Why I (finally) canceled my Playstation VR pre-order

I pre-ordered Playstation VR (PSVR) as soon as I was able to do so. I guess that was back in June. On Sunday, just days before it shipped, I decided to cancel that pre-order.

There are a lot of ‘satellite’ reasons why I canceled it: the HDR pass-through issue I mentioned in my last post and the amount of money I’ve spent and am spending on other things this fall (a new TV and a PS4 Pro) being two of them.

But what finally changed my mind was stopping to consider how much of an impact PSVR would have on our living room. Setting it up would mean digging out the Move controllers and a charging stand for them and re-positioning the Playstation Camera which is currently mounted on the wall above the TV. I’d have to free up a power outlet for the Processing Unit (the PS4 is on a UPS and I’m out of battery-backed up slots, but if the PU isn’t on battery then the PS4 may as well not be either), and I’d have to find a place to store the rather large visor and its 10′ of cable when I wasn’t using it. It’s just a lot of ‘stuff’ to integrate into the room.

And that would be fine if I thought I’d be using it a lot, but considering I’d probably have to move the furniture to use it (definitely would for standing experiences, probably would for sitting and using a dual shock…might not for sitting and using the Move controllers which you’d probably hold up higher) and considering that most of the software offerings in this first batch seem more like “Things it would be cool to try” rather than “Things I’d want to play every day.”

Driveclub VR was the one game that seemed like something I’d want to play on a consistent basis and to really get the full experience I’d have to buy a Wheel to go with it.

So $400 and a re-configuration of the living room all became too much of a barrier to entry for me. I’m not really much of a PC gamer but I think VR kind of belongs in the office with the PC, not in the living room. At least not until they can offer a wireless experiences. Oculus has announced a new headset that has half the PC processing requirements of the current Oculus so maybe that’ll be the way to go (my current PC isn’t beefy enough for VR).

Or maybe PSVR will grow into something with a library of games I really want to play, and if so I can always revisit my decision then. Don’t really need to be there day 1. I’ve more than done my fair share of “early adoptering” over the years!

It didn’t help to see a video of the 3 guys from Digital Foundry talking about PSVR. While they were all pretty impressed with how well it works given the limitations of the hardware and the relatively low cost, none of them said they’d actually buy it with their own cash, and one pointed out he had a Rift and after the novelty wore off he didn’t use it much. Then there was the EP.Net review where Victor Lucas laid all the parts on the table; that really illustrated how many pieces there are to this rig. (I’ll embed these videos below.)

So while I hope PSVR does well and that I come to regret my decision, I’ll spend this fall playing conventional games at higher-than-1080-but-less-than-true-4K resolutions on my PS4 Pro. Next spring I’ll take another look at PSVR and see if early adopters are still using it and if we’re still seeing good support for it. Then I’ll re-evaluate my decision.