Thursday 13th of October. The Day was finally here. The best day of the year. PlayStation VR launch day. There was no hanging around waiting for it to be delivered for me, I’m far too impatient. I was at my local Game store the second the doors swung open. When I got home I quickly set it up, and when I say quickly I mean it. There are a lot of wires that I still need to tidy up, so at the moment my media centre resembles an electrician’s workshop. Confident that I’d set it up correctly I was ready to go so I powered everything on in order; TV, PS4 then PSVR. The lights on the headset illuminated everything and I was ready to launch. Welcome to the future of gaming.
It turns out the future of gaming had to wait a little longer as the PSVR needed an update before I could get going. Once it updates you go through a setup process that guides you through how to position the camera, fit and adjust the headset and how to focus the image. Which brings us to one of the first things that you’ll notice about the PSVR; how light it is. The headset has a solid look to it, but actually it weighs very little, which makes it very comfortable to wear. I’ve been playing it most of the day (obviously with the recommended 15 minute breaks every now and then) and I’ve not felt any discomfort whatsoever.
Now while I’m not going to go into details about specific games as we’re all busy playing them and writing our reviews, I will say a few general things about how it all looks in the virtual world and the cinematic mode. Cinematic mode is a way of displaying the PS4 via the headset and it works really well. While it not exactly like playing your PS4 games on a big 60 inch HDMI TV it’s definitely playable. If you want an idea of the quality of the images in cinematic mode I’d honestly say it’s better than remote play on a laptop but not quite as good as it is on the PS Vita. Saying that though, I’ll probably use it quite a lot as the virtual screen is huge (the equivalent of a 226 inch display).
Now for the virtual reality bit. There’s real depth in the games. You definitely get the sense of immersion; objects that are coming towards you feel like they are really coming at you, or the tightrope you are walking across gives you the sense that you’re really hundreds of feet up in the air. This is complimented by the 3D audio. The sounds are simulated so that if something on the right is making a noise you can hear it on your right etc. This again adds to the level of immersion. If you want to see an example of this depth and 3D audio then I’d recommend you download Allumette from the psn store. It’s a virtual reality movie and it’s free. While you watch it you can move around and view the movie as though it was in 3D right there in front of you. Be careful though, as this movie may cause you to shed a tear, which probably isn’t a good idea when you’re wearing the headset.
So the future of gaming is here and I have to say this future looks good. I’ve played a lot of games today and not once did I think any of the games felt like the others. Virtual Reality has opened up a whole new way to play. There’s a lot of varied titles out now and lots more still to come. PlayStation VR looks like it can and will open up new ways to play.
I’ll leave you with a Top Tip – have the DS4 controller close at hand, you might need it to reposition the screen (hold the Options button), and it’s a bugger to find if you have the headset on.