What’s Up PlayStation Nation,
I’ll admit that I didn’t know what to expect when I stood in line at PlayStation Experience 2015 awaiting a go at the then newly announced PlayStation VR. My anticipation had been building since the moment it was announced that it would be available to demo at the convention. To insure that I didn’t miss out, I registered for every single demo time slot available through the PSX app. Talk about determination! I arrived early and saw the long lines that wrapped around the two story demo area in four different sections, feeling slightly defeated – questioning my love for gaming because so many others had beaten me to the punch. But I quickly shook it off, fell in line and began to immediately get sucked into the excitement with others who were just as curious as me. As the first demos got underway and the lines started trickling down closer and closer to the experience, I couldn’t help but to think of the critics and naysayers who had ranted on with assumptions and negativity whilst spewing warnings of headaches, sickness, and an impending plague upon users of device. But even with all of that, I wasn’t swayed in the slightest. I indulged into conversation with other gamers who had all different ideas of what to expect, making hypothetical comparisons with other devices and even describing it as being similar to Star Trek’s holodeck! It was a wonderful exchange of ideas and expectations among fellow gamers.
As the line dwindled down after about a thirty minute wait, I found myself walking up to the demo area. My first demo of choice? Until Dawn: Rush of Blood (it was called Blood Rush at that time) – a VR spin off of the original game. As I walked up to the seating area, the attendant gave me instructions on how to use the VR device as a whole. This game required me to interact with both of the PlayStation move motion controllers. The headset and the headphones were easy to put on and were adjustable. I was surprised at how light weight they were. Immediately, I was transported to another place, completely immersed and in awe of what I was seeing and hearing. Without going into the details of the game itself, I can only describe it as being blown away. The demo lasted for approximately 5 minutes but I didn’t want it to end. The moment it was done, I WAS HOOKED.
The next demo…The Kitchen. The only demo at PSX that did not allow the public to see what the user was experiencing as it happened. You HAD to experience it for yourself. As I stood awaiting my turn, there were two people ahead of me. There was one guy that had just begun the demo and after about thirty seconds I heard a terrifying screech, followed by continuous screams. Then suddenly, this man walked away from the demo yelling very colorful expletives which I am not at liberty to repeat. The two people ahead of me began to question their decisions to participate in this particular demo. As much as I love horror games, even I questioned it…but I would not be moved. When it was finally my turn, I approached The Kitchen on an adrenaline high. I was now comfortable with applying the headset and the headphones on my own and I did so without hesitation. Once I began, I could only describe the feeling I had as feeling like I awoke in the same room as the guy in the movie Saw. The game experience was unbelievable! Don’t get me wrong, it was horrifying but beautiful. I found myself smiling intently at the same things that other people were quitting the experience early for seeing. I was too amazed to be experiencing such an account from somewhat of a firsthand experience. At the end of The Kitchen, the attendant stared at me like I was insane. I had to explain to him that horror makes me happy and no, I may not be normal.
I took a few seconds to absorb what I had just experienced and then I immediately got in line for the next one. Then after that, I got in another line. I spent my entire day at PSX trying out VR demos and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life.
This was MY personal experience. I, along with very few others had the opportunity to try it before anyone else. Despite this, others who have never even sniffed the device continued to be critical of it. Because I know what VR consists of, I’ll now be picking up my very own at the midnight release of the PlayStation VR. I said all of this because no one can tell you how to experience gaming…it is a very personal experience. For me, my VR experience allowed me to feel and observe the next advancement in gaming technology. It is truly a gaming masterpiece. VR is a virtual world that gives you the experience of being somewhere else in a different time, at a different place, sometimes as a different person, all without ever leaving your home. VR is life!