With the PlayStation VR launching in South Africa next week, there are some important things you need to know before taking the device.
What will you pay for games? What accessories will you need? How much room does it need? These are all questions that shall be answered.
Its pretty great, and the games too
The PS VR is something that has to be experienced to be believed. I did not think it would give me the feeling that I get while having the headset on, and it is a truly a marvelous VR experience.
The headset is comfortable, and feels great when on. It also feels expensive, although it has a few cheap parts here and there.
Where the PS VR really shines is in the games. Everything I played offered a unique experience in some way or another. Be it riding on a roller coaster through a haunted amusement park shooting zombie clowns, or stacking blocks on top of each other to build a tower as high as I could.
There were some games that were better than others. I highly recommend Job Simulator, which is by far the best VR experience I had.
You act as a worker across different jobs, and as you stand there puling on leavers, cooking eggs, and even firing workers, you really get the feeling that you have now been transported to this world, and after 20-minutes you feel part of it.
It needs very little room
Forget what Sony are saying about the space requirements for the PS VR, it need very little room. I have a setup that is made for a controller not a movement experience, and it plugged in and worked without any moving of furniture.
You don’t need to make space around your room, as long as you can move your arms in front of you, and sway your head, you will be good. I was very surprised as just versatile the headset is, and how well it works with games even in small areas.
Another surprising moment was when I used the headset in broad daylight without closing the curtains or making the room slight darker. I faced no tracking issues at all, and the headset worked really well.
The only advantage to playing in the dark seems to be to eliminate any light leaks that might come through the sides and the bottom of the headset.
You will need PlayStation Move and the PS Camera
Although many games don’t make the PlayStation Move a requirement to play them, you would want it to really experience the best the PS VR has to offer. Until Dawn: Rush of Blood is a perfect example of this as the game can be played with a DualShock 4, but the aiming then feels stiff.
While using the Move Controllers, you can wave your arms in the air and control your aiming so much better.
There were even games that I wished used the Move Controllers instead of the DualShock 4 like Battle Zone, and Robinson: The Journey. The motion controllers are just better to use in with the headset as they really make it feel like you are in full control of the world you are in.
Another important note is the need for the PlayStation Camera. This is a mandatory purchase as it is needed to track the headset and motion controllers. If you don’t have a PlayStation Camera, you will not be able to use the VR at all.
Games are cheap
Although the headset will set you back a few grand, when looking at the game library for the PS VR, there are some really great ones for a fraction of the price of a normal recent release.
The most expensive game you can find for the headset right now is Robinson: The Journey, which sells for R929.
Do not be alarmed though, there are no other games that come close to that price tag. Games like Job Simulator, Batman VR, RIGS, Driveclub VR are all listed for under R500.
You can really shop on a budget for the games after the pricey VR purchase, and the best ones are the cheapest ones.
There are also tons of free experiences you can get on the PS Store like the Star Wars: Battlefront VR mission, and the Call of Duty Falcon VR mission.
Sure these are shorter experiences, but they are at least an experience to add to the headset for the best price of free.
It will be frustrating at times
As great as the headset works, there are moments when you feel irritated at certain things that get in the way of the gaming. Hair in front of your eyes, the lenses steaming up, and the overall heat that you experience when you have it on.
It is a VR headset, so it will get hot in there, and more so when you have a clunky set of headphones on that further add to the closure of your head. At least the games don’t rely heavily on movement as a workout will be even worse. The lenses will fog up if you get hot, which means you will need to slide the screen in front of you forward a bit to clear them.
It is not a train smash, but it does get in the way at times. The lenses also need to be cleaned as often as possible as the slightest smudge on the glass will cause a blur in the game. I found myself cleaning it every so often while I was using it, but more so when it was used by someone who wears makeup.
Motion Sickness will happen at first
I suffered severe motion sickness when I first started using the headset, it was very bad. a few minutes into Robinson: The Journey and I had to stop.
However, the more I used the headset the less I felt ill after a while. I went from playing in 20-minute bursts to sitting for at least an hour in a game without feeling sick at all.
It just takes some time to kind of get used to. We as humans have never experienced the feeling of our mind thinking we are moving, without out body moving, and this results in the sickness setting in.
Do not be afraid, I thought I would have to cancel my order (I was using a loan unit from the good guys at Ster Kinekor) as I thought I would not be able to play anything. A few days into it and the motion sickness never arrived once, not matter what I played.
Sound is important
One of the most important parts of the PS VR is the sound output. To truly experience the immersion of VR you need to have a good pair of headphones to add to the gameplay. I used the Sony Gold 7.1 Surround Sound headphones and the audio was on point.
Using a TV speaker or a surround sound system will not sound right, so try and invest in a headset if you don’t have one, and if you do, wear it. Playing games like Resident Evil 7 where the footsteps can be heard behind you, will just not be the same without a decent surround sound experience.
The headphone also make you feel like you are in the world you are looking at as the sound around you gets blocked out. Sound is very important, just know that!
Are you investing in a PS VR headset? Let us know in the comments and forum.