So last Sunday, I’ve been to BGC with my sister to attend the Sony Fair PH event that showcased the different brands under their company. I had tons of fun, but the most memorable was the Playstation booth where I got to try out the Playstation VR headset.
I’ve been trying to get my hands on a good virtual reality headset for a good part of this year. I bought several mobile VR headsets and also attended VR events in hopes of trying out any of the “Big 3” virtual reality devices.
And last Sunday, I was finally able to put one of them on.
The Playstation VR Experience
The PSVR headset released on October 13 this year in the Philippines, and though I don’t have a PS4 console of my own, I’ve been following news about it regularly.
There were long queues at the Sony Fair but I patiently waited it out so I can try the headset for myself. After the representative wiped the sweat out of the headset, he fitted it on my head and handed me two Move motion controllers. He also put headphones on my ears for more immersion.
The London Heist
We played a training round of London Heist which is a first person shooter that is exclusive to PSVR. After the game loaded up, I found myself in the middle of a warehouse with a pistol and extra bullets in front of me. I was instructed to grip things by pressing on the T-button.
I waved the Move motion controller around, which was followed by two floating hands in-game. It was really cool to see and the first few moments were spent just looking at those two animated hands and at the surroundings. I then grabbed up the pistol and loaded it with ammunition.
Three lights lit up, then soon, a wooden board in the shape of a man. So, it’s a shooting gallery.
I popped all the targets off one by one, even the moving and small targets, which is an achievement! When I run out of ammo, I just grabbed a new one from the table and almost instinctively snapped it into the pistol so I can unleash more bullets upon my wooden enemies. The controls were so natural so I really got to enjoy the game. I didn’t even see what score I got because I was too focused on the action.
We went back in line for more, of course. My sister played the same game and challenged me to the high score, but I wanted to try something else so I asked the rep to load up Ocean Descent.
It was more of an experience than a game actually. I wasn’t given any controllers this time around, and all I had to do was to look around and let the visuals of the underwater sink in (no pun intended).
I couldn’t hear the instructions even with headphones because of the nearby Just Dance booth which took some of the immersion away, but I was really entranced with the sights. The graphics almost looked real, with air bubbles and different sea creatures surrounding me all the time.
As I began my virtual descent, I had a brush with manta rays, crabs, and beautiful, bioluminescent jellyfish. I got a little nauseous at first because I know fondly how it feels to move underwater and my body is not actually getting that feeling, causing the dizziness. A few minutes later, I was able to adjust and was comfortable looking around and behind.
I was then too deep into the ocean, a shipwreck of a submarine lying dead on the ocean floor before my eyes. It was dark and eerie, but calming at the same time. But then there was a large shadow approaching from a distance…
Is that… Is that a Great White Shark?!
It charged at my cage and bit off one side of the metal bar wall (I wonder if they’re really that strong in real life). I was being pulled up already but it wasn’t really fast enough! And just when I thought that I’m virtually dead, a boulder crashed on the shark’s head and they both drifted back down.
This would be something I will totally enjoy at home.
With my play through London Heights, I was not able to pay much attention to the headset because I was too excited to play the game. But during Ocean Descent, I noticed how light the headset was! The weight was nicely distributed along the headset so I didn’t feel any strain in the few minutes that I wore it. The cushioning on the temple and on my face was good too, making it very comfortable.
The field of view was sufficient, and it was a really big jump from the mobile VR headset that I was accustomed too. There was just a small light leaking through the bottom of the PSVR device, although I assume this could have been avoided if I adjusted the headset myself.
There were just breaks in the illusion because of all the noise outside of the game. Also, there were a number of times when the screen suddenly went black, and this was because there were people walking in front of the Playstation Camera which was needed for VR.
With the two games that I played, I can say that they looked like low-res games and is far from looking like “real-life.” I know that I’m in a game. I can see the jagged edges of some of the objects. Still, I was in awe.
I’m hoping to try either the Oculus or the Vive headset next for comparison because for now, the PSVR experience only left me so much more excited about the technology.
Have you had your memorable VR experience already? Let’s talk about it in the comments!
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