The official reveal of DriveClub VR for PlayStation VR was a long time coming. Discussed on many occasions by various representatives of Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) as an early test for bringing virtual reality (VR) to racing videogames, there was a long period of ‘Will it? Won’t it?’ debate surrounding a potential consumer release. However, after offering hands-on opportunities SIE’s hands may have been tied: here was a chance to give DriveClub the audience that was always intended for it.
As originally revealed to have been a prototype experience some time ago, the general belief had been that the lessons learned there were to be transferred into the forthcoming Gran Turismo Sport, but SIE shocked the virtual reality (VR) community by offering a playable build of DriveClub VR at PlayStation Experience, San Francisco, late last year. At last week’s Gamescom, Cologne, the build made its European debut and once again benefited from a great reception.
DriveClub VR was developed by the same team behind DriveClub at the now defunct Evolution Studios. It’s not known whether DriveClub VR will be offered as an update to the existing DriveClub videogame or a separate package altogether, or even a combination of the two to please those who own the original release and those who don’t at the same time. However, it same been confirmed that whatever form it takes DriveClub VR will be available at launch.
VRFocus got hands-on with DriveClub VR at that PlayStation Experience debut last year, and again at Gamescom. Thankfully, the videogame is still at the point where it’s an easy recommendation, especially for the launch of PlayStation VR. Played with either the DualShock 4 controller or a steering wheel (of which, VRFocus has experienced both) DriveClub VR takes racing immersion to a whole new level. The cockpit view is default – with good reason – the ability to look around, view your competitors and their racing lines and plan your next move feels wholly new. Getting the foot onto the brake pedal before pumping the gas as you move through a corner convinces your brain that you can feel that rear end turning out.
Racing videogames in VR is not new; the launches of the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive were accompanied by many different titles. However, DriveClub VR is set to take an early lead in the genre, with only Project CARS currently offering a comparable real-world driving simulation. That is of course, until we get to see more of Gran Turismo Sport’s PlayStation VR compatibility.
The PlayStation VR is set to launch on 13th October 2016, and VRFocus has prepared a guide to the best accessories for PlayStation VR to make sure you’re prepared in plenty of time. Perhaps it’s time to add steering wheels to the selection of PlayStation VR compatible accessories?