Opinion PlayStation

PlayStation VR First Impressions: Gaming Comes to Life

PlayStation VR SA.jpg

I got to try out PlayStation VR this weekend at rAge, and it blew me away. To put it lightly, I was a VR virgin, that has never placed any sort of VR headset on, be it Samsung Gear, Oculus, or the other many offerings available to the public. Don’t ask why, but it just never happened. I have not had the chance to attend a massive international game expo where these VR headsets have been playable, and last year’s rAge housed the Oculus, with a 2-hour wait in line. 

Pretty excited to try it out, I was looking forward to playing Batman VR, and the demo I played, was everything and more. Putting the headset on was much easier than it looks. You pull out the back head band, and place the headset on your head. There is then a button to press, that will slide the front screen in and out. Adjusting this to your perfect view, is the most important part of the setup, as you can go from a blurry, washed out image, to a crisp and sharp one in a moment. The headset felt comfortable and once I put on a pair of 7.1 surround sound headphones, I escaped to another world. 

The Batcave Is Real

The feeling is really indescribable, and all Sony’s marketing and VR presence over the last few months, really does not do the device justice. Once the headset was on; it felt like I stepped into another dimension. My heart raced, and the sounds and sights that welcomed me, turned the PlayStation booth, into the Batcave. The Batman VR demo, started off with me setting up my gear after slowly lowering myself into the Batcave. As I went down the elevator, my chest dropped, and I imagined the chilling breeze of the cave. Bats flew past me, and I looked around to really take in all the pipes, computer screens, and water tumbling off the rocks in the distance.

This sequence was really the best introduction I could have had to PS VR, as it was no gimmick, and developers have really managed to bring the Batcave to life.

Using the PlayStation Move controllers to make use of Batman’s gadgets, and the VR to look around was a match made in gaming heaven. Holding the controllers up to my face, I could look at all the details on Batman’s gloves, and when I had a gadget in my hand, I could do the same.

Sure the issue will come into play when we get PS VR in SA, as Batman VR specifically requires two Move Controllers to function. Further increasing the price of the initial outlay of the VR headset. However, the game makes great use of these controllers, and I could not see how you would use the normal DualShock 4 to get this process done.

The future of gaming or a passing fad?

If Batman VR taught me anything, it is that the game might not be the usual Batman we are all used to, but it really does a great job in bringing a new experience to fans. I hope that other VR titles do the same, and delve into a different side of a game’s world. But with all this excitement comes one concern.

Although all this VR excitement is well, exciting, I cannot but fear the future of this product. As we enter a new generation of VR gaming, we also further progress into the current generation of hardware and consoles. Will this VR generation last a couple of years, or will it die out as fast as PlayStation Move, Kinect, and the Wii U?

All we need as consumers, is another piece of hardware in the back of our cupboard gathering dust. PlayStation VR relies heavily on developer support, and the lineup of titles looks great now, but will the games keep coming?

PlayStation Move had a bunch of great release titles, but within months they started to trickle in, until they died a terrible death. The same goes for Kinect; which in my opinion is an even bigger hardware fail than PlayStation Move. Microsoft did not learn from their mistake with the original model, and pushed the motion sensor so heavily with the Xbox One, with no real reason to make use of it.

If you ask me, the developers are to blame for these hardware fails, as the support for titles failed to keep momentum. Let us hope that PlayStation VR does no suffer from the same fate as other hardware in recent years. It would be far less forgiving, given the steep price and investment of the hardware. I would love to see this have at least a five-year lifespan, but it all depends on the support going ahead. 

PlayStation VR comes to South Africa

As we previously status, the PlayStation VR will only release in South Africa in January 2017. However, Ster Kinekor CEO, Mario dos Santos, did mention that the PlayStation 4 Pro, and the PlayStation Slim will both release locally in November - just in time for Christmas.

dos Santos also gave estimated prices; with the PlayStation VR and PlayStation 4 Pro both around the R7000 mark, and the PlayStation Slim at around R6000. We can expect more details soon.

Did you get some hands-on time with the PlayStation VR at rAge? If so, we would love to hear some feedback.

I&

Marco Cocomello: Twitter MWEB GameZone: Twitter Facebook | YouTube


"bring the Batcave to life."

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