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Hands-On impression with PS VR


We share our impressions of the hands-on time we had with the PS VR.  With the launch of the headset arriving tomorrow, here’s a last minute look at the upcoming device.  Details after the break.

  At rAge 2016, the SkyGamers team all got our hands on the PS VR headset.  With it arriving tomorrow, we thought we share our first experience with it with you guys.  Of cause as you Mzansi gamers know, we’ll only be getting ours in January 2017.  The time when everyone is too broke to afford anything.  Thanks a lot, Sony!  So we’ll be looking at our friends over the pond with some PlayStation VR envy.  Anyway, here’s my recount of the experience I had.

The Design

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First of all, it’s extremely difficult to explain to people just what VR is like.  The experience is unlike anything anyone has done before.  If you’ve tried Gear VR before, you’ll have a vague idea.  However, it’s a completely different beast with PlayStation VR.  I’ve had experience before with the Oculus Rift DK 2, so I’m not a complete VR noob.  Right off the bat, PlayStation VR is by far more comfortable on your face than the other headsets.  The design distributes the weight to the crown instead of the face.  Not to mention it’s extremely light.  Sony completely nailed the design of the thing.  The ergonomics are top notch and I found it very easy to find a comfortable position.  One complaint is the field of view.  Ever looked through some binoculars?  Yeah, that’s pretty much what to expect when you look through the lens.  Not a deal breaker but I wish it had a slighter wider view.  Either than that, the headset is  just perfect.

The Experience

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Headset on, game time!  I got to try out Batman Arkham VR.  With that title, you get to play with the 2 move controllers.  As you undoubtedly guessed it, you step into the billionaire Bruce Wayne’s shoes.  The first thing you notice is the sense of scale.  This is a cliche but you really fool your brain into thinking you are really there.  Alfred standing so close you can almost touch him.  Granted the resolution of the PlayStation VR might be slightly lower than that of the Oculus or the Vive, but the visuals were no less stunning.  The detail of room with the piano in Wayne Manor was breathtaking.  Screen door effect is so minimal on this headset it might as well not exist at all.  Once you’ve gotten used to the feeling of being in VR, you stop noticing the field of view and the resolution.

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Back to the actual game.  You start off in the room I told you about.  Alfred hands you a key which you grab using the Move controller.  You put the key into the Piano and turn like you would in real life.  Lift the cover and run your fingers through the piano and the floor opens up and you’re taking down to the Batcave.  You stick your hand forward on a biometric device and it confirms you are Bruce Wayne.  Then the Batsuit is revealed, you grab the bat symbol and pull it to your chest and you are suited up as the bat.  Stick your hands into these to cylinders and your gauntlets are now on your hands.  Then you get to play around with the grappling gun, forensic scanner, and batarangs.  After messing around with calibrating Bats’ toys, you are taken down below to the rest of the massive, Batcave.  Waterfall and Batmobile driveway and all.  Then fade to black, demo over.

Final Thoughts

The big question is if a console is able to deliver convincing VR experience.  Absolutely.  This headset blew me away.  It’s not perfect, I did experience some tracking issues when I turned around, the camera could no longer pick up the move controllers.  Not to mention Bruce’s hands would sometimes shake for no reason.  Those aside, if the devs can create experiences that take into account the system’s limitations and build the best games they can, sign me up.  It’s fun, extremely comfortable and a competent device.  Come tomorrow, alot of PS4 owners will be very happy with their purchase.  The rest of us in South Africa will just have to be patient to get our turn.  Trust me on this one, it will be well worth the wait.