Firstly let me wish everyone a happy PlayStation VR release day! Are you excited? We're pretty excited. Obviously you'll have seen our games list from the other day and, boy, are we spoiled for choice on release day, but what're the things you need to remember before rushing out to buy one for yourself?
This may be super basic but its £349 price tag isn't inclusive of the PlayStation console, the two move controllers needed, the PlayStation camera, or the regular controllers you'll need to make the experience complete.
Again, super basic but remember unless you get a package deal, you won't be getting any games with it other than the PlayStation VR demo disc. For our American gamers, that's all good because your disc is packed full of 18 different games to try out. For us European gamers however we've been left a little short-handed as we get to sift through EVE: Valkyrie, Rigs, VR Worlds, Battle Zone, Headmaster, Wayward Sky, Driveclub VR, and tumbleVR. The full games will range from £10/15 through to the £40 mark.
It won't be the same as using an Oculus or HTC Vive, but it'll be pretty damn close. Where the PC-related VR headsets have a higher screen quality, and generally wider selection of games, the PSVR is a great contender and much cheaper on the outside. As we explored in '4 ways PlayStation VR might not be as awesome as we think', the console certainly has its flaws, especially when looking at the outdated tech and occasionally slow response time.
This is a factor a lot of people who haven't actually tried any sort of VR won't realise. Virtual Reality is a magnificent step into the future of gaming, bringing things so close you feel like you're emerged in this new world. But because your head is telling you that you're moving and the rest of your body is like 'nah, bro, you're really not', it can be hugely disorienting.
Disorientation can then worsen if you put up with it for a bit too long, especially if you move too quickly or if the game you're playing has a lot of claustrophobic areas or if it's a bit shaky. Personally I have difficulty with unnatural motion – that 'conveyer belt' movement that makes you feel like you're flying across the ground.
The long and the short is: motion sickness in VR really sucks. You feel like you're drunk, but the pavement pizza type of drunk.
The overall experience
The PlayStation VR is something that we've definitely needed in gaming; a commercial option that doesn't put people TOO out of pocket. However you need to remember it's not like regular gaming. You can't sit with a headset on for hours and hours at a time, no matter how lightweight or how comfortable.
On top of damaging your eyes, it can also result in mild back, shoulder, and neck pain as well as bring on some nasty migraines for the unlucky few. Imagine if you sat a nose's width from the TV for four hours straight. I'd need to lie down after that.
So if you are planning on having a major gaming session, make sure you take a break every once in a while to reorient yourself and to rest your poor eyes.