I love the idea of “Virtual Reality” – I love the concept of a new frontier in technology. And oh man is it popular when you show people. My experiences with Samsung Gear VR and Google Cardboard are amazing, so many people in awe of what it does. But frankly, they are toys, they are nothing when compared to what Sony is about to put into the market – Playstation VR.
I was lucky enough to see this in action at IFA, and have a solid “heads-on” experience a month or so ago. It was mind-blowing.
Why? Movement and actions. Simple as that.
Gear VR and Cardboard are great for tricking your mind into thinking it’s seeing something that is really just on a screen in front of you. And yes, there are ways you can make it more immersive and accessories you can buy – I’m talking about this as an out of the box experience – Playstation VR changes everything.
Because the Playstation camera can see where you are in the room, and can tell how you are moving your head from the tiny light signals all around the Playstation VR headset, you can actually move around.
Yep, walk around in Virtual reality.
Now, you’re confined to a space in front of the camera and limited by the cables the whole getup and perhaps your headphones are connected to – but it’s awesome.
For almost every new VR experience it seems people want to throw me into an “underwater world” – “not this again” I thought. Oh how wrong I was. When you’re standing in a shark cage and the beast in front of you smashes one side of the cage off you move back – it makes a difference when the virtual world moves with you.
Walk to the edge and look over it. Not walking forward with a joystick or keyboard control – with those legs you have. Just moving. Its brilliant.
Then comes the actions.
Strapped to a chair as a hostage in a violent horror game, in my real world I’m holding two Playstation Move controllers. This means I can move my hands around in the game. Push someone away from me – try to cut a rope.
Forget that, the real demo came in the game “London Heist”. In the real world I was sitting on a chair.
In the virtual world I’m the passenger in a car being driven at speed away from a robbery. There are men on motorbikes racing alongside us, and people driving other cars – all out to get us.
Using the Move controller I reach forward, open the glovebox, grab a gun. Then I grab a cartridge.
I point the gun, I shoot. I lean out of the car, I shoot, I can look and lean anywhere. Out of ammo? Grab a cartridge with the other hand and “click” it into the opposite hand. A realistic reload that puts pressing the key on a controller in the scrap heap.
This was brilliant. I loved every second of it.
The quality of the vision was excellent in the underwater demo and the Heist. The kitchen horror game seemed low resolution, a poor quality – so we’ll have to wait and see how each game stacks up.
Oh, and as someone who can feel a little motion sick using these things – didn’t feel it at all – now that’s good!
Overall – wow, Sony are on to something here. Genuinely. These are exciting VR times!