Playstation VR is new territory for Sony and gaming as a whole. They’ve been in the race for virtual reality which has raised a lot of questions as to what the Playstation VR experience and hardware will be like. So let’s dive into it.
Yes, Playstation Move controllers have found a new home in Playstation VR. Instead of struggling to develop an immersive controller Sony was able to repurpose the Playstation Move controllers for VR.
This is good news for sony as they didn’t have to go back to the drawing board to make an immersive controller for VR. But it’s also good news for you if you’re one of the people that had Playstation Move in the first place.
Playstation VR controllers are a step away from standard console controllers. They have advanced motion tracking for an in game experience that’s more than pushing buttons. Motion controls are a big part of the future of gaming and that’s precisely what they were designed for.
They also feature more of what we’ve come to expect, vibration feedback and ten hour rechargeable batteries. The standard buttons that Playstation gamers have known for decades are still there. They are laid out a bit differently but they shouldn’t feel too foreign.
The Playstation VR controllers are much like the Dualshock 4 just separated into two hands. This gives you the ability to have both hands move and interact independently with your environment. It may take time to get used to if you’re accustomed to having both hands together. Just make sure you hold them correctly and the buttons will be right where you expect them to be.
The glowing sphere isn’t just there to make them look futuristic, it’s an essential part of the motion tracking technology. The camera that tracks your head for Playstation VR also tracks the movement of the spheres.
It knows their exact size and shape and uses that to determine where your hands are and what they’re doing. This is why you need the camera not only for your Playstation VR headset but for the controllers as well.
The colour they glow is optimized for the camera, changing to suit the lighting. They glow to contrast the light in the room making them more visible to the camera. This improves tracking and your in game experience. If the spheres are flashing then they are calibrating.
The spheres are capable of making more than one million colours but have no default. They may also change to fit the mood of a game.
One word: immersion. The whole point of Playstation VR and virtual reality technology in general is to increase the level of immersion. The controller is a critical part of this experience. After all if you’re hands are on a traditional controller it’s going to feel like a traditional gaming experience and VR is anything but.
The Playstation Move controllers are so perfect for Playstation VR because they feature motion controls that are intuitive. They help improve the immersion of the VR experience rather than break it.
You can still play Playstation VR with a dualshock 4 for the majority of games, so you’re not fully on the hook to buy a ton of new hardware. But your experience will be improved with the more immersive Playstation VR controllers.
It’s a controller designed specifically for first person shooters in Playstation VR. It will be released june 30th 2017 alongside Far Point, check out the E3 trailer here. (https://youtu.be/c18R6Sb97nM)
It tracks like a gun would in the real world, further boosting the immersion of Playstation VR. It feels more like a gun in your hands so it gives that further sense of realism within the game. For fans of arcade games like Area 51 or Time crisis this will bring back some memories.
Of course the technology has improved a great deal, giving you further accuracy and range of motion than their previous version, the sharpshooter for Playstation Move.
So far it appears to be paired with Farpoint but the implications are fairly clear. This could be the way to bring first person shooters into virtual reality. It also shows that Sony isn’t going to rest on older hardware but they are investing in further innovation.
This is a bit of a new problem for gamers, as controllers in the past either had small variations, or were gimmicks for one or two titles, think Guitar hero or Rockband. Right now it’s hard to say whether a controller like the Playstation Aim will really catch on and be the new standard for first person shooters or die out like many before.
We’ll just have to wait and see but I think it’s fair to be cautiously optimistic because VR is a new factor that could push new controllers beyond being gimmicky.
The Playstation VR controllers however are more promising in their staying power. They may be upgraded over time to better fit with VR but the idea will likely stay the same. The Playstation Move didn’t have staying power because it was only half of the immersion equation and felt gimmicky.
Now that Playstation VR is here they make far more sense and are more necessary for immersion. Controllers are definitely a critical piece of the virtual reality puzzle and it will be exciting to see where they go from here.