At the Eb Expo in Australia we got the chance to playtest the new Playstation VR headset that is being released on October 13th 2016. After an annoyingly long wait, and watching as assorted people had great runs or got a bout of motion sickness we were finally strapped in. We were given access to a racing game known as Driveclimb wherein we were given a shiny red sports car and given a 3 lap race, with a lot of turns, in order to try out this new accessory.
Despite how clunky and uncomfortable the headset and headphones look, it is quite comfortable to wear, at least for short periods of time assuming you don’t walk completely into a wall trying to go through an in-game door. Completely ensconsed in the game, unable to hear or see anything of the outside world, I was able to see every single detail of the in game world, in fact a simple turn of the head showcased the scenery outside the window and turning all the way around allowed me to see the back window but the rear seats, which I assume were made of rich corinthian leather. It even went down to showcasing gloved hands on the steering wheel to remind me that I was driving (in case you forgot). As the race took off, I can tell you this much, Playstation VR and indeed VR in general is something we will have to get used to.
Feeling as real as it did, it was a shock when I pressed the accelerator and did not feel ourselves taking off as in a normal car, and indeed when I inevitably began to spin out (I suck at racing games) I felt my hands begin to flail as I attempted to wrest the steering wheel to keep myself on course. You completely get drawn into the environment which makes for an immersive game that I could spend hours upon hours playing. I completely forgot the video game aspect of it and tried to remember advice given by my parents as to how to get out of a fishtail skid (still finished second).
However it might not be the best idea to spend a huge amount of time within the VR headset as it could cause headaches and eye strain (much like a normal video game) but at a faster rate due to the close encounters of flashing lights and other such things. The first few seconds after taking off the headset and being subjected to the lights within the arena I was blinking rapidly to get my eyes all back in check. Despite this, Playstation VR will be a worthy addition to the arsenal of gamers and will be a source for a lot of happy memories as they attempt to master this unusual yet delightful step in gaming.
The Playstation VR will cost around $550 Australian and that is assuming that you already have a Playstation 4. If you are really in the market for a solid Virtual Reality device that is still affordable, the Playstation VR may be the best option for you.