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VR vs. What You Leave Behind

Greetings from… not Los Angeles.

Yes, welcome back to VR vs which is being written from exactly the same bedroom office that pretty much every other VR vs has been written from at this point. As we stumble wearily and blearily into day three of not-quite-E3-yet-somehow-OH-GOD. Today was going to be an amusing sidenote, a distraction from the chaos and carnage of surviving the last two days and culminating in last night’s Sony presser and the madness of information thereafter. Unfortunately I’ve been working roughly 40 of the last 48 hours with the UK and E3 hours and as the guy in the middle always needed for ‘something’ on the team my mood is far from charitable at present. It is not helped by me celebrating the unwelcome landmark of it now being a decade of being left behind when E3 comes around. With only a quarter-full room temperature bottle of coke, bags under my eyes that look like they contain the monthly shop from Sainsbury’s and the annual E3 bingo card I write for company.

Why am I always here? Well it’s one of two options: Either it’s because I do far too good a job trying to channel everything that comes my way – again, doing the social, sourcing the media, editing and troubleshooting; I’m pretty much required by everyone constantly for something and often by multiple people simultaneously. The other option is that it’s simply because no one likes me. Which if it is the case, is another reason for me to not care that the event floor is too hot or that the wi-fi is rubbish or that your view is being obstructed by someone dressed as Squall Leonhart.

I’m sorry, but it’s the one event I really want to go to and it’s now been ten freaking years. A decade of disappointment! I think I’m well within my rights to have run out of sympathy at this point. It’s doubly disappointing (again) because there’s a lot of VR as well as augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) at E3 this year. In fact there’s double the amount of 2016. With lots of things from Sony, and not that bizarrely half-hearted presentation from last year. There was new stuff. Contemporary ideas and new ideas. Genuinely interesting games I have lots of questions about, that range from ‘hey, I want to see how that works’ to ‘hey, I want to see how that works’.  There’s also some desperately pretty VR coming our way, which is great to see.

Perhaps the best thing though is that there are a lot less people going “URGGGH VR!” this year. And rightfully so. It’s earned its place at E3 over the last year. Whilst Ubisoft have had the best conference so far from a general videogame point of view (at least in my opinion, and that seems to also be the general consensus) during Sony’s presser last night several friends admitted the display had tipped them off the fence. That’s awesome – and a topic we’ll come back to the other day. Much as next week you can like as not expect there to be the VR vs. E3 2017 In Absentia Alternative Awards. See 2016’s winners here.

In my darkest hours I can still hear the voice of Ripcoil‘s commentator echoing in the distance…

But that’s next week. We actually need to get to E3 first. If you’re over there please do enjoy yourself and do check out the new VR titles on display. However at the same time as I hope you enjoy yourselves, please do also remember that you’re all a bunch of bastards, I hate you all and I hope you get crushed to death by a giant, sentient Mario statue.

10 years. Fair’s fair.
Squishy-squishy.