I’ll be honest, I’m a bit skeptical with VR gaming so far. I haven’t really seen anything jaw dropping and overall I’ve seen it as a fad come and go over the generations. Normally VR gaming consists of simplistic games and simplistic movement, but could Sony finally get out of that area? Well after trying their headset myself I will say that it has a lot of potential, but it still feels like a fad.
We finally got to try Project Morpheus at E3 and we were naturally impressed with it. Each demo was slightly different and showcased a new aspect of the hardware. One game had you use Move controllers to control arms and weapons, another had you racing down a mountain, and so on. I will stick to my favorite, the Street Luge.
Street Luge is simple. You sit down in a chair, they strap the helmet on, and you look around as you go flying down a mountain. The game was to dodge cars, go under trucks, and pick up bonuses along the way. You controlled the game by leaning your head to the left or right to move in that direction. Otherwise you had free will to look around and enjoy the scenery.
This was a great demo game because it shows how well the headset worked in tracking your head. Any slight movement at all was shown on the screen, so if you got a little lazy you would see your head drop down a tiny bit. Quick motion was fluent and hardly any blur at all. Then to top it off, it knew when you were looking around instead of leaning to the side. I tried multiple motions to try and “trick it” but it never slipped up.
That being said I really enjoyed looking around the map, but controlling the game with my head was a bit weird. There really was no “slight” turning to it at all. Either you dove one way or the other, no matter how hard I tried it was rather hard to just nudge myself into another lane. People trying it with me also had the same problem as I asked right after.
The fun thing about the game is that if you let it take you in, you really get a thrill out of it. Once you pick up steam, you feel the speed as it moves all around you, or you quickly glance to the side. Sliding under trucks or narrowly missing an obstacle had me clutching my seat because it truly comes at your face.
Gaming aside, what I really wanted to test was how it fit and felt. I’m a person that can’t stand 3D, I get headaches fast from it and hardly notice a benefit from it. So I was worried something similar would happen here. Overall the headset fits perfectly! When wearing it, you hardly feel it on your face at all and there really isn’t a whole lot of frontal weight to it either so you never really notice it. I actually only really noticed the headphones on my ears, which they put over the headset for sound. The front goggle area fits flush against your eyes and you hardly notice any black area there at all.
As for headaches? Didn’t have any and my eyes were not irritated at all from the game. One thing I personally noticed was just that feeling of missing something. We only played for maybe 10 minutes at a time and it was long enough to make your head feel the pressure and want to reach up and grab at air when it was taken off.
Resolution wise it was alright. I’m not sure if it was the games or what, but things didn’t feel super crisp to me like your typical AAA release. Scope wise, like stated above, it was rather wide and you get a massive view angle to the world. I felt like turning my head was natural, instead of trying to peek my eyes over to the side.
For added benefit I also had Alyssa try it and have her give me an opinion. As for the game, she loved it. She was smiling and happy to play it and wanted to go back to play more. She was more excited about different demo’s than I was. She did however have one small complaint. Her head is smaller than my huge noggin, so she struggled to get it adjusted just right. She noted the guy stated the headset was on as tight as it would go, but it was still loose for her and moving about. At one point she had to re-adjust it and said it constantly felt like it was going to fall off.
Overall while it worked extremely well, Sony didn’t give me a strong enough reason to get too excited for it. I love the idea and would love to play games with this new hardware, but what they had to showcase was nothing amazing. They were simple tech demo’s and I happen to be a PlayStation Move owner and tech demo’s is pretty much all we ever got. If Sony could implement the headset into the next Killzone, Call of Duty, or some AAA game I will be fully on-board. Until then it just feels like a really awesome idea. I was somewhat disappointed because right down the hall was Oculus doing just that. Personally I look forward to playing games with a controller and headset, instead of using the headset or Move controllers.