You don’t need to be a gamer to be familiar with Tetris. Hell, even my grandma played Tetris on this cheap little handheld console at one point. But even though the game has been a staple among gamers and non-gamers alike since its first release more than three decades ago, we didn’t exactly expect to see a new iteration of the blocky title come to a pioneering medium like VR. However, Tetsuya Mizuguchi had other plans – and is now bringing this game to the future with a psychedelic reinvention called Tetris Effect for PS4, which has been given VR support by his team at studio Enhance.
No final release date has been announced for Tetris Effect yet, though it is set to hit the PlayStation Store sometime this fall. In the meantime, YouTuber Nick Robinson has managed to test out the game and see how well it speaks to Tetris purists by putting pro classic Tetris player Trey Harrison behind the controls. In his YouTube video, Nick has Trey play the game in PS4 first to kind of get his bearings around what this new title adds to the Tetris experience. He then went a step further by plopping a PSVR headset on Trey’s head to let him get the full psychedelic experience, and to everyone’s astonishment, Trey performed even better when playing the game in VR.
Check out the video below:
It was interesting to see in the video above how Nick thought, at first, that Trey had done better in the game because of the low latency of the PSVR screen, which could definitely have had an effect. But the real magic happens when he realises that what VR brings to the table for a game like this, is that it completely blocks out any outside stimuli and kind of forces you to focus on what you’re seeing.
Not only that, but, as Nick explained in his follow-up video, classic Tetris has a certain flow to it that you have to get into, almost like getting into “the zone” when you’re really concentrating on something. Which is where VR played a major role. Because, unlike the traditional flat version, Trey was almost instantly brought into this flow with the sights and sound of the game, not to mention the lack of outside distractions.
While this news doesn’t necessarily mean that virtual reality will make you a better player, it does have some exciting implications in both eSports and fields beyond gaming like education and healthcare.