On March 28th, Sony dropped a neutron bomb on the entire VR gaming industry. They released a VR patch for their celebrated PS4 game, Wipeout Omega Collection. We've known for some time now that Sony was going to be adding VR support to the classic futuristic racing franchise. We expected it to bring PSVR owners a fun and enjoyable diversion from Skyrim VR and Moss. A nice change of pace. A shot of adrenaline. We were completely unprepared for the magnitude of what Sony has actually achieved.
Wipeout Omega Collection is not simply a fun diversion from other, more important VR games. Quite the contrary, those other games are a diversion from Wipeout! This is the main event. This is what we've been dreaming about for all these years. Long before 2016 arrived, and along with it the modern VR era, we've been dreaming about what our gaming futures might hold. We've imagined in our minds just how amazing Virtual Reality could potentially be. Could this new medium really take us to completely new worlds and experiences? Could it really be as amazing as we've all envisioned it to be? Surely, we're still five to ten years away from this realization... Right? Wrong.. The future has been delivered on a silver platter, and that future is called Wipeout Omega Collection VR.
The arrival of Wipeout VR is a stunning example, of how from out of nowhere, a game can come along and shatter all your preconceived notions of what constitutes a "Killer App". If somebody told me that VR's first "true" killer app would be a futuristic racing game, I'd look at them as if they had lost their minds. Surely, the first killer app would be a game that puts you completely inside the world, with either a gun or sword in your hand and your boots firmly planted on the ground. While you never leave the comfy confines of your hovercraft's cockpit, you don't really need to. Wipeout VR is an extremely focused experience. It does one thing, and it does it exceptionally well. It gets you as close as humanly possible to experiencing something you'll likely never encounter in your entire lifetime.
The only thing missing from this experience is the fact that you're not feeling all the forces of gravity and inertia that a real-life hovercraft pilot would experience. Hopefully, Sony, Epos Game Studios and D-Box or some other motion simulator company can come together and craft the be-all-end-all Arcade VR experience, but until that happens, we can enjoy this sensational piece of software in the comfort of our living rooms.
The game is an absolute cornucopia of audiovisual delights, all traveling at sensational speeds. The sound effects, special effects and voice overs combine for a somewhat mesmerizing and transfixing addiction. Wipeout VR is more than a game, it's a way of life. Since the arrival of this game, I can't really think about playing anything else. My PlayStation VR has literally turned into the Wipeout machine! Meanwhile, my other, supposedly higher-end headsets are gathering dust, wondering what happened. Why aren't they getting any love? It's simple, a new king has arrived.
I have to be completely honest and admit that racing games aren't really my favorite genre. In fact, if I listed my top 5 genre's, I'm not sure that racing games would make the cut. Or if it did, it'd probably barely make it as the 5th choice. Regardless, ignoring this game is a futile exercise. New racing game fans should be born with this game. It's simply too good to not appreciate. Sony might not be doing the greatest job advertising this game to the masses, but word of mouth among PSVR players is spreading rapidly. Good news travels fast. The news is making it's way through various gaming forums, that Sony may have found an unlikely killer app for their shiny new peripheral. Hopefully, Sony will recognize the smash hit that's landed conveniently in their laps, and they throw their full marketing muscle behind this game. We should see Wipeout VR commercials during NBA games and Dancing with the Stars.
I can remember during that first fall that the PlayStation VR arrived, we saw an awful lot of Star Wars VR commercials. It made perfect sense to advertise the heck out of that. Last November of course, we saw the marketing blitz that came with Skyrim VR. This Spring, Sony should hammer home the idea that they really have something special on their hands with this game. Wipeout VR's arrival could be a watershed moment for VR's early years. Sure, this might be an unlikely killer app, but why fight the feeling? They have a smash hit on their hands, and they should milk it for all it's worth. The entire VR gaming industry is rooting for them. Rising tides lift all boats!