One of the new features that PS4, PS4 Pro, and the PlayStation VR received with a recent system update is the ability to watch 3D Blu-ray discs through the virtual reality headset. When I first heard about this update I was intrigued, because I’m one of the few weirdos who actually prefers 3D over 2D. I’m also quite bummed that 3D technology has all but been removed from most modern 4K displays. When I had to pony up for a new TV I naturally went for a current-gen Samsung 4K HDR set, which is a gem to say the least, but considering I had a massive catalogue of 3D Blu-rays, its inability to play them left me feeling empty inside.
Naturally when Sony revealed this new feature for the PSVR I regained hope that the hundreds of dollars, if not thousands I spent on 3D Blu-rays wouldn’t be wasted after all. Well, I finally got around to trying the PSVR’s 3D functionality, and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. Outside of the fact that I now have to wear a headset to watch 3D movies, I consider the PSVR’s handling of the depth effect to be one of the best I’ve experienced, and the closest I’ve seen to what you get in a real deal movie theater.
Now you don’t get the same level quality visual as if you were watching the movie on a device that can upscale the 2D visuals to 4K such as the Xbox One S, but what you do get looks just as crisp as what you see at the movies. In fact, thanks to the fact that you’re in a virtual theater, you literally do feel as if you’ve been transported to the movies, albeit without a bunch of noisy assholes ruining the experience for you. You can even control how large the screen is, which ranges from what seems like a giant 80-inch screen, to literally an IMAX size screen that completely takes up your field of view. I suggest sticking with the middle screen size setting, as it still allows you to see the full screen without having to shift your eyes around to take in the full image.
In terms of resolution the visuals match what you would see at a digital screening of a film at a theater. They’re not full on crisp looking 1080p visuals, but they’re bright and clear enough that they easily rival a 3D cinema experience. Quite frankly, the brightness factor is the most noticeable effect, and you don’t get any dimming effect because you don’t have to wear glasses, so once again the PSVR is a very solid device for experiencing 3D movies.
If I had one complaint it’s that you have to wear headphones plugged into the PSVR, so the sound quality isn’t as ideal if you were listening through your high-end surround sound system. If you have a good pair of 7.1 surround sound headphones the audio can improve a bit, but it’s still not as crisp and pure as listening through a stereo system that supports HD audio codecs.
If you enjoy 3D movies, but either had to get a new TV that doesn’t support them, or just didn’t think watching them at home provided a great experience, and you also own a PSVR, I urge you to try the feature out. I’ve watched Rogue One and The Force Awakens with the PSVR, and the experience for both was spot on, if not markedly better than what I saw in theaters for each film. I’m not ready to say that investing in a PSVR solely for 3D Blu-ray support is something you should run out and do, but if you love the tech and have a bunch of 3D Blu-rays collecting dust, then the investment may be of value to you.
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