I suddenly bought myself a Playstation VR.
No consumer product should need this many cables.
Fortunately, once the headset is on, they are all forgotten. Yes, my desk looks messier. Yes, the Playstation now has cables snaking around both the front and back. Yes, resolution could be even better. Yes, there is an extra box to power, which I put some guards on justdistract a little bit from the extra cable-ness of everything.
But it works! It is VR, proper and good. It can be the future, and I already wish all my games were made for VR.
Entering the matrix
When you activate the headset and put it on, you end up looking at whichever screen you were already on, hovering in front of you against a black background. It is less sharp than you are used to, but it has a greater sense of size.
Then you enter VR mode. Usually, you click past a couple of standard warning texts, sometimes also one featuring a camera image so you can ensure you are not too close to something you can hit by accident.
Your view goes black. Somehow, it is a deeper black than that of a flat screen. The black of emptiness about to be filled.
Then, there is light, and you are floating in a proper world, attached through the viewport of your headset.
I suspect that feeling will not get old in a long time. It is a wow combined with an immediate question why all games are not like this. Why have we had to wait for so long to get here?
Any motion sickness?
None at all. The first time I tried Playstation VR at a friend's place I did feel a short burst of discomfort a few times when games moved the camera unexpectedly, but that has been it. I have mostly played standing up, too, and neither balance nor dizziness or motions sickness have even approached being an issue. It seems clear games just need to be thoughtfully designed to work well for even extended sessions.
Here are the games I have bought so far:
Yes, the headset is pretty comfortable too. The first few times I tried, I had to fiddle a little to get a fit which felt good. A few times I got it to press onto an eyebrow or similar things, but even the first time I tried my own headset I found it much quicker to get it to sit well on my head. This is with glasses underneath it, too. And usually large over-ear headphones, which I put on over the VR headset. A look of isolation from the world, to be sure, but surprisingly comfortable.
Is it worth it?
Counting just cost per possible gaming hour, the Playstation VR is a rather outrageous purchase. I paid more for the headset plus camera than I did for my Playstation 4 itself more than a year ago. There are actually somewhat more games supporting VR out there than I expected, but the number of those I actually want is limited.
(Fortunately, all games flow great so I feel no urge to get the pro version.)
But then comes the emotion. The feeling of owning and enjoying a piece of the future, a piece which works surprisingly well and provides fun already, but which also clearly points toward even better versions in the future. I am completely happy having spent the money to get to own a piece of that, and to in that small way help that that future come closer.