A&E — 03 November 2017

Ian Jones

@IDJONESPHOTOG

In the Sept. 1 issue of “The Express,” I discussed how I’d heard that virtual reality systems like the HTC Vive and the PlayStation VR were allegedly problematic for the disabled.

I noted how I’d heard that there could be some calibration issues for people sitting down, or shorter people.

I’d heard. Long story short: I didn’t do enough research for my Sept. 1 column, and I retract what I said. The PS VR is for almost everyone.

I’d seen the PS VR demonstration booth at Best Buy for a while, but I remembered what I’d heard and thought it wasn’t going to work. Finally I got the nerve up and asked the sales rep if I’d have problems. He shook his head. “Not at all,” he said, and I tried it.

Not to date myself, but I’ve been gaming since the Atari 2600. I’ve played a lot of incredible games of all sorts, including many traditional first person shooters. None of them hold a candle to the fun I had and continue to have with the PS VR.

I was given a choice of four or five titles to demo – the highly stylized first person shooter “Superhot” being one of them. I’d seen the YouTuber Jacksepticeye play it, and it looked like a lot of fun. Forget the “Final Fantasy” fishing game that was one of the options offered. I wanted to kick some virtual butt.

Before I knew it, the headset and headphones were on my head, and the adrenaline was coursing through my veins. It truly felt like I’d left Best Buy and had dropped into another three-dimensional world.

I’ll admit to a little bit of trouble adjusting to the system’s controls, but that’s only because I’ve never gamed where I can’t look down and see the buttons on the controller.

In the few minutes I had with “Superhot,” I was hitting the red, faceless enemies with my fists, dodging and catching bullets in the air – because, hey, why not? – and throwing ninja stars.

Over the course of a week, I debated buying the system. I eventually decided to go for it. Setup of the system was a little bit of a chore, but that’s always the case with new electronics.

The demo disc that comes with the system shows even more of what the PS VR is capable of.

One demo on the disc, “Ocean Descent,” has you underwater in a diving cage, facing a great white shark. That was really convincing, as was another demo, the sci-fi “Scavenger’s Odyssey.” On my list for a future purchase is Star Trek: Bridge Crew, where you’re on the bridge of the USS Enterprise.

Whether you’re disabled or not, I recommend checking out the PlayStation VR system. If gaming technology has improved this much in my 40-something years on this planet, it’ll be interesting to see where it goes from here—especially if it’s this inclusive.

The PlayStation VR bundle, including the headset, camera, two controllers, ear buds, a processor unit, the necessary cables, and the “PlayStation VR Worlds” demo disc, retails for $449.00.

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Rachel Hanna

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