We’ve played as Batman before in the Arkham series or flown an X-Wing in a variety of Star Wars video games, but soon you will be able to BE the Batman. At the Sony press conference yesterday, the company unveiled a variety of titles for its upcoming PlayStation VR headset. It is the start of virtual reality reaching the wider game-playing masses.
“The time has finally come for everyone to enjoy VR in their own homes. At PlayStation, we have a combination of the necessary processing and graphics power already built inside 40 million PS4s that have been sold worldwide,” said Shawn Layden, the chairman of Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios.
When PSVR launches on October 13th, for $399, it will be with healthy prospects. The 40 million+ PS4 owners will not only have the forementioned Batman Arkham VR game and special Star Wars Battlefront VR missions to check out, but also the recently announced Resident Evil VII will be completely playable in VR. The scifi adventure game Farpoint was also unveiled, and Final Fantasy XV will have a VR section.
These join the dozens of games already announced for PSVR, including space dogfighting game Eve Valkyrie, satire Job Simulator, racing game Gran Turismo Sport, psychedelic shooter Rez: Infinite, and more. Sony stated that there will be 50 games for PSVR by the end of the year. That’s a lot of VR to get lost in.
And what was the Xbox response to all this virtual reality love? It’s unclear. At the end of the Xbox press event yesterday morning, the company ran a video that confirmed the rumor of a more powerful version of the Xbox One codenamed “Project Scorpio.”
“We see exciting opportunities on the horizon, opportunities to unlock new innovation for both gamers and developers alike,” said Phil Spencer, head of Xbox. “Project Scorpio will be the next addition to the Xbox family. … This is hardware built specifically to lead the console industry into true 4K gaming and high fidelity VR. True 4K visuals without sacrificing quality, premier VR experiences without sacrificing performance, putting greater graphical fidelity in the hands of the world’s best creators.”
So we will learn about VR for Xbox next year. But will it be a unique headset? At the Bethesda press conference the day before, director Todd Howard revealed Fallout 4 is coming to the PC virtual reality headset Vive in 2017. In Microsoft’s teaser video for Scorpio, Howard mentions Fallout 4 again. So perhaps PC headset Vive will work with next year’s Scorpio. Then again, Microsoft has partnered with Oculus for its PC headset Rift, bundling an Xbox One controller with every Rift. It is feasible that Scorpio will be designed to be even more compatible with Windows accessories than the current Xbox One, and let the player choose which VR headset for PC to use.
The virtual reality competition on PC has come together since both major headsets launched earlier this year. You have Oculus Rift, from Facebook subsidiary Oculus, which costs $600–with the Oculus Touch motion controllers coming later this year. Cellphone maker HTC has produced the Vive, working with Valve’s software team to utilize Steam VR, which is available now for $800 and includes motion control wands.
These two leads in PC VR will go up against Sony’s PSVR which will be only $400, with a PS4 being required rather than a pricier PC. Of course, PC games have more horsepower behind them to produce gorgeous games. But the PSVR titles are impressive and will likely sell more due to the massive audience that is found on the PlayStation platform.
Regardless of which virtual reality headset you are interested in, there is no denying that virtual reality is an exciting new way to enjoy games. Who wouldn’t want to feel like they are flying an X-Wing or actually being attacked by monsters in their own home?
Tell us what virtual reality games you have loved or are looking forward to playing.
Image Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment