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PlayStation VR: Impressions from Inside the Virtual World

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PlayStation VR: Impressions from Inside the Virtual World
5 Author Replies

PlayStation VR

The future is looking bright for PlayStation VR, PS4’s upcoming virtual reality platform launching this October. The PlayStation.Blog team recently had an opportunity to play a host of new demos, each showcasing impressive variety and ingenuity. Here are our thoughts so far:

Rez Infinite

Rez Infinite, Image 07

One of gaming’s most beloved audio + visual symbioses, Tetsuya Mizuguchi’s classic on-rails shooter is a perfect candidate for an updated VR incarnation. Even if you’ve played Rez a hundred times since its original release in 2001, being directly embedded into its trippy, synaesthetic world is an experience that must not be missed. This is how Rez was always meant to be played. — Justin Massongill

Cool VR Detail: Being able to look behind you when a boss goes off screen to keep attacking it. Total game-changer!


Job Simulator: The 2050 Archives

Job Simulator

Just plain cool, and a good demonstration of how PS Move motion controllers can transform the PS VR experience. Simply put, Job Simulator tasks you with completing a series of comical office challenges by interacting with various props. Each PS Move represented an independent hand; by moving my hand and pressing the trigger, I picked up and moved a coffee mug, turned on a coffee maker, and ate a donut. All in a day’s work! The atmosphere is seriously funny, and the final game will include other jobs like chef and convenience store clerk. — Sid Shuman

Cool VR detail: Job Simulator is essentially a big, fun VR toybox. I had tons of fun just poking around my cubicle, finding hidden jokes and subtle gags.


SuperHyperCube

One of my favorite PlayStation VR experiences thus far, SuperHyperCube is a first-person puzzle game that tasks the player with rotating a 3D shape to fit through a hole in a slowly advancing wall. Each success yields a more complex shape, and slimmer chances of success. Since the hole is in the middle of the wall, you’ll need to peek around the shape floating in front of you to see it. This subtle use of VR lets the player focus on the task at hand, while feeling no less immersive and natural than larger-scale experiences. This isn’t just a great VR title, it’s one of the best puzzle games I’ve played in years. — Justin Massongill

Cool VR Detail: If you want to access the Options menu, just turn to your left and you’re there. Cool!


Battlezone

Battlezone on PlayStation VR

Tron on tank treads! This tank shooter provides a glimpse into the future of the VR shooter genre, playing more like a traditional shooter than any of the other VR demos I played. Loosely inspired by the 80s arcade and Atari classic, Battlezone plops you in the cockpit of a high-tech tank and sets you loose on a play field teeming with enemies. The game notably takes great advantage of VR’s verticality. I craned my head back to target high-flying aircraft with minigun fire, then glanced down at my virtual dashboard to spot enemy tank locations. The shooting mechanics felt tight and satisfying, too. — Sid Shuman

Cool VR detail: Calling out two for this one! First, looking to the left and seeing your tank’s cannon move up and down as you aim with the right stick on your DualShock 4. Also, sitting in an honest-to-goodness tank cockpit, complete with panels upon panels of flashy lights, knobs, and buttons.

PlayStation VR

Thumper

Thumper on PS4

On paper, Thumper sounds like the kind of game that would be way too intense to play in virtual reality, but thanks to its track-based gameplay and constant focal point (the shiny space beetle you control) it’s actually one of the most comfortable VR experiences I’ve had. After trying Thumper on PlayStation VR, there’s no question that that’s how I’m going to play through it this October. — Justin Massongill

Cool VR Detail: Leaning forward to lower your vantage point and get right behind that chrome beetle — everything feels faster when you’re right on top of the track!


Golem

Golem, Image 02

This one’s exciting because a) it’s unapologetically ambitious and b) it’s being designed by veteran developers including Jaime Griesemer and Marty O’Donnell. In this PlayStation VR exclusive, players are cast as a bedridden character who can control towering, sword-wielding creatures. The game’s full scope is still shrouded in mystery, but I did face off against another golem. As my foe swung his enormous sword, I adjusted my PS Move to parry its incoming attacks. This one could be very, very cool. — Sid Shuman

Cool VR detail: To move your character, you simply lean forward, back, or to the side — and it works really well. These kinds of gameplay advancements will prove vital to the growing VR movement as developers and players adapt to the medium’s wider palette.


Headmaster

Placed into a mysterious “Football Improvement Center” (read: a dark, unsettling soccer field), players are made to hit balls into a goal using only head movements, tracked via PlayStation VR’s high-precision sensors. It takes a little getting used to, but before long you’ll be heading oncoming soccer balls into strategically placed bonus switches around the goal and field. Throughout the demo, things get progressively tougher… and progressively stranger. Let’s just say a piñata is involved. — Justin Massongill

Cool VR Detail: Looking up at the lone spotlight on the field and watching the light flare across my field of vision.


Until Dawn: Rush of Blood

Until Dawn Rush of Blood

This one came out of left field: an on-rails shooter based on PS4’s surprise hit Until Dawn. Featuring appearances from Until Dawn’s masked murderer and other unfriendly guests, plus nods to light-gun shooters of yore like shootable ammo crates that yield upgraded firepower, Rush of Blood plays like a midway attraction designed by John Carpenter. I got a strong House of the Dead / Time Crisis vibe, right down to shooting off-screen or flicking your wrist to reload your weapon. Rush of Blood carves out its own identity though and, get this, has me pining for a revival of the light gun shooter genre. I’ll take it! — Justin Massongill

Cool VR Detail: An on-rails shooter where you can actually look around! I spotted lots of little secrets while playing Rush of Blood, just by looking for them.


Wayward Sky

Wayward Sky

Wayward Sky proves that not everything in virtual reality needs to be first-person. Using a wonderful laser-guided point-and-click mechanic, players guide the story’s main protagonist indirectly but with impressive precision. Upon reaching one of Wayward Sky’s frequently placed puzzles, it switches to a first-person viewpoint so you can reach out and solve it using your PlayStation Move motion controllers. Keep an eye on this one.

Cool VR Detail: Being placed directly into the game’s cutscenes — it’s like standing on stage during a play instead of sitting in the audience.

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58 Comments

5 Author Replies

  • AssaultMonkey150

    So excited for the future of gaming! Tempted to preorder PSVR later today!

    • Justin Massongill
      Justin Massongill

      Every time I get a chance to play PS VR, the wait for launch becomes more and more difficult.

  • gor1llap1mp

    Just pre ordered on Amazon, BOOM!

    • sharpened_sense

      I literally clicked refresh constantly for 20min. On the amazon app and the preorder finally showed up just to tell me amazon error. Wish I could have tried to preorder this at best buy instead. Screw Amazon

    • Kablammo!

  • Cannot wait until I can try this myself. Preordered already!

  • gor1llap1mp

    Hey Justin, could you tell us what games are Move only? Im reluctant to buy extra controllers but don’t mind if I have too. BTW, Rez FTW!

    • Justin Massongill
      Justin Massongill

      I don’t know whether there will be alternate control options for certain games, but here’s how we played the games mentioned in the story:

      Rez Infinite: DualShock 4
      Job Simulator: PS Move
      SuperHyperCube: DualShock 4
      Battlezone: DualShock 4
      Thumper: DualShock 4
      Golem: PS Move
      Headmaster: Neither (you use your head)
      Until Dawn: Rush of Blood: PS Move
      Wayward Sky: PS Move

  • gor1llap1mp

    Aaaaannnndddd, just like that…Amazon just sold out!

    • BlueBl1zzard

      Wow, already? People aren’t messing around!

    • I just pre-ordered from Best Buy, free shipping too! Hopefully they will fill my order day 1. I think Game Stop has pre-orders available still too.

    • I think Best Buy might still have some left for pre order

  • I’m so happy I was able to pre order Playstation VR from amazon! It sold out lightning fast! I’m ready for the Matrix. :)

  • BlueBl1zzard

    Thumper and RIGS are two of the experiences I’m looking forward to most! Can’t wait for PSVR!

    • I keep hearing raves about Thumper! Super interested in RIGS too, but unforgiveably, I STILL haven’t had a chance to try

  • gor1llap1mp

    Just a friendly reminder, I’m sure Amazon will refresh their stock but they are offering FREE shipping while Gamestop is not.

  • Secured my Amazon pre order. My body is ready for the VR revolution!!

  • Xcaligamer1

    If I can prepare order just the core psvr in store next week then I’ll be at Walmart early

  • They still have preorders at Bestbuy canada, but i am waiting for the core. Have the camera and my brother is letting me have his old move controller.

  • KuSh_SnIpEs

    happy to say that i was able to pre-order it, my local Gamestop opened at 10 am on the dot and i was the first person in!

    can’t wait to receive this on launch day. i’m anxious to see what PlayStation VR will be able to do first hand. will definitely be buying quite a few VR titles when this releases.

    better get them while they are available. seems as though they sold out at target and Walmart since the links were removed from the pre-order page, amazon ran out as well from the looks of it. also, the Gamestop link is not functional (it was a few minutes ago) so they most likely ran out of pre-orders, cant even search up “playstation vr” because it wont work.

    Good luck finding and reserving it before they run out. don’t wait till the end of the day, just to be safe.

    i hope to see you all in the virtual world come October!

    • KuSh_SnIpEs

      update: seems as though gamestop fixed their issues and are still available for pre-order so get em while you still can!

    • I just pre-ordered through them, thankfully it is still available. :-)

  • Preordered the bundle on Amazon this morning. Can’t wait.

  • IcedDice777

    Got mine preordered at Amazon :)

    Looking forward to some quirky games! Mr. Mosquito (PS2) Jumping Flash (PS1) should be remastered for VR. Get to it Sony ;)

    • Justin Massongill
      Justin Massongill

      Hah! I’m not sure I could handle Jumping Flash in VR!

    • I loved Jumping Flash, I’ve had the same thought :)

    • Jumping Flash brings back memories from when i was a kid, thanks dude. I would buy the PS1 classic in a heart but the PS4 wont do it and only a few PS1 classics work on the vita….

    • *in a heartbeat*

  • Does that mean we can summon Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters now using the move controller to flip cards and turns? If so, where can I get the first copy?

  • Couldn’t help myself, pre-ordered the bundle.

  • Still has the “pre-order” on Best Buy (doesn’t show sold out, or unavailable anywhere). Think Wal-Mart still has some too (that company sucks though, so people are probably avoiding them until they’re desperate).

  • I love this format with ultra-quick tiddly-bits, surrounding an area of discussion — in this case, VR, a subject near and dear to my heart.

    I was lucky enough to snag a Canadian PSVR Bundle pre-order via Bestbuy after they had sold-out on Amazon a scant 5 minutes after going live. Playstation VR is going to be an incredibly hot product for the holidays. It may even be the ‘hot toy’ that will have children wailing after, and adults engaging in unlawful (though impassioned) fisticuffs for.

  • Twilight_Error

    Looks like a great lineup so far, and we’re not even close to launch. We know that Gran Turismo will have a VR offering, and who knows what we’ll see at E3 this year.

    I think Sony will have the most success with making the best racing and flying experiences possible, along with an emphasis on social interaction. Too bad that we no longer have Playstation Home. Maybe they’ll bring it back, as Playstation City or something like that. It’s the social interaction that’s going to make this technology become invaluable, along with the best stationary VR experiences possible (i.e., racing, flying, tank combat, stuff like that).

  • I so want to love this product but I am on the fence only because I wear prescription glasses. I tried PSVR over my glasses at PSX and it took awhile to get the “right” position. I realize this wasn’t the final version and I should try it without glasses as I am nearsighted but it still is a concern for me.

  • BEYOND HYPED!!

    Hoping for some TRON action, imagine piloting a recognizer. Or maybe some Last Starfighter action with a Death Blossom volley. :D

  • Is Drive Club VR no more?

  • ColonelOCorn

    What about a pirate ship captain VR game?

    Navigation by map and stars to other islands/ports
    Fight other ships with cannons which leads to
    S W A S H B U C K L I N G against other pirates with ye olde swords and guns
    SWINGING ON ROPES from ship to ship
    Recruit more mates
    POLLY ON SHOULDER chewing crackers in your ear
    UPGRADEABLE PIRATE PROSTHETIC PARTS (would be hilarious if animated)
    Find treasure maps and BOOTY ARRRRRR

    Helicopter gunner/pilot (think the movie Firebirds) VR game

    Single player campaign as either one but then
    Online co-op option, one friend pilot, one the gunner
    MULTIPLAYER?
    Aim where you look – Don’t black out
    (strawberry gum not included)

  • Shadowtroops

    Is there going to be ways to try VR in the stores? I want to try VR before actually buying. Thanks

  • Remember people. these are PlayStation employees!

    These are not objective opinions and reviews. I’m not saying these games are good or bad, or that what they are saying are lies. But they are paid to promote their products and only focus on the positive while never mentioning any of the negatives.

    Wait for real reviews after release if you want more complete information.

    • PanTheMan16

      Yup. I said the same thing and Sid told me he wouldn’t put his name on something if he thought it was b/s. I’m a big fan of Sid, but obviously he doesn’t have a choice. Unless he means that if he thinks it’s b/s he’ll put one of the other blog guys on it. lol

    • Justin Massongill
      Justin Massongill

      Like PanTheMan said, we won’t put our names on something if we don’t believe in it. I stand by my work!

    • I’ve used both PSVR and oculus and neither are worth the current price tag. Are they cool? Yes. Are they pixelated, overpriced and overhyped? yes.

    • Additionally, you are implying that certain review sites are completely honest about their opinion. I can assure you that this is not always the case. A lot of what the guys here are saying has been echoed across the net. These are cool games. I do worry about RIGS control scheme, and I hope that they allow for joystick controls (head movement would let you look around) but all the games listed in this story have received various praise. Not just from the PSblog.

    • I’m not saying you guys are lying at all. But I guarantee, you wouldn’t tell us if there were certain aspects that needed to be improved or even broken. Not dishonest, just incomplete!

  • Man I am unbelievably excited for this lol!! And I got my preorder bundle today :D :D. I’ve been using the Gear VR a ton, nice taste of what VR can be, but now I can’t wait to try out a more advanced device, and with all these games to play :O gonna be awesome!

  • Most excited just for the ability to play my PS4 games on a virtually projected five metre screen within the headset, which is really the feature that sold me on getting one, ’cause I can NOT fit bigger than a 32″ TV in my apartment.

    But games like EVE: Valkyrie, Golem, and Until Dawn: Rush of Blood are getting me excited for the actual VR aspect.

    I really hope that No Man’s Sky receives the necessary updates to become PSVR compatible, ’cause that right there is, as it stands right now, probably the king of all killer apps.

  • Yall want waaaay too much money for a small screen inches from your face that is pixelated badly.

    Chop the price in half or more and maybe it won’t fail once the masses actually get to use the overrated equipment.

  • Thumper reminds me of Dyad.

  • Even though I have a PS Camera and 2 move controllers, I got my PSVR preordered today. I wanted to be one of the first adopters (would be AWESOME if the first however many were numbered)!

    I am so excited for PSVR… it’s going to be a LONG 6 months… but I’m looking forward to the anticipation and being able to play No Man’s Sky July-September will probably distract me from the anxiety of waiting. Especially if I’ll be able to continue my journey to the center of the galaxy within Virtual Reality. (Not at all subtle nudge nudge)

  • SlyCooperFan100

    A little disappointed that Ace Combat 7 isn’t in this list. Really looking forward to more details, it’s my most-anticipated PS VR game.

  • Still no Wipeout on sight? Pretty lame, that would fit perfectly into VR.

  • Alien-Hunter

    I haven’t yet made my Pre-Order so chances are I will not get mine no where near to release day but I don’t mind waiting a few more months if needed. As long as the VR industry is doing good, I’m happy. I really hope this will be the start of VR. After trying the Oculus back in 2014 I see no reason why it shouldn’t be.

  • SPLATTERBRAINS82

    Ordered 2 bundles at GameStop yesterday , they only had 5 left before I got there. Can’t wait , me and my wife are gonna love multiplayer in VR!!

  • MCEAPROGAMER

    I love new experiences, It’s the new one I want.

  • I still haven’t read anywhere is you can watch blu-rays in vr or 3d movies in cinema mode.

  • Enter in the world unlike anything you have experienced. Enter the domain of Reality. Enter the world of Virtuality. Become the man of existence. Greatness Awaits….

  • I’ve been trying to get an answer for years, and I know my question won’t be answered here, but what the hell: Is there going to be any kind of new motion controls for PSVR? Move is great and all, but it is 6 year old tech! They look and feel dated, and sitting next to the sexy new headset, it feels awfully imbalanced, especially seeing what Oculus and Valve are doing. What’s the deal Sony???

  • Pre Ordered the core bundle! Can’t wait for October!!!

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