Gaming Reviews

Whiplash VR Australian Hands-On: The Punishingly Brilliant VR Rig That Spins Your Whole Body Around 360-Degrees

So you think because you’ve tried the high-resolution Oculus Rift 2 or the Gear VR that you’ve seen what virtual reality can do? Trust me, you couldn’t be more wrong. Today I had a new VR rig kick the living hell out of me. It spins 360-degrees around and replicates all the movement going on in front of your eyes. I tested the Whiplash, and I’m positive it’s the future of VR.

The Whiplash is a simple concept put together by a small Spanish company: it’s VR that moves with you. Stick on your headset of choice and connect it to the chair, and you move with the action going on in your headset. If your plane turns left, so does your chair to simulate the experience. If you take a nosedive, the chair throws you forward, slamming you against the racing harnesses designed to hold you into the experience.

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You get two metal stabilising arms to hold onto so you aren’t flapping your limbs all over the place, and your legs are strapped down also.

It works with almost any gaming or VR solution: from the Oculus Rift through to the Gear VR; from the upcoming Sony Morpheus down to your plain old PS4 or Xbox One. The Whiplash Home Edition is designed for them all.

It’s a two-axis design that can move 360-degrees around, and support up to 100kg of weight. That’s a good thing, because it meant that a chubby bastard like myself could give it a go.

I was looking forward to seeing just how unwell the experience made me, simply because I get sick from VR when I’m sitting completely still (as we’ve found before with the Oculus Rift). I’m the guy who gets ill on planes, boats and in the backs of cars after a short amount of time. I can’t read while moving and I’m generally useless, so clearly I’m the perfect candidate to strap myself into a fierce VR chair and be spun around for three minutes.

The scene you get in the goggles (at least in my case) is of a world that’s half Bioshock Infinite and half Tron. You’re racing lightcycle-style bikes around on giant suspended metal tracks above a massive city, and the track flips around and around, banks hard into corners and features impossible drops. The Whiplash chair simulates all of it.

The frame rate on the phone-based goggle solution we had was a little low, so it was a tad jarring for my brain and body, but if you paired it with the new Gear VR and the Galaxy S6, you’d be onto something crisp and amazing.

It took me about four hours to completely recover from the Whiplash, and as soon as my knees started working again, I knew I needed another go.

Anyone got $10,000 they can lend me so I can buy one?


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