Jackie Batman shaped hygiene mask for VR.

An Unusual PlayStation VR Accessory: Hygiene Masks

I’ve found some quite weird and wonderful PlayStation VR things, during my daily trawls for PSVR news.  Hygiene masks are the latest.

PlayStation VR Washable Masks

Amazon Japan are selling masks designed to prevent getting dirt or grease on your PlayStation VR, costing ¥ 1,296 (approximately £9.50), or £11.53 at Play Asia.

PlayStation VR Mask Front

PlayStation VR Mask front of packaging.

Made by GAMETECH, it’s features are described as:

  • It protects firmly from the dirt of the PSVR headset, such as sweat and cosmetics.
  • Stretch firmly fit there. When using the headphone does not get in the way.
  • It is ideal for use of the headset of a plurality of persons. In addition, you can use always clean and washable.

(please excuse the Google translate English).

‘Plurality’ suggests that it is designed to be used if sharing the headset with multiple users.  It’s  reusable and can be washed.

PlayStation VR Mask Back of Packaging

Back of packaging of PlayStation VR mask.

It resembles a sort of half length balaclava.  But unlike a balaclava it has ear holes as well, to allow for using headphones.

PlayStation VR Mask on head.

View of PlayStation VR mask on a head.

As with most items of apparel bought on the internet.  I suspect it looks less weird on the model that it does in real life!

Breathing looks a little problematic too, with it covering the manikin’s nose.

PlayStation VR Mask on Head

PlayStation VR mask shown worn with headset on top.

Disposable Headset Protectors

Disposable solutions appear to be more popular, which brings me on to ‘dirty sheet set VR‘ as Google translate puts it’s so eloquently.  I think a better description is stick on disposable headset protectors.  Also made by GAMETECH, costing ¥ 1,728 (£12.70).

Stick-on headset protectors

GAMETECH disposable stick-on headset protectors designed for PlayStation VR.

More discrete than first the mask, this set comprises of two types of pad.  A protector for the forehead which fixes inside the headset and another pair of protectors for the nose area.  These must be the most likely places for skin to touch the inside of the headset.

Stick on protectors inside headset

Headset protectors in situ.

Closest UK Equivalents

Should this idea appeal to the more hygiene conscious of you, the closest I have see for sale in the UK are Jackie disposable virtual reality hygiene masks for VR (£11.99 for 50, or £20.99 for 100).

This mask is composed of non-woven fabric and has loops at the sides to hold it in place around the ears.  It quite closely resembles a surgeon’s mask, but for your eyes instead of mouth!

Jackie Hygiene Mask for VR

View of Jackie disposable hygiene mask for VR on it’s own.

I can’t say it looks like the most comfortable contraption to wear on one’s face.  Might make playing a game feel more like going to the dentist’s for some work.

Jackie Hygiene Mask for VR on Face

Shows how the Jackie hygiene mask is designed to be worn.

It has the advantage over the PlayStation VR mask of being completely disposable.  However it won’t do much to help if you or your friends suffer from greasy hair.

Jackie Hygiene Mask for VR with Headset

Mask shown with VR headset worn on top.

Saving the Best for Last

This mask is the wackiest, but definitely has the most style.

It strongly reminded me of a certain PlayStation VR trailer by Rocksteady:

I remember after seeing it many people saying ‘were can I get the ears!’

Well, here, sort of.

This Batman shaped hygiene mask really will help you to ‘be the Batman’! (£19.99 for 50)

Jackie Batman shaped hygiene mask for VR.

Front view of the Jackie Batman shaped hygiene mask.

Okay, well it doesn’t quite look as cool as the one in the trailer.  But this one will keep your PSVR clean as well as being a Batman mask.  You can’t say that for the one in the trailer now, can you?

Jackie Hygiene Batman Mask Side View

Side view of the Jackie Batman hygiene mask.

This one actually looks a little better with the headset on top.  Certainly less clinical.

Jackie Hygiene Mask with VR Headset on top.

Batman mask with VR headset on top.

What do you think.  Will you be donning a mask for reasons for sanitation or will you be making your friends put one on before they can borrow your headset?  Or does an excuse to wear a Batman mask bring out your inner child?

As always, love to hear your thoughts and opinions.  Let me know on Twitter (@miss_molotov) or leave a comment below  🙂

[must click on the article title  to leave a comment, won’t work from the front page]

Super Stardust Ultra VR Not Looking at all Like I Expected

EB Games in Australia  have got physical copies of Super Stardust Ultra available for pre-order on their website already:

https://www.ebgames.com.au/ps4-217245-Super-Stardust-Ultra-VR-PlayStation-4

I had imagined that it was going to be similar to the original Super Stardust game, perhaps with some kind of 3D globe.

Along with the pre-order listing EB Games have posted some screenshots of the new VR game and how wrong I was!

Instead of seeing the ship from a top down position like this:

Super Stardust™Ultra_20160614192456

Super Stardust Ultra PlayStation 4 [screenshot taken from my own console]

It appears you play from inside the cockpit. Much more akin to Battlezone, but in a rocky Super Stardust type environment rather than a Tron-esque one:

217245_screenshot_01_l

Super Stardust Ultra PlayStation VR [screenshot linked from EB Games here]

These types of cockpit are starting to feel familiar in VR games.  It has some similarities to both RIGS and Eve Valkyrie too:

217245_screenshot_02_l

Super Stardust Ultra PlayStation VR [screenshot linked from EB Games here]

The only thing that appears to elude to the shape of the original ship at all is the ship icon on the lower right area of the HUD:

217245_screenshot_04_l

Super Stardust Ultra PlayStation VR [screenshot linked from EB Games here]

The only other hint that this is in fact a Super Stardust game is the familiar end boss of the planet Logi:

217245_screenshot_03_l

Super Stardust Ultra PlayStation VR [screenshot linked from EB Games here]

After logging one to many hours in a day playing Resogun, I have often fallen asleep and dreamed about shooting alien ships in the first person.  Looking down the perimeter of the central cylinder and trying to see around the curve.  I can’t say I have ever had those kinds of dreams about Super Stardust.  But I reckon if I did, they would look just like this.

I can picture how the game mechanics could be similar to the original Super Stardust.  Though looking at the screenshots none of the weapons look like the original rock crusher, gold melter or ice splitter.

Can it feel like a Super Stardust game from this perspective?  Will it translate well?  Will it become a completely new game in it’s own right and will it be any good?

I am very thankful it will be a cheap upgrade to the original game, so won’t cost too much to find out.  Given that it will be an upgrade, I surely won’t be able to resist.

So who is making this game?  Could a VR Resogun be on the cards?  I certainly hope so.

Eurogamer reported last year that Housemarque were working on a Morpheus version of the game:

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2015-housemarque-testing-super-stardust-ultra-for-morpheus-vr

However the stereoscopic test they have shown looks nothing like the VR screenshots shown on the EB Games website.

I hope it is Housemarque.  If anyone has the skills to pull this off and keep it fun to play it’s our Finnish friends!

Update 26/06/2016

Housemarque kind pointed me in the right direction.  This is not their game, the VR game is made by d3t Ltd.

d3t have written about the process of porting Super Stardust to PSVR:

Though it still looks like more than a plain port to me!

Update 19/08/2016

PlayStation Access have uploaded a video of Super Stardust VR gameplay!  Though they made the same mistake as me and have credited  it to Housemarque.

Radial-G: Racing Revolved- Thoughts Before Playing

I am a huge fan of anti-gravity racing, especially WipEout.

So much so, one of the only things that’s cheers me up about hurtling towards the point of decrepitude is that I might live until 2048.  It wouldn’t be physically impossible for me to live until 2097.  Other humans have lived that long, though I think it’s unlikely.

Imagine, living long enough that anti-gravity racing actually became a real thing?  VR seemed impossible a few years ago, but here we are.

So Radial-G’s line ” If you loved F-Zero or Wipeout, you’ll definitely want to be involved with this!” on their Kickstarter page made me truly excited.  I am a little sad I didn’t see it while it was still active.

A friend sent me a link to the trailer and I instantly feel in love with the idea:

Radial-G is exciting because it’s a new type of anti-gravity, revolving around a a cylindrical track instead of moving along a flat plane.  I love little twists like this.  Bringing new challenges to old, loved ideas.

This game sounds like it should be fun as it is.  There is a standard PC version.  But sadly my neglected PC became too ancient to play it while I had my nose stuck on my PS4.

But this is really a game designed for VR.

When you’re in the zone racing in WipEout, it’s already an engrossing and immersive experience.  So  I’ve been bouncing about wondering what VR could add to that experience.

I love whiling away the hours in a meditative state, completely engrossed in a psychedelic joy ride.  Thoughts pure, clear and sharp.  Will VR take this experience to a new level?

The dark environment, neon features, and speed boost gates remind me of WipEout.  While the long tracks undulating up and down remind me of XGRA.  Another game I loved.

I hope that revolving around the track will add new depth to game play.  I’m interested to see what additional challenges that presents.

The sound track of WipEout was another major selling point.  I was already a huge Prodigy fan, but it introduced me to The Chemical Brothers, Fluke and FSOL as a child.  All of which became life long favourites.

From what I have heard on Soundcloud, Radial-G has not let me down in this area.  It has a nod to the 90’s with more current touches.  There’s some classic sounding synth patches mixed in with some solid beats.

While it has modern elements, it hasn’t been over come by monotonous dubstep bass lines or tedious Skrillex-esque hooks.

It pains me to admit it, but they have done a much better job of finding (creating?  Who made this?) new music than I have recently.  I even prefer it to the Formula Fusion music at the moment!  And they had a large community working on that soundtrack.

I literally grin ear to ear every time I hear it.  I am going to have serious trouble not looking like a nutter if I manage to try this game.

My only slight concerns are that I hope it plays better than the Android app Radial-G: Infinity and this one dodgy review by UploadVR.

The android app was a little clunky.  It sort of plays like Amplitude, where you have multiple tracks which you can jump between.  I also found the drift on this intense.  After about a minute of play I ended up looking completely behind me to keep the view looking forward in Google Cardboard.  This made me feel oh so sick.

Radial-G is very different though.  You are not travelling along a straight track, you are moving 360 degrees around a cylinder.  I will also be very surprised if Oculus/Vive/PSVR suffer from the same drifting problems as Google Cardboard.  I think that would be a top priority to sort out.  I have also read many thing about Radial-G being one of the least nauseating games to play.

The UploadVR review was interesting.  The thing that surprised me most about it was their comments about the steering mechanic.  It had not even occurred to me that you wouldn’t really be able to steer.  If I understand correctly, you can shift left and right to move to hit the correct gates, but there is no freestyle steering.  This idea again reminded me of Amplitude and the Android game.

This is my  biggest concern.  I have been pondering it a lot.  But I do wonder if it will actually matter.  That doesn’t necessarily mean it will be easy or less involving.  Things like Audiosurf are consuming!   It feels a little odd comparing a racing game to audio games, but I think you take my point.  The mechanic does not detract from the enjoyment of the game.

They also complained about the game being slow, which Radial-G addressed directly:

A fair question I thought.

I will reserve my judgement for when I have played it.  These comments have not managed to dampen my enthusiasm!

I sincerely hope that I get to try it today.

PSVR Demos for the Public at EGX Rezzed

On the 24th of March 2016, the following press release appeared all over the internet.  Announcing for the first time the general public would be able to try a demo of PlayStation VR.

PLAYSTATION UK ANNOUNCES HANDS ON OPPORTUNITIES AT EGX REZZED DURING LONDON GAMES FESTIVAL

PlayStation VR available to demo at EGX Rezzed ahead of October launch

London, March 24, 2016 – Sony Computer Entertainment UK is pleased to announced that PlayStation(R)VR will be available to demo at EGX Rezzed during next month’s London Games Festival giving fans the perfect opportunity to experience Sony’s latest entertainment innovation ahead of its October launch.

Taking place from the 7th-9th April at the Tobacco Dock in London, visitors to the PlayStation stand will have the opportunity to experience the upcoming PlayStation VR exclusive software titles recently shown at GDC, and available to demo for the first time in the UK including RIGS: Mechanized Combat League and THE PLAYROOM VR. Additional titles available to demo on the stand include PlayStation(R)VR Worlds and the first UK hands on opportunities with the VR reboot of first-person tank warfare classic, Battlezone, and first-person puzzler SUPERHYPERCUBE, which will launch first on PlayStation(R) VR.

In order to experience a PlayStation VR demo at EGX Rezzed and to avoid disappointment, visitors will need to pre-book their appointment. To be notified when the PlayStation VR demo booking system is live follow @PlayStation UK on Twitter or sign up to receive updates at https://www.playstation.com/en-gb/explore/playstation-vr/get-updates. All PlayStation VR demo participants will need to be in possession of a valid EGX Rezzed ticket and be 12* or over. A limited number of walk-on demos for THE PLAYROOM VR will also be available across the three days.

Visitors to the PlayStation stand will also be able to try a range of the best digital exclusive games coming soon to PlayStation 4 including Giant Sparrow’s What Remains of Edith Finch, Heavy Spectrum’s Shadow of the Beast, Dino Dini’s Kick Off Revival, Invent Games’ Strength of the Sword, Housemarque’s ALIENATION and Dreadbit’s Seraph.

For further information on PlayStation(R)VR visit playstation.com/psvr or follow us @PlayStationUK.

ENDS

* Attendees aged 15 and under will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian to attend EGX Rezzed or to take part in a PlayStation VR demo.

About Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE), based in London, is responsible for the distribution, marketing and sales of PlayStation(R)4 (PS4(R)) computer entertainment system, PlayStation(R)Vita (PS Vita) portable entertainment system, PlayStation(R)3 (PS3(R)) computer entertainment system and PSN software and hardware in 109 territories across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Oceania. SCEE has revolutionized home entertainment since they launched PlayStation(R) in 1994. PlayStation(R)4 redefines rich and immersive gameplay with powerful graphics and speed, intelligent personalisation and deeply integrated social capabilities. PS Vita is a portable entertainment system that offers a combination of rich gaming and social connectivity. PS3(R) is an advanced computer entertainment system, incorporating the powerful Cell Broadband Engine and RSX processors. SCEE also develops, publishes markets and distributes entertainment software for these formats, and manages the third party licensing programs for the formats in these territories.

More information about PlayStation(R) products can be found at http://www.playstation.com.
PlayStation and PS4 are registered trademarks or trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

Up until this point, most of the people who have tried it have been developers, testers or people doing work related to it.  So it was pretty exciting gamers would get their chance!

At the same time, this page appeared on the EGX Rezzed website.

EGX said that appointments would need to be booked to be sure of getting a chance to play.  But did not detail when anyone would be able to book those appointments.

Again stating the same link to sign up for information about demos, that had been posted on the day the PSVR release schedule and price point was announced.  It also said to  watch @PlayStationUK on Twitter.

It was finally annouced by @PlayStationUK on Twitter in the afternoon on April 4th:

just before e-mails were sent to those who signed up.

By this time all tickets apart from day tickets on Thursday had sold out.

All demo slots were booked within a couple of hours.  The time allocated was longer than anticipated, giving each person a window of half an hour and were told to arrive at least 10 minutes before their appointment to allow time to set up.  They also reserved the right to re-allocate appointments if people turned up late.

Where to Pre-order PSVR. Should I Buy Accessories Now?

This list is a work in progress.  There will be more to follow.

Retailers Taking PSVR Pre-Orders

Amazon – Headset – £349.99

Argos – Headset – £349.99

Argos – Bundle with camera and one move controller – £414.97

GAME  – Headset – £349.99

Gamestop – Headset – £349.97

Grainger Games – Headset – £349.99 (£19.99 deposit)

The Hut – Headset – £349.99

The Hut – Headset and camera – £399.98

ShopTo – Headset – £349.85

Shopto – Headset and camera bundle – £389.86

Tesco – Headset – £349.00

Very – Headset – £349.99

Zavvi – Headset – £349.99

Zavvi – Headset and camera bundle – £399.98

Written 06/04/2016.