PlayStation VR: Lens Fog Can Be a Major Problem

PlayStation VR: Lens Fog Can Be a Major Problem

Sony's virtual reality is a little foggy

A.J. Maciejewski

Written by for Opinions on

I recently had the chance to play around with Sony's newfangled PlayStation VR. It was quite an impressive experience, but there's one thing holding me back from rushing out and buying one...

PlayStation VR photo 1
Promotional photos always look so much clearer

Entering the Battlezone

The game I had the privilege of trying out was Rebellion's Battlezone. After the PlayStation rep explained how to play, I put on the goofy-looking headset and heavy-duty headphones. Immediately, I was surprised how it didn't feel like I was in the room anymore. It was hard not to think about people staring at me and worrying whether a button on my shirt was undone, but I was soon so immersed in the cockpit of my virtual tank that I forgot all about it. Looking around and admiring all of the detail made it difficult to fend off enemy waves. At one point, I looked down and wiggled my feet to see if they'd show up in-game. Realising that was quite a dumb thing to do; it only solidified the realism of the virtual world. However, my experience would soon start to become far less enjoyable.

Battlezone screenshot
Imagine playing this while having 90% of the screen fogged up

Things start to get a little foggy

After playing for what seemed like three to five minutes, I noticed the view got rather blurry. I was still entirely immersed so I didn't think much of it. I continued blasting away flocks of flying neon foes and distant turrets but I eventually had to tilt my head down and look up in order to see what I was doing. At this point, I realised: the lenses have fogged up. It was so bad that I couldn't play unless I maintained my awkward head and eye position. Soon after that, the Sony rep removed my headphones and helmet and the first thing I said to him was, "Wow, the screen sure fogged up fast..." expecting the rep to assure me that it's a known issue. Instead, he seemed perplexed and didn't know what to say. He explained that there are air vents to ensure a constant airflow but that didn't really boost my confidence. Was it the way I was wearing it? Did they forget to treat the lenses with some anti-fog solution? I don't know the answers but one thing's for sure: I'm definitely going to wait a bit longer before I pick up a PlayStation VR kit.

At least I'm not the only one...

After some research, I found that Destructoid's Jed Whitaker had a similar experience. In fact, he played the exact same game. So, either Battlezone has a very strange game-breaking fog feature or Jed and I have some weird disorder where our eyes steam up glass.

PlayStation VR photo 2
Is it really going to be worth setting up all this junk?

In the end, I'm still very excited about PlayStation VR. The promise of virtual reality is definitely something that's finally happening and I can't wait to experience it in my own living room. However, I think it's a good idea to wait until all of the kinks are worked out first... and perhaps the price goes down a bit, too.

Have you tried PlayStation VR? What are your thoughts on it? Let's talk in the comments below.

Unboxing the PlayStation VR thumbnail
Unboxing the PlayStation VR 2:22
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