PlayStation VR is Everything I Hoped For (and More!)
In some sort of cosmic twist, I have seen the future. No, I didn’t find out where/when/why I’ll die, nor did I even find out what I’ll have for breakfast tomorrow (I hope it’s pancakes). But I assure you, I have seen the future.
The future of video games that is. I recently got to test out Morpheus – uh, I mean PlayStation VR – Sony’s answer to the ever-growing interest in virtual reality. Although the headset is far from completion, it’s also currently far from shotty.
At Fan Expo in Toronto, Sony was showcasing their latest project with four different demos – two of which I got to experience for myself. The headset itself takes some getting used to in terms of comfortability. In regards to the visual department, the output is not exactly 1080p, but after thirty seconds, you feel completely immersed in the world that you’ve been thrown into.
Demo #1: London Heist
In London Heist, you are a passenger in a vehicle speeding down a highway (motorway?), forced with the task of taking down swarming enemies with a machine gun. This demo incorporates the PlayStation Move controllers by allowing you to reach around in the car, finding the gun needed to combat the assailants. You must continue to reload your weapon by grabbing the ammunition that is laying around and inserting it into the bottom of the gun like, you know, a real gun. While there wasn’t a lot of substance to the narrative of the demo, it was the perfect introduction to the world of virtual reality.
Demo #2: Kitchen
The second demo, Kitchen, was pretty terrifying. Not to brag, but I don’t get scared easily, so it was impressive that this five-minute demo could do a number on me. In reality, you are holding a controller, but what you see is your virtual hands bound as you have apparently been captured and thrown into a dark, decrepit kitchen. Another survivor awakes to find a knife, and attempts to remove you from the terrifying throne on which you are being held captive, but that’s when things get screwy: you aren’t alone in the kitchen. A ghoul makes it quite obvious that she is unimpressed with the escape attempt and decimates your companion before turning her attention onto you. As she waves the knife in front of your face, it’s hard not to become unsettled. With the headset, 360 degrees of your vision is rendered and you truly feel like you’re trapped in the room.
To quote a certain Arab-themed Disney movie, virtual reality is “a whole new world”. What I found immensely exciting about the whole experience was that if I had this much fun with a few gimmicky demos, how will I be able to contain myself when actual games for the headset are released?
With PlayStation VR, seeing is believing. It’s not enough to read about someone over the internet drooling about how great it is, you have to experience it for yourself to grasp the scope of the impact it surely will have. No virtual reality headset will reach the commercial market before 2016, but it’s not erroneous to predict that it truly is the future of gaming.