Without warning last week, I suddenly dropped a pre-order on PSVR. Despite the fact most of my gaming is carried out on my XBOX One, there were a few lines to come out of Sony that made me take the plunge.
Having read Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, the VR future is something that all gamers have dreamt off since day one. The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are stealing all the headlines as the hardcore choice, yet people are forgetting about the PSVR. There are a number of factors which make it seem the perfect entry point for most gamers.
For around £350 you get access to the headset and the various attachments that go with it. You will also need a PS camera, which luckily I have from my original bundle. Move controllers are optional.This immediately makes it the only viable option for many people. Oculus is around £600 before you buy the £1400 PC needed to run it well. Vive is £800 with controllers before the same scale of PC. Even if you don’t have a PS4, the cost is going to top out at £700. Less than the PC needed to run the others.
The sheer number of PS4 consoles in the world, mean the PSVR has a chance of being well supported. VR, in general, is being looked at like 3D. A gimmick, that will die out as soon as the novelty wears off. While this is a very real danger, the more early adopters, the better. If Sony gets this right, the VR future will be available to most people by Christmas 2016.
Think of Sony and I think of high-end screens. Their Bravia range is a market leader. With a VR headset, you are essentially getting a new display. If you think of a headset as a new TV then £350 doesn’t seem too expensive.
The plus point for me was when Yoshida said the PSVR is compatible with all current games. You will be able to watch them on a virtual 5-metre screen. This is the man room of your dreams. How many people can afford a 5-metre cinema screen? In your living room, just slip on the headphones and put your headset on and suddenly you are in your own private room with a huge gaming screen. Add the eventual Netflix app and you have your own home cinema.
I want VR for games, but at the end of the day, I want to be able to control these games. With the Dual Shock 4, I will still be able to have a deep experience with VR and be in control. It is all well and good Oculus and Vive having the touch controls, but I want to jump straight into the action. I can pick things up in the real world, so I don’t want my first steps in VR to be walking around and marvelling at how I can lift objects. That will be the future and the haptic suits. For now, the user-friendly VR of PSVR is for me.