The virtual reality system, set to be released next week, provides a different experience to game players, but it’s hampered by some limitations.

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When Sony releases its virtual-reality headset next week, you can live your childhood fantasy of donning the cape and cowl of a classic superhero in the video game “Batman: Arkham VR.”

Sadly, suiting up in the virtual environment is just about the coolest thing you can do.

The concept of becoming the masked vigilante, who is as brilliant at solving crimes as he is skilled in martial arts, sounds great on paper. But soon after you start playing the immersive game, you will feel more like Batman confined to an easy chair.

That is because Sony’s PlayStation VR, set to be released on Thursday for $399, was designed to be played sitting or standing — but not while walking. The headgear connects with Sony’s PlayStation 4 game console, working with the PlayStation camera, to detect body movements, and Sony’s Move motion controllers, which are Wii-style wands that let you interact with virtual objects with your hands.

When you play “Batman,” you can flick your wrist to toss a Batarang and turn your head to get a look at your surroundings. But to move around, like from your Batmobile to your Batcomputer inside the Batcave, you have to shoot a grappling hook at wherever you want to go.

The experience of being a Dark Knight who is unable to walk underscores the limits of virtual reality. The still-nascent technology began seeping into consumer consciousness this year with the release of high-powered virtual-reality systems like Facebook’s Oculus Rift and HTC’s Vive, which are more expensive alternatives to PlayStation VR. In my tests, the Rift and Vive had major flaws, including a lack of compelling content, complex setups and issues with wearing the headgear.

PlayStation VR was meant to overcome those hurdles. The system was the odds-on favorite for mainstream success, partly because it has a lower barrier to entry and partly because tens of millions of people who already own a PlayStation 4 can easily hook it up to the console. In contrast, Oculus Rift and Vive require using a powerful, expensive computer to get a virtual reality experience.

But after testing the PlayStation VR for a week, I’ve concluded that most consumers can wait for more content to become available before buying the headset. Among the nine games Sony provided for testing, I found only two titles to be noteworthy: the “Batman” simulation and “Super HyperCube, “which is like Tetris with a virtual-reality twist.

Setting up PlayStation VR involves a bit more than plugging the device into a PlayStation.

First, you hook up a box containing processors to the PlayStation, and then you plug the headset into the box. The processor box adds the ability to use 3-D audio — for example, you can hear helicopter sounds from up above, or footsteps coming from the stairs below.

From there, you plug the camera into the console. If you are using Move controllers, you also plug those in to the console to pair them up. Then you can unplug the Move controllers and use them wirelessly, or use the traditional PlayStation controller to navigate the menu and play virtual-reality games.

Putting on the headgear is easy. Pressing a button on the back of the headset lets you extend it until it fits around your head. On the headset’s cable is a headphone jack.

After that, all that is left to do is download some games.Overall, it took about 15 minutes to set up the device and another 15 minutes to download a game.

Among the three premium virtual-reality devices — PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive — the PlayStation device is the only one I would recommend for consumers eager to dive into virtual reality. There are four main reasons:

• PlayStation VR is significantly cheaper than rival systems. When the price of Sony’s headgear ($399) is combined with the price of a slimmer PlayStation 4 ($299), along with two Move wands ($99 for a pair) and the PlayStation camera ($59), that totals about $860. By contrast, Oculus is selling its Rift headset for $599, or about $1,400 when combined with a computer. HTC’s Vive is even more expensive: about $800 for the headset and roughly another $800 for a computer that supports it.

• PlayStation VR is a safer bet for games. In the video game industry, the console with the best content is king. Sony has had long-standing relationships for decades with game developers big and small, so you are more likely to see familiar game franchises appear on PlayStation VR than the other systems.

• The PlayStation virtual-reality system is more practical to have in a living room. Because PlayStation VR connects with the PlayStation console, the system won’t take up as much space. Both Oculus Rift and Vive require a PC, along with a mouse and keyboard to download or open games, which is cumbersome.

• Sony’s entry into virtual reality has been smoother. Before releasing PlayStation VR, Sony had already released motion controllers and a camera that would eventually support the technology. Oculus has postponed the release of its motion controllers for Rift, which severely limits what you can do inside virtual reality, and HTC’s release of Vive ran into many problems.

Virtual reality is still in its early days, and it’s unclear whether it will ever catch on with people beyond gamers. If you already own a PlayStation, spending a few hundred dollars for the headgear and accessories is a worthwhile purchase to get started on virtual reality.

But for the average consumer, the thrill of virtual-reality gaming with PlayStation VR may be fleeting. Initially, virtual reality will probably mesmerize you because it’s so unlike any gaming experience you have ever had. But the scarce number of good games available today, combined with the fatigue you will experience after 30 minutes of game play, may drive you back to gaming on your smartphone or television screen.

So I wouldn’t run — or even stroll, for that matter — to buy a virtual-reality system. Batman can’t even walk yet, anyway.