Up until now I’d always discarded Virtual Reality as an expensive gimmick. But after how well received Sony’s offering has been I came to the conclusion I wanted to try it out. Now as often is the case with recently released and well received technology products. Quickly came the realisation that even though I had decided I would be purchasing the device, actually finding a retailer with stock is easier said than done.
Fortunately some stock popped up at a reputable retailer and with a £50 discount. Shortly after placing my order I accompanied my purchase with an additional order of the necessary but not included camera and a couple of games.
The most note worthy part of receiving and setting up the PSVR is just how much is involved. By the end you have a mess of cables and extra boxes. You could probably reach a tidy state but you’re still going to have a cable from you to the setup.
The initial setup is a little tedious and involves you getting the camera pointing just right, this process occasionally returns even in a dark room so there are definitely limitations to the technology being used.
I began my VR experience with the PSVR Demos that are included in the box or can be downloaded from the PS Store. It’s a collection of demos for nearly all the launch games so provides a wide variety of game play and experiences. The first I loaded was Oceans Descent that is an experience where you are being lowered into the ocean. This is a great demo to start with as I was completely blown away at how quickly it tricked my brain into thinking I was there and found myself reaching out to touch things.
I tried most of the demos but it was when I tried Here They Lie that things took a turn. There’s a moment where you’re walking through a tunnel and the surroundings start morphing Inception style. I immediately started feeling queasy and my heart was racing. Now full disclosure, I suffer from motion sickness when riding as a passenger in cars so I knew this might happen. I rested for a couple of hours until I felt better and jumped back in as I’d been having so much fun but within minutes the queasiness returned. At this point I decided that although the experience was enjoyable the downside was just too much and that I would be returning it.
I highly recommend that people give the PSVR a chance, the immersion is real and it really shines with the dark atmosphere of the horror genre that is already embracing this medium. But even games I expected to be silly like Headmaster that has you heading footballs into goals was surprisingly precise and a lot of fun.