Going for a Ride with Sony's New VR Headset

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At this year's Tokyo Game Show, Sony had demos for its Project Morpheus VR headset. The previously announced Summer Lesson ended up not making TGS, but there were two other new demos that were new and worth taking for a spin.

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I've played on an older version of the Oculus Rift—note: I have not tried the latest models so I cannot legitimately compare the two—as well as other creative VR experiences. This was not my first time donning a headset and diving in.

The first TGS demo, AKB0048 x Aquarion Multi-dimensional Special Live, is a video sequence where the viewer gets to join in a live with idol characters from the AKB0048 anime.

The stage is attacked and you get to fly along with the girls as they glide around 2 battling Aquarions.

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The experience is essentially non-interactive, as in the player has no direct input and is basically along for the ride, but what a ride it is. Zooming around, dodging infinitely extended robotic fists (watch the anime to understand) was genuinely exhilarating, albeit a little short, and people who are prone to VR motion sickness will probably get disoriented. The entire demo was maybe 2 minutes long, if that. It was fun, but kind of on the short side.

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The second demo was War Thunder, a flight simulator. You sit down before a flight joystick and throttle control and pilot a plane through a battle zone. The demo was fairly straight forward in design, but the immersion factor really sold it.

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Playing around, the demo also had a cool creative feature where it would warn you if too much G force was being applied when banking at high speeds, and if you continued to bank, the screen would start to go black, simulating the pilot losing consciousness. I haven't played much in the way of flight simulation games, so I don't know if it's a regular feature, but in VR, it added an element of fun and deeper immersion.

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While I was not able to talk to a virtual school girl from Summer Lesson, what I got to see was honestly the most fun and has me excited for things to come. I do wish that they could fix the problem where wearing one makes you look like a dork.

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Just don't think about when you're wearing one of these.


Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

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To contact the author of this post, write to cogitoergonihilATgmail.com or find him on Twitter @tnakamura8.

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