Sony’s next PS VR helmet is VR’s best chance at going mainstream

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VR is the future. There is no point in debating this fact. At some point, the technology will become so streamlined and integrated that it will become as common as a smartphone. However, VR is currently struggling to gain a foothold in the mainstream. It’s been getting better over the past decade since it started becoming more widely available commercially, but it’s never managed to hit a wider audience. Many big companies are also putting their weight behind these headsets. Facebook, Valve and Google are some of the biggest tech giants in the world, but even their headsets aren’t holding mass appeal.

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Why then, Sony’s Upcoming VR Headset Can other tech giants succeed where they have failed? Sony’s original PlayStation VR was comparatively underwhelming at the time, so is it the last chance for Sony VR to catch the public eye, if you’ll pardon the pun? It has some unique advantages in its favor, but I believe it will only work if the PS VR 2 has some key features.

Playstation’s unique position

PSVR 2 Controller.

PlayStation is the only home console manufacturer to invest in the VR space. Nintendo technically Tried very early with the Virtual Boy and since then there’s no looking back, and Microsoft toyed with the idea of ​​augmented reality (AR) via the HoloLens on Xbox One, but never quite followed through. PlayStation’s PS VR for PS4 was the only console-compatible VR headset on the market, and it proves how much people value convenience over specs.

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PS VR is not a powerful headset. The PS VR has a resolution of 1920 x 1080, uses the PlayStation Camera to track motion, and either the regular DualShock 4 controller or the older PS3 Move controller. The highest-end headsets of the time, introduced in the same year, had a resolution of 2160 x 1200, used base station cameras for room scale, and supported Vive controllers, as well as built-in microphones and headphones such as There were other advantages.

However, those other headsets also had flaws. Not only did every other VR headset have to be connected to a PC, they also had big price tags. At launch, the PSVR was $200 to $300 cheaper than the launch price of all other, more powerful headsets on the market.

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Steam and (sometimes) owner of developing games Valve is in the closest position to Sony in this regard. The main difference is that Steam games run on PC, which can vary wildly in power between any two systems. Even today, there is a prevailing belief that powerful PCs require you to be a technical wizard who is willing to spend a lot of time and even more money to build one. On the other hand, if you already have a PlayStation, once you’ve got a headset, you’re ready for VR. Straightforward. (As this era of chip shortages makes it difficult to find itself, it’s a wrinkle that Sony can’t really control.)

The PS5, despite all the challenges it faces, is still the fastest selling PlayStation system. The sale will eventually fade over time as the stock eventually catches up, but for now, the sale is extremely promising, which is important for the PS VR2. The original PS VR only did so well because of the massive success of the PS4, and if the PS5 is selling out. Even better, then Sony is in the perfect position to take VR overall to the next level.

What should be PS VR 2

Woman walking out wearing VR headset.
Mark Naaz/Shutterstock

Simply shipping a more powerful version of the PS VR and calling it a day isn’t going to work. VR, despite being tied to the PS5’s success and ease of use, is still a tough sell for most people. Before VR can really show people what it’s capable of and go beyond the niche audiences it currently has, people have to bring it into their homes. Again, this is an area Sony can take advantage of that no other company can, if it does some very important things right.

First is the price. Sony managed to price the original PS VR very well, though it may be a bit on the high side. This was originally the cost of an additional console, which is a big question as to what most people see as a peripheral. Even on specs or software, price is the number one thing most consumers will look at before even considering adding an additional piece of technology.

PS5 is expensive, but not by much. The market clearly showed that it took a sweet spot every time the stock became available based on sell outs within hours. The headset may not cost as much as the console this time around. Sony may have to sell the PS VR2 at a slight loss if it wants to see long-term success. Right now, the cheap digital version of the PS5 costs $400, so a VR headset should cost at least $50. If Sony can make it $300, it’ll probably quickly replace a lot more people who might otherwise be on the fence.

Use Sony’s IP

Ratchet and Clank on the PS5 home screen.

The biggest shortcoming of the PS VR for the first time was not getting any of the PlayStation’s biggest first-party IPs. Yes, there were some first-party studios making special games for it, and some really great ones, but most people out there are more familiar with the names like Ratchet and Clank, Nathan Drake, Kratos, and even more. Sackboy compared to Guerrilla Games, London Studios or Team Asobi. Now that Astro’s got a chance to shine outside of VR, and as a free experience on every PS5, it may be back to solidify VR, but otherwise Sony need Some iconic characters to sell this hardware.

I don’t mean some sort of VR “experience,” either, like a Horizon-type game where it’s just five on-rails levels for you to play a fancy part of riding a robotic dinosaur as Alloy. Going down the shooting gallery. take a page from valve Half Life: Alex And some real, full-game experiences for players to sink their teeth into. Those little experiences are fun too, but if there’s nothing special to play with, most people won’t bother.

People buy PlayStations for the high quality games we’ve come to expect from its studio. If Sony doesn’t provide the same level of play for the PS VR 2 as it didn’t for the PS VR, people aren’t going to buy it.

support it

Playing Poker in VR.

In addition to providing the PS VR 2 with prestige first-party titles, Sony needs to maintain support for the system just as it does with the PS5. The early days of PS VR looked promising in this regard, especially with Resident Evil 7: Biohazard Fully playable in VR on PS4 like nowhere else. Back then, there was nothing more than ports and indie games coming to the system. This led to a cycle where developers did not want to spend resources creating VR games for such a small install base, which in turn prevented sales from growing because there were no high quality games. This loop didn’t completely eliminate the PS VR, but it certainly crippled its potential.

Sony has good relationships with many major publishers and developers outside of its studios. It needs to take advantage of some deals for exclusive VR experiences. heck, try and go Half Life: Alex Over there! See if Capcom will port Resident evil village. despite the rumors resident devil 4 we are. Can move some units. Sony will need to eat up a good deal of the upfront cost, but we already know that VR alone can’t be successful on smaller games, and until the market is big enough, major studios will need to spend more time on development. Will not spend resources for a fraction. Market.

As long as the PS VR 2 is compatible with the original PS VR games (which would be a big mistake if it wasn’t), Sony could make up for it with some sort of PS Plus collection equivalent. This would be another easy way to make the initial purchase more attractive. If you know you’re including all the great old PS VR games, it becomes easier to justify that big investment.

make it work on pc

Watch VR inside cells.
Cambridge University

The PS5 is currently leading the way in console sales, but Sony has finally gotten around to the idea of ​​porting its first-party games to PC. PCs aren’t competitors, and in VR’s case, they may even be its biggest ally. From the start, you expand your market to sell units to people who either can’t find or don’t want a PS5. A lot of gamers have invested in PC gaming and won’t bother with a relatively low-powered console, but would like Take an interest in the low cost VR headset. It also helps with the issue of support: There are more VR games, or VR-compatible games, on the PC, which can increase the PSVR 2’s library the moment it comes out.

And, if we still live in a world where the PS5 is struggling to get your hands on it, people can at least pick up the PS VR2 already and the aforementioned first-ever one to play via PC. Sides can get the game.

go beyond games

Supernatural Fitness VR  A player moves the controllers in.

It’s thinking more into the future, but when talking about VR, I believe it’s essential. The game should only be the beginning for technology. Attract people to games, which make it easy for them to throw up and start playing, but then give them more. Games are bigger than ever, sure, but VR is set to be used for a lot more. Sony needs to pave the way for this, or at least be open to allow it. We have already seen VR spreading its wings with other uses like virtual hangout space, theater and concert viewing, exercise and creative space, among others.

it can not All Be on Sony, of course, but it could get the ball rolling in a few major ways. Why not do special VR premieres of new movies from Sony Pictures? It just bought anime streaming service Crunchyroll, so maybe it can make that service VR-friendly. a social place Play Station House PS3 would be a perfect fit for PS VR 2 from the days if built right, and just bringing Dreams As a creative tool for the PS5 will inspire many artists and designers to strap on a headset and create something.

For everything else, all Sony has to do is allow people to do whatever they want with their headsets. If it works with PCs, people are going to find a way to do more with it, eventually. Unless they’re stealing games, data, or anything malicious like that, just let them. I know Sony people are not so fond of modifying it…

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