We are very much on the cusp of virtual reality becoming… well, becoming a reality. After much time being associated with slightly naff, dated ideas and feeling more 80s than a cameo from Pat Sharpe in Stranger Things, the launch of PSVR finally marks the spot where this technology hits a price-point and mass market that’ll put it in reach of the vast majority of people.
And it’s good. We can tell you this, as we’ve been lucky enough to have hands-on experience with some of the best hardware and software out there, namely the HTC Vive and the Sony PSVR. It’s been met with universal acclaim from the NGB team, as indeed it has been by most people that have come into contact with it.
But there is something you’re not being told. Something that needs to be said. Because there is a very serious flaw in VR that, once uncovered by the general public, could spell the end for this fledgling idea before it’s even gotten fully started. Something that no one anticipated but which I, a renegade whistle-blower within the industry, am going to bust wide open for you right now.
Are you ready?
Well…. VR headsets ruin your hair.
Now I know this isn’t a problem for everybody because some people either don’t have hair or just aren’t vain tossers like me but seriously, almost every time I’ve used VR thus far it’s been in front of some camera or another for the NGB show. I’m a man who works very hard to add a certain volume to my mop, only to have that trounced by these headsets. What if this is the way all gaming goes from now on? My hair will be perennially flattened and lifeless, a shadow of what it once was. Some of these headsets are heavier than others; the Vive in particular clocks in at quite a weight and leaves a number of cables trailing from your bonce like a sort of wiry-Predator. The PSVR is somewhat lighter but will still threaten to squash anything but the most resilient of styles. At a Sony event we met Alice Bell from Videogamer who was sans her trademark Mohawk for this very reason.
People are having to change their identity, and more importantly their looks, to accommodate these things, and this is the reason why Virtual Reality has quite some way to go before it becomes a mainstay of how we experience games. You can have all the technology, visuals and immersive experiences you like but how many people will compromise a particularly buoyant quiff or springy afro for that?
Only kidding, it’s really good, this VR. I’ll either have to shave my head or stop whining, I suppose.