Updated: December 8, 2023
Were you missing that something crucial while playing virtual reality shooters with a traditional gamepad? Then, you need to look into Sony’s Playstation VR aim controller, which will soon become your favorite accessory for playing virtual games.
The Playstation VR controller is a one of a kind two-handed controller accessory that looks like a gun. This gun like device is intended for use for PSVR game Farpoint. It comes bundled with the PSVR game, but can be purchased separately. Most prominently, the aim controller works with the Farpoint, a first person shooter that sets you on a distant alien planet that is full of bugs. As of now only Farpoint is supported, but in future other games like ROM: Extraction, The Brookhaven Experiment and Dick Wilde will also be supported. Since all of these games involve shooting and the Playstation VR controller makes one stylish looking gun.
Appearance and Usage
The appearance of the PSVR aim controller is pretty sleek and futuristic. It is quite different from the outdated sharp shooter accessory that Sony released during the PS3 era. The Playstation VR Aim controller unlike the sharp shooter does not require the PS move wand to be slotted in it. All the control buttons and the signature light-orb are an integral part of the controller itself, giving it a complete and finished vibe instead of it looking cheap and an extra add-on feature. The aim controller in fact looks like a Parallelogram, but with a trigger on the inside corner and a big glowing bulb at the front for the Playstation to track the movements. The shape looks strange, but its fine when used with a VR headset and all this is given in VR.
The aim controller has all the buttons of the DualShock controller. The rear or main trigger is R2, while the second trigger on the front grip acts as a L2. You can rest one thumb on the nicely designed analog stick on the insides of the front grip, where the D-pad and share/options buttons can be easily reached. The other thumb in the meanwhile covers another control stick on the grip that is closest to your body where it is surrounded by square, cross, circle and triangle buttons in a large array around the stick. The positioning of the buttons ensures that you don’t click the wrong button by accident. Moreover, these buttons are quite large and clicky.
The clickable touchpad and the round Playstation button are placed nicely on the top, just above the main trigger. The weird placement of the R1 button on the Aim controller on a small strip on both sides above the trigger doesn’t make it convenient to press. Since the button is too small you will have to take your index finger off the trigger or use your middle finger on the trigger and rest of your index finger on the R1 button to reach it. Placing this on both the sides makes sure that both the right and left handed users can hit it.
Besides that every button feels like it is in the right place and designed keeping in mind the use on the aim controller. The R2 trigger has a good amount of pull, while the share and options buttons are little raised compared to the other buttons so they line up with the nearby analog stick.
The main face buttons are quite good with small indents in-between them so you are aware of where one ends and the other one begins. The analog sticks are convex, more like the DualShock 3 controller stick than the DualShock 4’s, but with the sticky matte texture there is very little slipping even if your hands are sweaty during excessive VR sessions.
The placement of the buttons and the responsiveness is hardly a factor when it concerns the aim controller, as you are anyways going to move it around like a crossbow or rifle. The PSVR aim controller is pretty lightweight, even though it may look large. You may still experience some tiredness in your arms from the swinging to and fro while playing games like Farpoint. However, the Playstation VR aim controller weight is just perfect and if it was lighter, the aim controller would have looked cheap and the heavier one would make it cumbersome.
For Farpoint at least, moving the aim controller around and bringing it up to your face to look down your weapons sights feels very easy after playing it for a few minutes. All thanks to the colorful move bauble, topping the controller, tracking from the Playstation camera is 1:1 and all of it very responsive. Controlling and using the aim controller in the Farpoint is pretty quick and with great efficiency. The aim controller also has its own built-in rumble that creates enough vibrations when you fire from your weapons.
There are only five games that currently work with it and Farpoint is one of them. All five require the VR headset as Sony has no plans for the PSVR aim controller to work with non-VR games. So to enjoy this, you will have to spend $469 for a Playstation4, $629 for a VR kit, and another $129 for the Farpoint bundle. Finally, for $1227, you get an immersive and fun VR system.
Are there any problems with the Playstation VR Aim Controller?
The biggest problem with the Playstation VR Aim controller can be attributed to a flaw with the Playstation VR itself: tracking the peripheral can be difficult if you turn 180 degrees. Farpoint works around this issue, by bringing an in-game grid when you pivot on the spot, then revealing the areas that the Playstation camera can’t see. Having access to a full suite of DualShock 4 controls on the device means you can enjoy the combination of the traditional analogue stick control and physical aiming can be used to give you 360-degree control. The motion detection is slightly better than the wands. There are a few technical limitations of the hardware, but the immersive effect will surely make you buy this device even though it is costly.
Playstation VR Aim Controller Games that are supported
As of now, there are a few games that are compatible with the Playstation VR Aim Controller; Arizona Sunshine, Bravo Team, ChromaGun, DOOM VFR, Evasion, Firewall Zero Hour, Special Delivery, Farpoint, Dick Wilde, ROM: Extraction and The Brookhaven Experiment. The device comes bundled with the Farpoint and that’s the most popular title so far.
The Playstation VR Aim Controller can be charged with a standard micro USB charging cable, very similar to the DualShock 4, through the jack located at the bottom and towards the front grip. The battery life is pretty good lasting more than 10 hours of gaming sessions of Farpoint without the need to recharge. For charging you can plug in a cable and keep playing with minimal interference from the cord. The device comes with a spot where in you can connect a lanyard or wrist strap on the rear grip, though there isn’t one included with the controller.
Should you buy the Playstation VR Aim Controller?
Sony’s virtual reality PSVR requires a lot of investment, but the PSVR aim controller is worth purchasing if you are aiming to get the most out of the headset. The peripheral is supported by a handful of games so far, it does have an immersive effect particularly if you are playing games like Farpoint and Bravo Team. The PSVR is a great go-to platform for the virtual reality shooters and it will be very interesting to see how the new peripheral will factor into the future games.
Though the PSVR aim controller is costly, it does feel nice in hands and works great with compatible games. You will enjoy the device so much that we hope Sony will develop games that will take advantage of it, but they don’t have a good track record in this department, so we will have to wait and watch.