Drop what you’re doing and play Wipeout on PSVR immediately

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March 30, 2018
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Okay, that headline could be a little unreasonable. But it's pretty much what I did yesterday after seeing for the first time that the update that provided VR support to the Wipeout Omega Collection had started, and then I heard almost simultaneous news of a cut in the PlayStation VR price. I had been resisting, but after selling my HTC Vive last week as part of a move, I thought it was a sign.
A signal pointing in the right direction, as it turns out that Wipeout in virtual reality is phenomenal.
If you're not familiar with Wipeout, it's a futuristic racing series that has been inextricably linked with the PlayStation brand since its debut in the mid-1990s, particularly in Europe. It's about driving very fast while listening to techno music and looking for nice fonts. I'm very interested in that.
However, I was a little disappointed with the Omega Collection last year. It included updated versions of Wipeout 2048, originally released on PS Vita, along with Wipeout HD on the PS3 and its Fury expansion. Wipeout HD itself was a kind of collection, since its content was taken from the PSP games Wipeout Pure and Wipeout Pulse. So while Omega Collection played as well as ever and it looked great in 4K if it had the hardware, it was second and third hand content that did not really make the most of the power of the PS4.
Wipeout Omega Collection is one of the best virtual reality games I've played
That criticism is no longer valid. Wipeout Omega Collection is one of the best virtual reality games I've played, and it may be the best reason to buy a PSVR right now. It looks absolutely stunning, it works like a dream, and it even feels easier to play than the normal game. The sense of scale while fighting for places among other racecraft is intense, reminding me of the VR version of Namco's Mario Kart, and the way you can use head movement and depth perception to judge corners is incredibly immersive.
Although it is established that the virtual reality games that sit you in a booth are generally less likely to cause nausea, you could expect the curves and roller coasters of Wipeout to prove that theory. There is definitely potential for that if you select the option that locks the camera to your pilot's vision throughout each cycle and barrel, but by default the camera remains approximately level with the horizon, which was much easier for me stomach. It also helps that the game maintains its perfectly uniform frame rate, even when using supersampling to clean the image quality.
The most impressive thing is that this is a free update that works with the entire Omega Collection. The original release felt a little off, so I wonder if Sony would not have been better to wait until I could promote virtual reality as an important feature. It does not matter, it is here now, and I would consider it essential for anyone with PSVR headphones. (I would also recommend it to anyone who likes runners and has not played these Wipeout games before).

In more good news for race fans who own PSVR, Gran Turismo Sport also got an update today that significantly expands the game's virtual reality functionality. You can still only compete against a computer controlled opponent, but now there is a new VR time trial mode where you can try to get the perfect lap. This should be appealing to anyone who finds that the extra presence they get with VR is advantageous in racing games, especially because virtual reality modes now offer rewards for their overall progress in Gran Turismo Sport.
In conclusion, it has been a pretty good day for PSVR as a platform, especially if you like to handle things at high speeds. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to put my, um, racing helmet back on.


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