The world of VR is exploding. Some of the gadgets out there today are truly mind-blowing, allowing you to even do such things as juggle, albeit virtually! The VR Aim Controller from PlayStation takes your immersion into the VR world even further. The plastic firearm, in combination with PlayStation’s VR headset, takes you from your world into the world of a super soldier.
Aesthetically, the controller is simple and pipe-like in its design. To look at, it’s pretty unremarkable. It is similar in materials to PlayStation’s VR headset with its grey plastic, but the shape isn’t really reminiscent of a firearm in the real world. While you may find this disappointing, it has been done on purpose. When you are immersed in the VR, the designers can transform this simple-looking plastic object into whatever you desire; a pistol, shotgun, assault rifle, or anything else gamers want. The shell is smooth, there’s a trigger button for real gunplay feel, and it is very lightweight.
To work, the VR Aim has a coloured bulb on the front and multiple motion sensors that work in combination to track where it is in the 3D space. There are also gyroscopes within its chassis and the full range of DualShock 4 controls on the chassis. You hold the device with both hands, giving you full access to the buttons and controls
Video: Farpoint - Developing The PlayStation VR Aim Controller | PS VR
This controller felt good in our hands and the fact that it was not heavy meant that we were still comfortable even after hours of play. The trigger button offered a little resistance, so gunplay felt all the more realistic compared to playing with regular controllers such as PlayStation Move.
There were a few limitations with the tech, but although we had a few jitters and a little drift, our experience was positive, and it was slightly more accurate than other VR gaming gadgets such as the motion wands from Sony. When playing Dick Wilde and Farpoint, the effect was very impressive. Your hands and weapons are tracked 1:1 so you can virtually examine the weapons you use or find. You can spot intricate details meaning that shooting at enemies feels more intuitive.
One problem we encountered is actually a PlayStation VR flaw generally. You can’t track the peripheral when you turn 180°. Some games have workarounds for this, but having the DualShock 4 controls on means you can use the analogue stick to control it in a traditional way to give you that full coverage. As for its battery life, it lasted more than 10 hours after a full charge. It charges with a Micro USB, the same as used with other controllers, so it was easy to charge.
There are, at the moment, five compatible games: Dick Wilde, Arizona Sunshine, ROM: Extraction, The Brookhaven Experiment, and Farpoint. Usually, Farpoint comes as a bundle with the device.
Whilst there are some limitations with PlayStation’s VR technology, we really loved this satisfying gadget. It really made us feel much more immersed in our virtual world, allowing us to examine our weapons more closely, physically ‘feeling’ them and shooting with more accuracy as if we were really submerged in our virtual world.
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