I was able to secure a PSVR at my local Fred Meyer yesterday morning and spent a good chunk of the day exploring the virtumal realms. I’ve had some bad experiences with VR in the past and so this time I decided to take some Dramamine before donning the headset. I wasn’t sure it would work but it did and I was able to play a bunch of games without any nausea.
The setup was incredibly easy and I was playing games within 10 minutes or so of cracking open the box. There’s really just a handful of cables to pop in and then you are off to the races. Once you have it plugged in the PS4 will take you through a quick set up that teaches you how to put the headset on and get it situated correctly on your face. After that you’re just looking at your PS4 menu as though it were projected on a giant screen floating in front of you. From here you can do all your normal PS4 stuff including playing any normal 2D game. I gave this a try for Destiny and it was pretty cool. I would never choose to play a game this way all the time but the novelty factor is high and it was fun.
The first actual VR game I fired up was REZ Infinite. I was honestly surprised with how good a lot of the launch titles I played were, but REZ is by far my favorite. I have always had a soft spot in my heart for this game. The original still ranks somewhere in my top five games of all time. Playing it on the PSVR was absolutely incredible. Ben over at Polygon called it “one of the first masterpieces of VR.” and he is right. I have experienced a lot of “interesting” things in VR space but REZ Infinite is proof to me that VR is a place I want to play games.
I checked out a few other games as well. I had a lot of fun in Battle Zone and loved the retro vibe. Valkyrie was a blast, especially when I got in a squad with Tycho and we were dogfighting in VR space together. The Driveclub VR demo has very nearly sold me on purchasing the full game, it’s that fun. The real winner of yesterday was the Playroom VR edition though. For a collection of mini games that comes with the device it was surprisingly awesome. The best thing about it is that it lets a group of people play along with the person in the headset.
Normally playing VR games is very isolating. I told my wife I was “going in” and she understood I would essentially be gone for the next 30 minutes or so. The Playroom let’s other people play along on the television screen with their own control while one person plays inside the PSVR. It’s similar to what Nintendo did with Nintendo land when the WII U came out. In one game for example Kara, myself and Gabe were all mice trying to steal cheese. Noah was playing as the cat and trying to stop us. He saw the game in VR through the cat’s eye’s and tried to swat us. We saw the huge cat looming in the background and had to move quickly to avoid him pouncing on us. The kids loved these games and I have to admit I really liked the little platform game they put in there.
I’ve had some experience with various other VR set ups including the Vive, the Gear VR and the Oculus. Out of all of them I have been most impressed with the PSVR. The helmet itself is easily the most comfortable of all the headsets I’ve worn. It was easier to setup and use than the Vive. It’s also much more comfortable than wearing my burning hot phone on my face with the Gear VR. Really it comes down to the games for me though. REZ Infinite is certainly the killer app but I came away really impressed with a lot of the games I played. The PSVR has delivered the best overall VR experience I’ve had. Like I said, I’ve played a lot of this stuff and I have to say the Sony offering is my VR platform of choice.