For the purposes of transparency, this review was created using a sample provided by the company or their respective PR company. The use of a review press sample does not affect my judgement of the product.
Please Note: I reviewed this using the HTC Vive, this is due to preferring the room-scale tracking on the Vive for shooters, so this was the model I requested.
Since VR was introduced companies have tried to find some way to bring some extra immersion to the gaming side of the platform, and we still see companies looking for new way today. This is where the team at ProTubeVR have come into play, bringing us the ProTubeVR, which is built to emulate holding a rifle – but does this work and bring in that extra immersion?
Whats in the Box?
When the box arrives you will receive the version of the ProTubeVR you ordered already constructed – it’s then just setting it up, which I will discuss soon. Apart from the ProTubeVR you are going to get a branded sling, some branded wrist straps for your cotrollers, a ProTubeVR sticker and fridge magnet, the two Allen (Hex) keys for altering the joints, and finally the instructions to start you off setting it up for use.
Setting it up for you
Firstly, I would like to give a warning that it is going to take three to fours hours to get it perfect for you, it is not something that you will have done instantly. You might feel like you have it right quite quickly, but you will find yourself tweaking the layout quite often to get perfect.
When setting it up I would advise going onto a realistic military shooter to get the set-up sorted. If you get it perfect on a more realistic shooter, it will be comfortable on most other games. I found the best game to set it up on was Onward, you have the choice of the shooting range or the solo hunt mode – it really gives you the full idea of the aiming and comfort of holding the ProTube in-game.
You have lots of parts to alter to get the comfort. You can alter the angle of the stock, the bend in two places on the pipes and also the angle and position of the cups for your controllers. Meaning there is plenty of altering to do for the perfect comfort. I would recommend as soon as you get it comfortable make sure you have everything tightened as much as you can, one little movement in error could cause hours of work to be lost.
You can choose your design from the website, depending on what you prefer. You can have the pipes in chrome or carbon and have the cups and stock in either silver/grey, carbon, red, white, blue or baguette (red, white and blue). You can choose if you want it left or right-handed, one point or two point clips for your sling and even add a Bipod. This is all chosen through your order over on the website.
I was sent one with chrome pipes and the grey/silver stock and cups, and personally I think it is well designed for getting it comfortable and it looks smart and tidy in design.
When it comes to using the cups you have two options, you can either try to remove and place the controller back into the cup or twisting it off on an angle to remove the cup and controller. The way the twisting off works is they are attached by a strong magnet, this will break the connection and you can place it back on when you need to. Over time using it for the last few weeks I have found I usually just remove the control and place it back in the cup. But, others I have spoken to prefer taking the cup off – so this will be down to personal preference.
All the materials used on the ProTubeVR are all of a high quality and standard. All the plastic used for the joints and the cups are all solid, and shouldn’t break easily. The aforementioned magnet certainly is strong and keeps the cups connect to the joints securely, and finally all the nuts and bolts make sure the product is held together well.
The only issue I have found with the quality is the clips your sling is attached to. These seem sort of flimsy compared to the rest of the product, and my worry is over time these could easily snap, meaning it would be difficult to keep a steady aim without replacing them.
The immersion and benefit
Over my time with the ProTubeVR I have jumped into four shooters to get an idea on how it works, and what sort of immersion it brings. These games were Onward, Zero Caliber VR, War Dust and the Contractors Beta.
Firstly, lets look at the benefit I found using the ProTubeVR. Again as with the set-up you will need to really spend some time with the product to start to feel the benefit, as you would expect you have to get used to using it. However, once you start to get used to your preferred method on removing the controllers and aiming with it, you will soon see the benefits. The product brings improved accuracy due to being able to keep the weapon in-game much more steady and makes holding your aim much easier.
The only game out of the ones I have tested it on that I felt had a slight issue was War Dust. This was down the reticle in the sight drifting a little at times. I am not sure if this was me or the game, but it was the only game out of the four that this seemed to happen in – suggesting it could have been the game.
When it comes to the immersion side of the product, it really brings a new level of immersion to the shooters. Having this physical product to lift as you bring the gun up to aim in the game, really adds another dimension to feeling like you are in the game. This increases when you run out of primary ammo and need to remove both controllers and let your ProTubeVR hang down as you take out the pistol. It’s great so see companies finding new ways to increase the immersion in games, and certainly a popular genre.
- New level of immersion
- Strong materials and build
- Extra accuracy can be a huge benefit
- Customisation for perfect comfort
- Set-up time might put people off
- Price point (depending on use)
- Plastic clips for sling seem flimsy
The ProTubeVR helps bring a new level of immersion to shooters, that you wont get anywhere else. While at the same time bring the benefit or increased accuracy as the aim seems a lot more steady. You just need to give it the time and get used to using it. The product is solid not only design but the materials they have used are all of a high quality. However, one question you have to ask yourself is… how much will you use it? Because if you don’t play shooters that often you might find the €79.99 (EUR) price point a little steep.
Also available for Oculus Rift and Windows Mixed Reality
Buy a ProTubeVR