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Versions is the essential guide to virtual reality and beyond. It investigates the rapidly deteriorating boundary between the real world and the one behind the screen. Versions launched in 2016 at the eponymous conference dedicated to creativity and VR with the New Museum’s incubator NEW INC.

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Anywhere VR just wants you to relax

anywhere vr
Anywhere VR just wants you to relax

The inescapable reality of VR is that it’s isolating. Isolating in the sense that once you’re within its headset-hosted virtual realm, you can’t really get out. There’s no escape and you’re just along for the ride, for however long it lasts. While that’s great for immersion, it also poses its own problems. Like, what if you want to check your phone? Or take a break? That requires removing the head-mounted display entirely, and that’s a tedious task. Luckily, Sony Music has a solution for that, with Anywhere VR.

a relaxation simulator

Anywhere VR was announced during Sony’s press conference at the Tokyo Game Show early last week, during a segment boosting titles coming soon to Sony’s own Playstation VR, which launches October 13th. Anywhere VR is notably more relaxed than a lot of the other high-action or romance-oriented titles coming to Playstation VR, and it’s experimental in that way. In a way, you can call it a relaxation simulator.

The experience is simple enough, taking the player through a host of relaxing scenes, from a field of flowers to gentle waterfalls. Then it gets interesting, as the player has the opportunity (let’s be real: likely only if they have a Sony-branded smartphone) to bring up a hologram of their cellular device into the landscape. It contextualizes the use of browsing your phone as an escape within VR, like listening to music off of your phone or taking a break from something more boring and distraction prone. It’s a lot like actual reality actually, where when I personally find myself uncomfortable I whip out my handy-dandy phone as a crutch.

This girl is stoked to check her phone within Playstation VR.
This girl is stoked to check her phone within Playstation VR.

Anywhere VR isn’t the most innovative thing coming to VR, but it’s a step in the right direction for Sony. It shows that they’re willing to take chances and do odd things, much like this relaxation-phone-checking simulator. For now we can only hope that one day, while within the virtual Tron-like hell of Playstation VR, that we can step back and take a chill pill within Anywhere VR. And maybe even put on a nice tune while soaking in the sights of its virtual, nature-y environments. Allergies to plants be damned.

Anywhere VR doesn’t have an official release datenor a confirmation of a release outside of Japanbut the Playstation VR is out on October 13th, so hopefully we hear more soon.

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Precision wireless controllers for your virtual, augmented and actual reality.
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