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Old 11-04-2017, 02:21 AM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 6,268
Playstation VR Experience

I decided to give the VR experience a go and went out and purchased the VR, camera, Move controllers, Aim controller and some games:

VR Worlds,
Eagle Flight,
Star Trek Bridge Crew and

It comes well packed but the outer shell is thin and flimsy cardboard and easily torn. I wanted to keep the box in good condition, which is my habit, but yeah, easily tears.

There are multiple messages about removing the eye piece protective film in the printed instructions and on screen setup but for some reason there was none that I could find.

Connection to the PS4, while straight forward, is a messy affair. Theres a control box, HDMI cables, USB cable and a thick cable that connects to the headset. The control box connects to the PS4 via USB and the only ports are on the front of the machine, which means theres several ugly cables hanging out the front of the machine. They obstruct the disc slot and power and eject buttons. I don't think that the original PS4 designers envisioned the VR!

Attaching the camera to the top of my TV is a little tricky. Basically it ends up balancing there and is prone to moving or tilting at the worst moments. Possibly tape would hold it in place.

Fitting the VR to head and face is ok. The unit is slightly heavier than optimum and does get tiring over a couple of hours. I found some slight fogging can occur too, but it seems to never get too bad.

I found 6 feet to be about the best distance from the camera. This was a little short so I had to move some chairs around. Also had to move a coffee table. I think a dedicated space, like a games room or spare bedroom (sans the bed) would be ideal rather than the lounge.

It comes with a cheap looking set of stereo earplugs. Really nasty. Doesnt matter because mine didnt work, the right speaker failed! I went with my surround sound system.

I tried a regular non VR game first. Basically you get this huge screen projected in front of you. It was an ok experience, but its a trade between image quality and screen size.

The video was slightly blurry for me. I did try it with my reading glasses inside the VR but no improvement. Its only slight but after playing my PC games is noticeable to me.
I can actually see the pixle cross hatch pattern, but its not distracting. Flicker was not noticeable.

The VR experience really shines though. I loved it. Very immersive. Even low quality graphics get a boost with full 3D surround video.
First thing I tried was an ocean decent for sunken treasure from the VR Worlds title. In this passive "game" you basically stand there looking around at the world. Eventually you're attacked by an oversized Great White and its pretty intense. I can see the experience would easily deliver some great gaming.

I then tried the Eagle Flight where you are an eagle flying over France after some cataclysmic event where all the people have vanished and its gone back to nature. Graphics are very basic but it does give a nice sense of flight.

I then loaded up Bridge Crew and did battle with my Ubisoft account. I eventually won that and got into the actual game. It takes a while to go through the tutorials in this game but its pretty awesome to have multiple screens available. From the captains chair i have holographic screens to my left, center and right which display tactical info. Its like having three large monitors but of course thats only part of the visual world.

This feels like an RPG but I didnt get too far in cos of time constraints. I have this avatar body and when i look down I can see my avatars hands. These are well articulated and I can control each to operate all three screens comfortably. Looking down at my avatars body felt strange because its a lot thinner than I am in real life!

One odd thing, 3D sound is excellent but oddly if you turn to face a speaking character who's say, to your left, the sound will transition to the center speaker - which will be to your right... which is absolutely wrong! This would be correct for a fixed perspective like a 2D screen but is completely incorrect in a virtual environment!

Very strange taking off the VR and looking at the TV. The TV is much sharper but such a tiny FOV after the VR.

No time to try Farpoint yet. That will be next.

I decided that I will have to pull the VR cables out of the control box so I can put away the VR somewhere when not in use. The plugs dont look like they're supposed to be unplugged too often, but I cant leave the VR hanging off the TV.

I think they should have provided lens caps for the eye pieces, too much risk of dust and scratching from objects (like its own cables).

Overall its a real Wow! experience, no denying it. The urge to move around is strong, but a little unsafe unless you have a large room. Touching things in the game world feels natural, as in knocking a ball away or tapping touch screens. No lag or tearing that I could detect. Looking around and behind is smooth and natural.

I'm looking forward to some decent games. I'm interested in horror, I think VR will really take the fear factor up a notch. I dk about action. Hopefully Farpoint will reveal the potential there. I'd also like to see some photorealistic virtual maps of interesting places.
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