It'd be pretty easy to be cynical about the coming dawn of virtual reality given the last time VR was billed as 'the next big thing' it was Nintendo's Virtual Boy (complete with games displayed in just two colours, black and red) leading the way - it was discontinued within a year of release.
Fast forward 20 years, however, and things feel just that little bit slicker.
Sony's much-hyped PlayStation VR for PS4 has made the leap from 'virtual' to 'reality' in recent days, currently sat on shelves at your local shop as we speak. Yes, that queue you passed outside your local GAME wasn't due to its typically bad customer service but rather because people were getting in line to pay a cool £350 for PS VR. It's not hard to understand why, either.
The technology available today means VR is no longer a pipe dream. Powered by the PS4, PS VR has the grunt it needs to deliver a realistic, powerful virtual reality experience without costing an arm and a leg - *cough* like a certain Oculus Rift *cough*. What's more, the design of the headset itself is without equal, slipping onto your head quite comfortably without leaving you in a big sweaty mess after.
The folks over at Sony claim 50 virtual reality games will be available within the headset's first month and even today there's some pretty decent stuff you can get your hands (and, more importantly, eyes) on.
To suggest some of this stuff is off the wall is putting it lightly which is why we've decided to single out the five reasons why PlayStation VR will change your life - and the future of gaming - forever. Or at the very least give you a very imaginative way to end up hugging your toilet thanks to a nasty bout of motion sickness.
You can defuse a bomb with your mates
Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes. No, that's not an instruction. That's the name of one of PS VR's leading launch games. Played with a pal, one of you - i.e. the one wearing the VR headset - has a bomb in front of you. The other has a manual detailing how to defuse it. The catch is, the guy with the manual can't see the bomb and the guy with the bomb can't see the manual, meaning communication between the two is key.
Cue hilarity, and potentially an explosion or two. Oh, and it features what is quite possibly the cheesiest game trailer you've ever seen. Leonardo DiCaprio, eat your heart out...
You can get locked up in a football prison
If someone tells you you're not in a prison completely without prompt, chances are you actually are in a prison. From the word go, Headmaster's instructional blurb stresses that you're "not in a prison". Rather, you're in the 'Football Improvement Centre' learning how to head the ball - over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.
Playing as a crash test dummy (yes, I'm not sure why either), the idea is to nod the ball both into the goal and, if you can channel your inner Emile Heskey, take out a number of targets along the way. And then, at the end, you dance around to a bit of a celebratory disco.
It's all as utterly bonkers as it sounds. But, remember this: you're not in a prison.
You can get robbed at banana point working in a convenience store
VR may be a relatively new phenomenon but if there's one game that's done more to sell it to average Joes like you and me, it's a game that puts you in charge of... well, an average Joe.
Using your PlayStation Move controllers as your hands, you can become an office worker, a shop assistant, a gourmet chef and any other mundane job you can think of in a simulated world run by robots with TV screens for faces. It's all a bit tongue-in-cheek, to the point where if you take the shop assistant job you can get held up by a robot dressed as a cowboy who holds you up with a banana.
You just can't beat that...
You can dance like a Jedi to your own mp3s
Does everybody remember those Dance Dance Euromix arcade stands? I was the bomb, though I will admit jumping around in a service station on the M62 wasn't my classiest moment. Harmonix Music VR, however, takes the art of moving to music and throws it into the virtual world.
Created by the minds behind Guitar Hero and Rock Band, the studio's first venture into VR lets you play your own music (via a USB stick) in an environment that physically reacts to every sound. You too can orchestrate things with your hands, picking up and throwing objects like Anakin Skywalker on his first day of Jedi training.
Could it be magic? Well, only if you have Take That on your iTunes.
You can play as some of the biggest characters in video games
Never mind all that new shit - what about the games you already know and love? Or rather, know and buy second hand for £17.99 18 months or so after they come out? PS VR has a fair few of those too. That includes a new Tomb Raider VR mission as part of Rise of the Tomb Raider on PS4 and a brand new Batman game called Batman: Arkham VR tasking you to play as Batman the detective rather than Batman the warrior.
Throw into the mix a VR version of Dreamcast classic rhythm action classic Rez and you have the kind of stellar day-one line-up even Xbox owners would have to tip their hat to.
Things just got very real in the world of virtual reality.
Featured image credit: Playstation
Words by Keith Andrew
Topics: virtual reality, PlayStation