Gaming enthusiasts may sympathise: when it comes to kicking back, I generally prefer virtual spaces to the real world. Trouble is, on PS4, it’s rare to find one where I can properly relax. But PS VR’s not just another console. It’s also capable of improving the everyday via its ace-in-the-hole functionality – non-gaming applications.
Stifle your yawns and hear me out. After a long day, I love holing up in one of my fave fictional forts. But touring The Witness’ peaceful puzzle island, there’s the nagging sense I should be solving something. No Man’s Sky’s galaxy, meanwhile, delights in reminding me that I’ll dissolve into a putrefied jelly if I don’t find some plutonium sharpish.
Enter Anywhere VR, Sony’s virtual chill-out room. Offering a suite of, er, suites, it’ll let you sit in a field of flowers, under a waterfall, or by a roaring fire in a lavish mansion – all while you use your smartphone in-app. It’s Sony’s take on Hogwarts’ Room Of Requirement. Tiny flat in the city? Need to zen out on a mountain for a sec? Abracadabra – ta very much, PlayStation wizards.
And for their next trick? Work-in-progress app Social VR unleashes you and three avatar-inhabiting friends upon an island to chat over mics, play catch and murder some otherwise perfectly respectable instruments together. Having spent hours simply chinwagging with my best mate in Destiny’s Tower, sharing the same actual space is the new future of our long-distance friendship.
Rest assured, the minute someone recreates Norman Jayden’s ARI from interactive narrative thriller Heavy Rain, I’m there. A virtual workspace that’ll let me send emails and Google cat GIFs from the bottom of the ocean? Sold.
All I need to swear off sunlight forever is video game-themed virtual spaces, such as playing PS Vita in a BioShock bathysphere circling Rapture... VR apps aren’t far off achieving this level of genuinely life-enhancing functionality. It’s virtually a reality – a prospect that, even before all those games, makes PS VR worth it. ‘It’ being vitamin D deficiency.
This article originally appeared in Official PlayStation Magazine. For more great PlayStation coverage, you can subscribe here.