PlayStation VR finally arrives this week, bringing high-end virtual reality gaming to those of us who aren't dedicated or wealthy enough to have beefy gaming PCs. All you need is a PS4 and at least $400 and you're ready to jack in.
Well, that's not entirely true. You also need high tolerance for cable clutter.
PlayStation just released three tutorial videos on YouTube about setting up PSVR, and one thing in the second video stood out to me: the ridiculous amount of cables required to make this thing work. Look at this:
That's intense! Just so we're clear, here's what cables you'll have in your gaming space with PSVR hooked up:
All of the cables required for a PS4 to work normally.
The cable to connect the PlayStation Camera to the PS4, which you may or may not already have anyway.
An additional HDMI cable just for PSVR.
A USB cable to connect the separate PSVR processor box to the PS4.
An AC adapter to connect the PSVR processor box to a wall outlet, meaning you now need two wall outlets for PSVR.
The cable that connects the headset itself to the processor box.
Of course, that's all in addition to other devices you have hooked up underneath your TV. If the situation in that image looks cumbersome in a desolate white void, imagine how it'll work in the average living room.
In total fairness, none of this is unexpected. VR works well enough and is just cheap enough to produce that it can be sold to the masses right now, but that doesn't mean it is going to be perfect right off the bat. Even the most consumer-friendly options are going to have hiccups for years to come.
The fact that you can buy a semi-affordable VR headset that works with a game console that came out in 2013 is pretty miraculous. Having to deal with a maze of cables is not going to be a deterrent for people who are truly dedicated to the virtual future.