I finally understand why virtual reality is huge in gaming.
Sure, working in tech you tend to hear the term being tossed around a lot, but since I never got the chance to try it first-hand for myself, the concept of VR remained a vague notion of people wearing weird-looking goggles, sitting in a room and giggling to themselves.
As luck would have it, I recently received an invitation to test drive the Sony PlayStation VR, and since everyone’s been talking about this thing since its conception, I figured I’d see what all the fuss was about.
Guess what guys? Now I can’t stop talking about it either.
First up, let’s discuss hardware. The main components for the full VR experience are pretty simple — a PS4 console, PlayStation camera, Move controllers and of course, the VR headset.
With padded rubber round the eyes and a cushioned headband, the headset is quite comfortable and fairly suited for extended gaming. A rear button helps adjust the headset for a firm fit, and the front visor slides forwards and backwards to give you optimal graphics. Because it’s fully adjustable and roomy enough, the headset can also be worn over glasses, so you won't have to try shooting demonic clowns while half blind — more on that later.
Some PSVR games are playable with PS4’s DualShock 4 controllers, but the Move’s joystick tactility and triggers greatly add on to the VR experience — especially when you need to unlock doors, grab an item or shoot something. Another thing to note, the Move controllers from PS3 are compatible with the PSVR, as is the PlayStation camera, so you’re in top shape if you’ve already got them.
The PSVR doesn’t come with headphones and I suggest using a really good, noise-cancelling over-the-ear pair if you want to take your experience to the next level. When you’re immersed in a magical world that transcends time and space, the last thing you need is the sound of traffic or the phone ringing to disrupt the flow. The direction of the audio also changes when you move your head, thanks to Sony’s 3D audio, which makes everything even more realistic (or terrifying, depending on how you look at it).