With the gaming world talking constantly about VR (and Sony Interactive Entertainment seeming to throw most of their financial muscle behind it these days alongside the PS4 with PlayStation VR) it’s somewhat disheartening to see yet another area of gaming where the PS Vita is left standing by the wayside.
It has to be said that the world as we know it is steadily going more virtual – and that means, all of your favourite games are getting a similar, insanely virtual upgrade of their own. While I’d love to say that many Vita classics would have patches available to have VR functionality that just hasn’t happened.
The reality is that on a technological handheld gaming and VR simply don’t mix. The Vita is no stranger to games that make use of Augmented Reality (AR) technology and this has been utilised since the console’s launch, to great effect in games such as Tearaway and Frobisher Says, not to mention the Invizimals series (although the less said about those the better) but handhelds just aren’t built for it.
What about displaying 3D imagery for gaming? While Nintendo managed its 3D display for the 3DS stunning those who didn’t think it was possible (myself included), the PS Vita has managed its own 3D trickery bringing games to life reaching out of the screen with the visually stunning Sine Mora which uses stereoscopic 3D and red/blue glasses allowing the on-screen action to leap right out of the Vita’s OLED screen and into the room around you. But it’s still not VR.
The closest the Vita has actually managed to come to VR so far has – astonishingly – come from the homebrew community. We’ve all seen the headsets available for smartphones turning most modern phones into low cost VR devices but it took indie developer Beatshapers to turn the PS Vita into a VR headset.
Unfortunately for us, that leaves the Vita missing out on some great games that have been released or adapted for VR or games that would have been high on our PS Vita VR wish list…
Thirty years old and still going strong (and if online reports have anything to prove, it’s that it’s become even more popular now it’s gone VR), get all of your exploring and fighting needs with the seemingly never ending universe – this is Elite, upgraded beyond your wildest dreams…and for the future.
One thing we have to mention – Elite’s gone multiplayer, meaning if you like to play on your lonesome, then think again before plunging in. For everyone else, the MM stylings make for a truly updated Elite adventure.
Yes! Now you can finally rock out virtually too! This version of guitar karaoke has gone even more awesome, and now not only can you pretend you’re rocking out in front of an adoring audience, now you can actually see them too! Follow the chords on screen, strum away – be the musical genius you feel you are in your heart…even if you can’t actually play anything in real life. One thing – for fans of the non-virtual version who really liked the option of playing any instrument, we have slightly bad news – in the virtual game, you can only play the guitar. But, the guitar is the best, so do you care, really? This is the rock band of the future – we’re sorry it didn’t work out the way you once thought it would, folks.
If you’re not so into the ‘gaming’ aspect of online gaming, and are looking for more of a (potentially terrifying) challenge, then The Climb is what you’re after.
Scale cliff faces and glance upon absolutely horrific, vomit-inducing drops – all from the safety of your own home, via a trusty VR headset. There are leaps aplenty, finger-holds and ledges – you have a cliff, and you have to climb it. This is almost a workout – and you’ll definitely be sweating, if not from the intensity. A word of warning – this is not one for the queasy, or for those afraid of heights (obviously).
You have to have heard of Minecraft – don’t pretend you haven’t. Among one of the world’s favourite games, it’s also high up there as one of the best free slots app around. And, if there’s any game which lends itself neatly to VR, it’s Minecraft – just imagine running around, building and destroying things – it’s so easy to make it all happen with a VR headset – check out how Minecraft-y it is, and how much fun, and then get playing for yourself.
Sadly we just have to make do with the standard version of the game for the Vita although we can at least take some comfort in knowing that it’s at least the system’s biggest selling game ever with 1 in 7 Vita owners having purchased a copy! Yeah, it’s that big!
The PC and other systems may have their own VR ready first person shooters, but just imagine if we were able to play one of the Vita’s flagship titles in VR? The game is a stunning example of the PS Vita’s capabilities as it stands and is a great shoot-em-up in its own right and can easily stand alongside the best that the PlayStation 3 has to offer – the system that the Vita has been compared to on a technological level – and being drawn into the game world on a virtual level would make the game experience complete.
Would it turn Killzone into the perfect game for the Vita? Quite probably.