This has been the year in which virtual reality finally begins to be in our lives. Both Rift Oculus as HTC Vive are the main references of a segment in which gradually have appeared other options, and in a few days will finally on sale expected PlayStation VR, a virtual reality system for PS4.
Sony’s proposal comes with interesting details, and we have already spent a few hours with a device that is located right in the middle of the experiences offered by – Cardboard, Gear VR basic devices and those who want to immerse ourselves in virtual worlds so much more ambitious (Rift, Vive). Now, is this proposal convincing enough?
A seamless design
The first thing that stands out from the PS VR is its design: is impeccable, and in that format should be noted that the blue lights that appear when using these glasses have not been put there in an aesthetic issue. They help PS4 camera follows the movement of the head. The construction of the glasses is very good and has useful adjustment mechanisms to the head. Also not especially heavy or “overwhelming”.
Opening the box of the PS VR, yes, we found that this is not exactly an experience “wireless”. The assembly is not as complex as requiring HTC or Oculus, but is more cumbersome than it might seem. Among other things the glasses are connected to a “box” intermediate that can control the video output from the console and glasses. Users should be aware that in this section the PS VR is much like the Oculus Rift or the Live HTC: you are literally connected to the console with a cable.
Another important point of this experience is the fact that one can play standing, but the experience does not change much in the games we tried to play that way. With the Move command is true that we can move my arms, but not there spatial displacement with our feet as in the HTC Vive. That does not mean we lose too much in that aspect, although the experience may well enjoy while sitting.
The experiences still have room for improvement
The graphic quality offered by VR PS is decent, and as expected arguably saddled between Gear and Oculus VR / Live. Some titles seem closer to the Oculus and others closer Gear: depends somewhat on the game and how the graphics are worked.
It gives us the feeling that some contents thing could give more of themselves, and what it does is clear is that the resolution is lower than its competitors HTC and Oculus. The refresh rate is higher, yes (120 Hz in VR PS 90 in the Oculus for example), which helps experiences are fluid at all times.
These graphics, resolution and true finish “CRT” in the visual experience in many cases we notice the “texture” of the screen with an array of small pixels, as with the old televisions- not help the dive. At all times we notice that we are in a visual environment, something that is very noticeable in the texts.
The lyrics are not as well resolved on the screen, changing the angle transparencies appear and that feeling that the floating letters are a hologram that something solid and well defined. Also happens with other objects, and in general there is some feeling like “this is the 8 bits of the virtual reality yet.” There is therefore much room for improvement in the visual theme.
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Let’s what matters: The games
As expected our gaming experience was mixed. There was a bit of everything, but the truth is that after the experience none of them left us with a “compelling need” to invest EUR 500 in the pack that includes both the glasses and the camera and PS Move controls.
Precisely why solutions like Google Cardboard, Daydream View and Gear VR are so appealing: they offer a good much cheaper option for your mobile phone. I’m not sure the difference is so brutal after try them all, although it is clear that the power of the superior solutions gives more room for game developers. There is no “killer app” for the RV for now in the rest of developments in the market, and it seems that the PS VR count on this “ultimate game” that makes us jump into this segment almost with my eyes closed.
Among the interesting games we tested are those with a static character, or moving, but you- it controls and can “shoot the bad guys.” These games are very striking and demonstrate the accuracy of Move, something he really liked us because the accurate pointing is amazing.
Unfortunately in those games where there are other user – controlled movement had an unpleasant surprise: they returned to seasickness which remain one of the problems of virtual reality show. In the game ‘RIGS’ in which you are a soldier with a giant robotic movement exoskeleton it ended up creating an uncomfortable feeling soon begin to move through the virtual space.
It’s a shame because the game is very striking, but these disorders due to -cinetosis- movement are well known in other experiences in virtual reality. Divests manufacturers have developed methods to avoid or minimize the problem, but during our tests it became clear that dizziness may appear although it depends on the person. In our tests we seasick two people and a third did not seem to suffer from the problem, but this affects the experience, especially in long sessions of play.
The same happened with ‘Until Dawn: Rush of Blood terrifying “, ” a game “original and striking also analyzed our fellow Joystiq. In which also come into play Move to shoot certain objects while the movement is smooth not no problem, but in some sections we got to roller coasters and there reappears that uncomfortable feeling.
Among the games we tested were also ‘Battlezone’ a pretty basic combat tanks but fun probably win in cooperative- whole way, and ‘Tumble VR’ a set of construction (and destruction) of blocks in virtual reality that makes us acquainted with Move to grasp, manipulate and drop objects but that seems more geared to children . Snooker game, ‘Hustle Kings’, it was also visually striking, but the control system has a learning curve somewhat elevated and the result is not particularly spectacular.
We also tried briefly ‘ VR Worlds ‘ and their experiences. Specifically, the “submarine ride” in which we are plunged into an ocean in which they appear as sharks. Here the feeling was disappointing, little differential against known experiences that Google offers with its Cardboard.
We were unlucky with one of the most promising seemed, the “EVE Valkyrie” did not work us and requested regular updates, while the ‘Driveclub VR’ did not contribute too much to the driving experience: in a car one looks especially toward front, and the feeling of immersion was pretty limited to what we expected. If you want to get more out of car games, is worth much more worth buying a good flyer.
Conclusions: a lot to prove still
As with the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive the main problem of PS VR is our understanding that the experiences offered are not as addictive as you “need” to buy these accessories out of the blue.
It is true that the price is clearly lower than the Oculus or HTC, and the installed base of consoles from Sony and its rich ecosystem of game developers should help. However, I not just find enough relevant solution at the moment except for those early adopters who want to experiment with these feelings from the start. Virtual reality, including the VR PS, you need your ‘ killer app ‘.