For years, many have wondered exactly what would be the next step into a game. The industry is always looking to better itself, and has never been afraid to push the boundaries. For every person who has ever thought about video games, virtual reality has always been some sort of myth. The ‘yeah that would be cool, but it will never be in households’ attitude was constantly prevalent.
That is until now, with the launch of the PlayStation VR headset. Back in the early months of summer when the headset was announced, I decided that I have been waiting for this piece of technology for over 3-5 years now and I was not going to let it pass me by. I wanted in, and so, I pre-ordered the $500 launch bundle. Fast Forward to October 13th, 2016 and here it is in all of its glory actually IN my house. Let me start this review by telling you what exactly comes with the launch bundle.
- The headset (duh)
- PlayStation camera, a newer model that is a round stick instead of a rectangular block (pictured below)
- Two PlayStation Move controllers (pictured below)
- The processor unit that allows the headset to function
- Stereo headphones
- USB cable
- HDMI cable
- AC Adaptor
- AC power cord
- VR headset connection cable
- PS VR Worlds game (not pictured)
- PS VR demo disc (not pictured)
- A handy, dandy booklet that tells you how to set up this mess of wires and what not.
This may sound like a lot of wires, that’s because it is. My TV stand looks hilarious right now and it looks as if a wire monster has taken control of my room. Anyways, the entire headset is actually pretty easy to set up once you do it once or twice.
Now that you know what exactly comes with the bundle, let’s get into the games. The PS VR bundle comes with PlayStation VR Worlds and a demo disc that includes 18 VR game demos. PlayStation VR Worlds is a collection of 5 different VR games and experiences. Some of those include Ocean Descent where you are in a shark cage exploring underwater life and being attacked by a shark and another is the London Heist where you are part of an elaborate scheme to steal a diamond and shoot your way out of trouble.
VR Worlds is a very good way for the gamer to become familiar with what VR has to offer. The demo disc gives you an idea of what to expect with certain VR titles. EVE: Valkyrie is a cockpit simulation where you will be dogfighting in space. The Resident Evil 7 demo is actually just an experience but from what is included in this experience, this may be the most anticipated game coming to VR. PlayStation VR Worlds and the demo disc are enough to hold you over for now but eventually you will need to buy an actual game. I recommend Until Dawn: Rush of Blood and Batman: Arkham VR as they are the two most polished games currently available and they will most likely not cause any motion sickness. Speaking of the devil…
Motion sickness and being immersed
Ok, full disclaimer right now: I do not get motion sick, so your experience could be totally different from mine. PS VR does indeed have games that will cause peoples stomachs to turn (stay away from EVE: Valkyrie and RIGS if that’s the case). I thought the feeling of being immersed in a virtual environment can indeed be too much for some people, but I have had no problems with any motion sickness.
One thing that most certainly is true is that you MUST take breaks. The first day of playing PS VR, I played for about 3 hours straight and it beat the heck out of me. I was extremely tired and worn out. With that said, PS VR and VR headsets in general are best used in spurts. Never play for more than an hour or two without taking a break or else you will feel worn out by the end of your playing time.
PS VR is a really great start to the Virtual Reality era. I know Oculus and HTC Vive have been out longer but this headset is actually affordable and does not need the assistance of a $1000 plus mega computer to function. PS VR is your best bet for affordable virtual reality gaming in the friendly confines of your home.
While I do recommend the headset, I will warn anyone interested that this is just the beginning. We are technically in the early stages of VR development and I am sure future technological advances will impact how VR moves forward. Does that mean you should wait until forking over $500 to play virtual reality games? Maybe. However, if you want to try an immersive and pretty indescribable experience then this is what you’ve been waiting for. Also, if you want to actually BE Batman then this is DEFINITELY for you.