screens, a Samsung technology that uses only two subpixels per pixel on the display – traditional screens use three. The PS VR has a traditional RGB display. If you do the math, that means the PS VR could have up to 20% more subpixels – potentially reducing the “screen door effect” that plagues some headsets.

Sony PlayStation VR: Release Date

Sony has announced that the PS VR will debut in time for the 2016 holiday season, with a current launch window of October. That means that the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive will both have roughly six months lead time before the PS VR hits store shelves. Will it be a problem for Sony?

Probably not. We talked earlier about how much cheaper Sony’s VR option is going to be – and price, more than anything else, drives the adoption of mass-market gaming. Additionally, Sony, by dint of its size and experience, will be able to demand exclusives for the PS VR that no other company can get – currently, that includes Star Wars: Battlefront, which will only be playable in VR on the PS4.

Sony PlayStation VR: Pre-orders

What do you get for your $399? Well, the PlayStation VR headset, obviously. You also get a pair of Sony earbuds, and all the necessary cables to run the device. The other thing you get is Sony’s external processing box, required for the PS VR. It plugs into your PlayStation 4, and the PlayStation VR headset plugs into this box.

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It’s not been announced precisely what this box does, but one of the big differences versus the competition is its social screen. Whatever TV is hooked up to the PS4 will get a “normal” view of what the person wearing the headset gets to see (the signal to the headset is purposely warped; when viewed through the special lenses in the headset it becomes the VR image). That means that friends will be able to share a VR experience with a single headset – and could lead to some interesting multiplayer games that won’t exist on PC.

Update: In a new blog post, Sony announced that they’ll be selling a “complete” bundle that includes everything you need to make the PlayStation VR kit work with your PS4. It’ll cost $500 (or a painful $700 in Canada), which puts it that much closer to the cost of the Oculus Rift (PC vs PS4 costs aside). Given that the PS4 didn’t come with either camera or Move controllers, it seems a safe bet that most PS VR buyers will end up going for this package rather than the base bundle.

If you pick the bundle, you’ll get the base PS VR kit (head-mounted display, cables, headphones, and a demo disc), plus the PlayStation Camera 2, two PlayStation Move controllers, plus the PlayStation VR Worlds game on disc, which combines five short VR experiences in one title (it feels similar in concept to Wii Sports). Buying the camera and controllers alone would cost you around a hundred dollars, so the bundle doesn’t seem too painful – especially because it includes the VR Worlds title – but it does seem like Sony wanted to make news for offering such an affordable VR solution (at least, in comparison to the Rift and Vive), and now they’re walking things back a bit.

The company also announced that pre-orders for the bundle (they explicitly mention that the core kit will not be made available for pre-order) will be available from select retailers starting at 10 a.m. EDT on March 22nd. This “PlayStation VR Launch Bundle” will reportedly be sold only in pre-orders and in limited quantities, but that may just be marketing speak to drum up sales. Sony says that another pre-order for the Launch Bundle will go live this summer if you miss out on the current one.

2 Comments

2 Comments

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5 Xbox Series X Pre-Order Tips & Tricks

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Do you want to make sure that you get an Xbox Series X pre-order? Or the Xbox Series S? We have a collection of tips that will help you avoid pre-order problems and increase the chances that you get a new console on release day.

The Xbox Series S is $299 and the Xbox Series X is $499. Pre-orders start at 11 AM Eastern, 8 AM Pacific on September 22nd.

Read: Get the Best Gaming Chair You Can Buy

Check Account Passwords Now

When the Xbox Series X pre-orders start you need to be ready to go. This is not the time to be resetting a Best Buy or Walmart password or creating an account.

Spend 10 minutes this weekend making sure that you can log in to Microsoft, GameStop, Best Buy, Amazon, Target, and Walmart.

This can mean the difference between getting a new Xbox on day one and waiting months.

Update Payment Information

While you are logged in make sure that your credit card is up to date and that shipping and billing information is updated.

The time that you spend updating any of this, could be long enough to miss out on getting the Xbox Series X or Series S in November.

Be Ready to Checkout

Now that you can log in and your credit card is up to date, you need to be prepared to checkout as soon as the console is in your cart.

Some links to Amazon may even put the Xbox Series X directly into your cart.

Don’t wonder about tax, warranties, or look for coupon codes. Check out and get a confirmation. The console can disappear from your cart. This is not like a ticket checkout process where you are holding an item for a few minutes.

Use Websites Not Apps

Websites tend to offer a better chance to get a console this year. The PS5 pre-orders worked best on websites, with some apps just showing the landing pages while other people were ordering.

It’s a good idea to have apps available as a backup, but start on the website and be on the lookout for links directly to the products on social media.

You Can Always Cancel Later

If you really want the Xbox Series S, but it is out of stock, you may want to lock in the Xbox Series X pre-order and then decide later.

You can cancel your pre-order pretty easily at most retailers if you find the version that you really want somewhere else.

It is best to lock in pre-order and fine-tune it later.

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Cyberpunk 2077 PC Requirements: 3 Things to Know

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While it would be great if Cyberpunk 2077 ran beautifully on every single PC, that obviously won’t be the case. CD Projekt Red has finally shared the game’s PC requirements and we want to go over the most important details and show you how to check if your computer meets the threshold.

A lot of companies wait until just before a game’s released to unveil the PC requirements. CD Projekt Red isn’t your typical company though.

The Cyberpunk 2077 release date doesn’t land until November, but the company has already released the game’s minimum and recommended PC requirements. This is great news if you’ve been thinking about putting in a pre-order.

If you plan to buy the game for a console, you have nothing to worry about. Open up the game, install it and you’re good to go. Cyberpunk 2077 for PC is a different beast because your PC needs to meet certain hardware specifications.

Today we want to share three important details regarding the Cyberpunk 2077 PC requirements. If you’ve been thinking about buying the game for PC, here’s what you need to know before you pick up the game for yourself or someone else.

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Cyberpunk 2077 PC Requirements

First, we’ll start with the requirements themselves. If you’re familiar with your PC’s internals, you can simply check out this list and compare them to your specs.

Cyberpunk 2077 Minimum Requirements:

  • OS: Windows 7 or 10
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-3570K or AMD FX-8310
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 or AMD Radeon RX 470
  • DirectX: Version 12
  • Storage: 70 GB available space
  • Additional Notes: SSD recommended

Cyberpunk 2077 Recommended Specs:

  • OS: Windows 10
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-4790 or AMD Ryzen 3 3200G
  • Memory: 12 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 or AMD Radeon R9 Fury
  • DirectX: Version 12
  • Storage: 70 GB available space
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Will Cyberpunk 2077 Run On My PC?

You can use a simple tool to quickly find out if your computer is capable of running Cyberpunk 2077.

Sites like Can You Run It and PCGameBenchmark provide a quick and easy way to determine if your PC meets the minimum and/or recommended specs.

Some of you might need to upgrade your video card. Many others will meet the thresholds with ease. If you’re unfamiliar with your CPUs internal specifications, or you don’t consider yourself an expert, these tools will save you sometime.

What If My PC Doesn’t Meet Cyberpunk 2077 Specs?

We can’t tell you exactly will happen if your PC fails to meet the minimum requirements, but you can count on horrible performance that will, in a lot of cases, make the game unplayable.

If you want to have the best possible experience on PC, you’ll want to make sure your computer meets the recommended specifications.

While Cyberpunk 2077 will work on PC’s that barely meet the minimum requirements, you probably won’t be able to run the game on the highest settings.

If you barely meet the threshold, be on the look out for deals on PC equipment as we approach the game’s release date.

6 Reasons to Pre-Order Cyberpunk 2077 & 4 Reasons to Wait

Pre-Order for These Bonuses

Pre-Order for These Bonuses

If you pre-order a copy of Cyberpunk 2077, you'll get some nice bonuses. 

Everyone who pre-orders a copy of the game will get a collection of physical and digital items. Here's what you can expect if you buy a copy before the release date:

Physical Items

  • Case with game discs
  • World Compendium detailing the game's setting and lore
  • Postcards from Night City
  • Map of Night City
  • Stickers

Digital Items

  • Game soundtrack
  • Art booklet featuring a selection of art from the game
  • Cyberpunk 2020 sourcebook
  • Wallpapers for desktop and mobile

There are also some unique pre-order bonuses through retailers like GameStop and GOG. 

If you pre-order through GameStop you get a Samurai Medallion. The retailer says this offer is only available to PowerUp Rewards Members.

If you pre-order through GOG you get an exclusive digital game booklet, additional wallpapers and avatars, print quality posters, and 30% off official Cyberpunk 2077 merch store.

If any of these sound interesting to you, think about pre-ordering.

Last update on 2020-09-20. This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to read our disclosure policy for more details. Images via Amazon API

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6 Reasons to Pre-Order Cyberpunk 2077 & 4 Reasons to Wait

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Cyberpunk 2077 is almost here. We have an official release date and retailers are taking pre-orders. While some of you might want to buy a copy right now, many others are better off waiting.

It took awhile, Cyberpunk 2077 was originally confirmed all the way back in 2012, but we’re finally inching closer to the game’s release on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, Google Stadia, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, and Xbox Series S.

If you’re just catching wind of it, the game is a sequel to Mike Pondsmith’s pen and paper RPG Cyberpunk 2020. Cyberpunk 2020 was released all the way back in 1988.

CD Projekt Red’s taking its time, but fans of Cyberpunk and The Witcher series are hoping the developer can recreate the magic it delivered back in 2015 with The Witcher 3.

The developer initially confirmed the release date for April 16th, but decided to push it to September 17th to add some additional polish.

Unfortunately, the game got delayed again and the new Cyberpunk 2077 release date is now set for November 19th. Fortunately, it sounds like this is the final delay. CD Projekt Red says it doesn’t expect to push the game’s release date any further than November.

If you’re looking to buy Cyberpunk 2077 for Google Stadia, it looks like the release date might come a little later. CD Projekt Red says the game will debut on Google’s platform “by the end of the year.”

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Retailers like Amazon and Best Buy, and GameStop are taking pre-orders for two versions of the game. There is the standard $60 version and there’s also an expensive Collector’s Edition that comes with a bunch of extras.

Now that we know more about the direction the game is taking, some of you, particularly those of you who are fond of CD Projekt Red’s games, might be thinking about pre-ordering a copy.

In this guide we’re going to take you through the best reasons to pre-order Cyberpunk 2077 right now. We’ll also take you through some reasons to think about holding off for a few more weeks or longer.

Pre-Order for These Bonuses

Pre-Order for These Bonuses

If you pre-order a copy of Cyberpunk 2077, you'll get some nice bonuses. 

Everyone who pre-orders a copy of the game will get a collection of physical and digital items. Here's what you can expect if you buy a copy before the release date:

Physical Items

  • Case with game discs
  • World Compendium detailing the game's setting and lore
  • Postcards from Night City
  • Map of Night City
  • Stickers

Digital Items

  • Game soundtrack
  • Art booklet featuring a selection of art from the game
  • Cyberpunk 2020 sourcebook
  • Wallpapers for desktop and mobile

There are also some unique pre-order bonuses through retailers like GameStop and GOG. 

If you pre-order through GameStop you get a Samurai Medallion. The retailer says this offer is only available to PowerUp Rewards Members.

If you pre-order through GOG you get an exclusive digital game booklet, additional wallpapers and avatars, print quality posters, and 30% off official Cyberpunk 2077 merch store.

If any of these sound interesting to you, think about pre-ordering.

Last update on 2020-09-20. This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to read our disclosure policy for more details. Images via Amazon API

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How to Sell Your PS4 to Upgrade to the PS5

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This guide walks you through the best places to sell your PS4 to upgrade to the PS5.

There aren’t any geat PS4 trade-in deals, but there are some OK trade-in values if you want store credit, but you can sell your PS4 for more money and do it without a lot of hassle.

Here are the easiest places to sell your PS4 or PS4 Pro to get the most money for your new PS5.

How to Sell Your PS4 in 2020

You need to reset your PS4 before you sell it, but that is pretty easy to do. Go to Settings -> Initialization -> Initialize PS4 -> Full. This can take an hour, so do this before you complete a sale, or make sure to do it before the buyer arrives.

Where to Sell Your PS4 for the Most Money

Where to sell your PS4 for the most money to upgrade to the PS5.

In general, the more effort or hassle you are willing to put in or deal with, the more money you can get from the PS4.

Selling on Facebook Marketplace is a great place to start, but you need to make sure that you price the console and any extras right. Be prepared for lowball offers, potential scams and you’re going to need to verify payment options and meet up.

eBay is another option, but they charge fees and you need to worry about potential buyers trying to scam you. In most cases eBay and PayPal side with the buyer, which is why many of us turn to Facebook or a trade-in.

Apps like Offerup are an option to sell on a marketplace with some protections, but you still need to communicate with a buyer and potentially meet up.

If you want to get cash for your PS4 without meeting up with a stranger, you can sell to a reseller. Here are the ones we think you should check out.

Read: Get the Best Gaming Chair You Can Buy

One of the best places to start is Flipsy. You can choose the PS4 console that you have, and then you can see values from various trade-in locations and buy-back sites. You can ship your console for free and then get cash to put towards your PS5.

Most of these prices are similar to trade-in values, but you get cash and potentially a little more than selling to GameStop or Amazon. You can use this guide to compare to PS4 trade-in values.

Last update on 2020-09-20. This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to read our disclosure policy for more details. Images via Amazon API

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Best PS4 Trade-In Deals to Upgrade to a PS5

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This is a look at the places you can trade-in your PS4 for a PS5 in 2020.

We aren’t seeing any major PS4 trade-in deals that boost the value of your old console, but you can still trade-in towards a PS5 at several retailers.

Here is a look at the current trade-in options that you can use to turn your PS4 or PS4 Pro into credit towards your new console.

PS4 Trade-In Deals & Prices

Where to find PS4 trade-in deals towards your PS5.

GameStop is offering a big promotion for the Xbox Series X, but nothing special for the PS5.

Here are the current PS4 trade-in deals and prices at popular retailers.

The big catch is that you need to trade-in your console today, which means more than a month without a console.

Read: Get the Best Gaming Chair You Can Buy

These prices and deals are accurate as of September 18th at 10 AM Eastern. Click on the links to check trade-in pricing.

  • GameStop PS4 Trade-In Value – $100 to $140 
  • GameStop PS4 Pro Trade-In Value – $175
  • Amazon PS4 Trade-In Value – up to $187.02
  • Amazon PS4 Pro Trade-In Value – $174.38
  • Best Buy PS4 Trade-In Value – $90 – $125
  • Best Buy PS4 Pro Trade-In Value – $175

Prices depend on the PS4 model you have, so a PS4 Slim 1TB will bring more money than an original PS4 with a 500GB hard drive.

PS5 pre-orders are already open and you can use this guide to find the PS5 in stock.

PlayStation 5 Console
  • Lightning Speed - Harness the power of a custom CPU, GPU, and SSD with Integrated I/O that rewrite the rules of what a PlayStation console can do.
  • Stunning Games - Marvel at incredible graphics and experience new PS5 features.
  • Breathtaking Immersion - Discover a deeper gaming experience with support for haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, and 3D Audio technology.

Last update on 2020-09-20. This post may contain affiliate links. Click here to read our disclosure policy for more details. Images via Amazon API

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