Photo: Marco Verch
By Daniel Steele
PlayStation VR, or PSVR for short, is in a unique position to put virtual reality in the hands – or on the face – of the mainstream gamer. When it releases on Oct. 13, it will be the cheapest option yet at a price point of $399, well under the price of the $599 Oculus Rift and $799 HTC Vive. This price, along with its availability to an established install base of over 40 million PS4 owners, will be virtual reality’s biggest introduction into the mass market yet.
PlayStation’s extensive publishing power to wrangle in developers to the platform also gives PSVR the potential for a stronger game lineup than its competitors. But with reports of tracking problems recently surfacing, it remains to be seen whether PlayStation’s option is worth committing to VR at all.
When the tech works, however, there are exciting experiences to be had. Below are five PSVR launch games worth checking out.
100ft Robot Golf
The title describes exactly what the game is, and is just as goofy as one might think. Players control giant robots that compete with each other to get their golf ball into the hole first. Destroying buildings, flying over obstacles and annoyingly blocking other’s shots are all tactics to become the Tiger Woods of all the robot golfers. The huge size of the towering robots is only made more apparent in VR.
Headmaster makes the most of head tracking by testing player’s ability to head butt various balls into hoops, cups and targets. The goal is simple, but people have said the action of banking a ball into a goal is incredibly satisfying due to the accuracy of the physics.
First available on the HTC Vive, Job Simulator puts players in the role of four menial jobs: office worker, mechanic, chef and store clerk. The graphics are cartoony, and the huge amount of objects to use and play with in each scenario is the best showcase of VR’s hilarious interactivity.
Harmonix Music VR
What’s most interesting about this game is the option to use custom music with each of its three small experiences. One part of the game is a 3D music visualizer, which reacts to whatever song the player chooses to play. Another scenario allows players to paint objects in 3D, which again pulse in reaction to the music. The last scenario has small characters who can be controlled like marionette dolls to create a flashy dance party. The painting part in particular shows how people can create limitless, interesting art through VR.
Battlezone shows just how cool a cockpit experience can be. In a Tron-like sci-fi world, players fight enemies and each other in fast-paced tank battles.