PlayStation Virtual Reality Review - How I Got My Wife To Try Gaming!
This is not how to use a controller. When will they learn..
Do you have a wife that isn't into gaming?
I have a wife. I like gaming. I have often thought if I could combine the two hobbies, it would make for generally fun times at home.
I used to try and involve my then girlfriend a few years ago. It would usually involve me convincing her that it was going to be fun for some time, with gleeful enthusiastic smiles and words of encouragement. Eventually she'd give it a go. She obviously wouldn't be able to use the controller, so after several minutes of staring at the floor and spinning on the spot, I'd eventually manage to coach her to walk forward. As soon as we'd managed to get over that hurdle, then we'd generally come across the first bad guy/puzzle. Obviously being unable to properly control her on screen character invariably meant she'd scream loudly, die, throw the controller at me and then immediately fall asleep. Apart from being unable to control anything on screen, she also can't watch one for longer than about a minute before passing into a dream state. I don't know why. I find games pretty exciting, captivating, interesting and generally fun. She obviously feels differently.
I married her anyway (she's a great cook).
I gave up on gaming with the wife for years. I've generally gamed with my friends, or alone for some time now. I've become an expert at shooting bad guys in the nether regions with scoped weapons. She contributes by occasionally bringing me a beer or a cup of tea. All was well and we had a system that worked well.. But I always thought it a shame that she wouldn't get involved due to her inability to use her thumbs. Monkeys can do it. Gorillas can do it. But not my wife.
You'll need all of this stuff. The headset, the camera and ideally the move controllers as well. Plus of course, a Playstation!
Then.. Something changed. I bought some new gadgets..
I decided to buy myself a PlayStation VR headset and a PlayStation Pro. There was no particular reason for this, other than I thought it looked cool and my mate nagged me to do so as he's just bought one and needed someone to play with on his.
You set up the camera so it can see where you are, then you have to hook up the move controllers for the camera to see and of course plug in the headset.
The nice part about the PlayStation VR (well all the VR headsets actually) is that you don't just get the game on the headset, you also get it on the screen. So if there are two of you in there, you can see what the person with the headset on is looking at. That means that it isn't a totally solitary system and actually enables you to play even single player games with more than one person, as long as you're prepared to shout out tips and swap the headset between you.
Anyway I hooked it all up and decided to ask the wife if she wanted a go. I used the demo for resident evil, titled Kitchen. On this demo you sit tied to a chair in a kitchen, while a seriously creepy zombie type woman takes out her bad hair day on you. It's pretty freaky and I must admit, I screamed like a girl when I played it. I thought that would be a good one for my unsuspecting wife to try.
We powered it up. She got the headset into place. The zombie woman came into shot. This was the moment of truth. Was my wife going to fall asleep?
This is a close approximation of her expression..
Resident Evil. This will get you screaming!
We have emotional response. She's not a replicant!
It took only seconds before she started pulling faces and making odd sounds. Then her hands started twitching, then her feet. Then the screaming started, along with her trying to scoot the chair backwards across the room.
I took all of these as good signs. She was actually responding to the game. This was great! I gave her a break from fear and we looked through some of the other demo bits and bobs. There are quite a few demos on the PlayStation store and more coming all the time. Then we decided to put on Batman. Batman is one of the best games on the PlayStation VR at the moment. You control it with your hands. It's intuitive. Its interesting. Its actually pretty creepy in places and will make you jump. Or at least I did anyway..
This isnt a long game but is essential for Playstation VR
Batman Arkham VR
Batman was the game that did it. We managed to have an entire evening of playing the game together. We've never done that before. Batman isn't a long game and you'll do it in an evening, but it is a very impressive game for VR. It really makes you feel like you're in the batcave, which is huge and the best part is that the move controllers are your hands so if you want to pick something up, you just reach for it and look at it by holding it in front of your face. There is very little messing about, as that's exactly how you do it in real life.
The story basically involves you investigating some murders and generally looking at stuff and solving puzzles. It is not a bash and smash action game, but one where you spend some time looking around and can do it at your own pace. Those sorts of games are great for inexperienced gamers in my experience. I would definitely recommend it.
This is how someones wife (not mine) looks while playing.
Good? Bad? Worth it?
I have to say that the PlayStation VR has been a hit so far in my house. I think its great and the good thing is my wife absolutely loves it as she can actually use it easily.
It has got me excited as the general gaming experience is just so immersive and with the right games, downright scary. I am very much looking forward to where the system will go, as the games so far look good but I know this is just the beginning as at the time of writing, it has only been out for a few months.
The best part is that it is so easy to use. A lot of the games are controlled by you looking in the right direction and then pointing at stuff with the move controllers. They're not all like that as you do have more complex games, but there is a lot of accessible stuff on there that even non gamers can be impressed with even if they wouldn't be able to play a normal game.
I'm very much looking forward to the day when I'll be playing with multiple friends all hooked up to their VR headsets and playing cooperatively. Not long now, I just need to convince some other chums to get them. In the meantime it is definitely worth it if you want a nice social system and you never know it might get your wife into gaming too!