Be careful who you trust with your new Playstation VR 2
A video reminds us why we should be careful who we trust with our Playstation VR 2.
The Playstation VR 2 is waiting in the wings. That makes 2023 feel a little like 2016, when Sony's first VR headset was released.
Since then, many headsets have been released, but only one Playstation VR. And so the launch of its successor brings back memories of that year, which made VR headsets a mass-market product. For the first time in the history of virtual reality, you could walk into a store and buy a good headset with great VR games. It was new and exciting.
It was also the time of the first wave of viral virtual reality memes that would shape the image of the medium and that I fondly remember: of people so overwhelmed by immersion that they forgot about the physical world. With consequences for the technology, the environment, and themselves.
Please be careful with Playstation VR 2
A VR enthusiast recently reminded me of this with a video (see below). You can see a compilation of (more or less) funny VR accidents that feel like 2016, even though not all the videos are from that year and feature Playstation VR.
The video isn't just for nostalgia and amusement, it also has a purpose, expressed in the caption: "Don't let anyone use your expensive Playstation VR 2 without proper safety instructions!" Watch the video and you'll see why.
It's good advice, especially since Sony's new VR headset costs about $550. I don't even need to mention your TV or other human beings who could be unpleasantly affected by unbridled VR enthusiasm.
Virtual reality causes insurance claims
A British insurance company has seen a sharp increase in VR-related claims with the advent of virtual reality. Fortunately, the claims received are relatively harmless: One customer threw his VR controller into the TV in horror when a virtual zombie jumped out at him. A child smashed two valuable figurines on the mantelpiece because the game required a swiping motion.
Please be careful with your Sense controllers, as Sony does not currently sell them separately. The same goes for the cable that comes with the Playstation VR 2, which is a tripping hazard. The Reddit forum VRtoER ("From Virtual Reality to Emergency Room") is a good example of what can happen when VR is used improperly.
The fascination of early virtual reality
With the advent of mixed reality, such accidents should become increasingly rare. This is partly because virtual reality will become more transparent to the physical environment, and partly because the technology will be able to recognize walls, people, and objects in real time and warn players in time. The Playstation VR 2 does not yet offer such features; the VR headset is designed for high-quality VR games with maximum immersion.
When I watch these videos from the early days of VR, I think to myself: What if VR had the same effect on me as it does in 2016? That I could completely forget the environment, that I could be so impressed, so frightened, so swept away. I hope that the Playstation VR 2 will reawaken the wow effect of virtual reality in veteran VR fans like me.