Valve and HTC brought about a new era of virtual reality (VR) locomotion earlier in the year with the introduction of the HTC Vive head-mounted display (HMD) and its Room Scale user-tracking. Provided by Valve’s SteamVR system, this allows players to walk around in a real world area of up to 15-feet by 15-feet, tracked by a laser-based device known as Lighthouse. These movements are then replicated within the given experience. This type of movement could be key to the future of VR, but it’s not something that you’ll see implemented into PlayStation VR on PlayStation 4.
Richard Marks, Director of the PlayStation Magic Lab and well known for his work on PlayStation VR at Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE), confirmed as much in a recent talk at the VR Intelligence Conference and Expo (VRX) in San Francisco, California. During his ‘The Fantastic Reality of Virtual Play’ session, Marks mentioned that SCE was not looking into walking-based motion input, which suggests that PlayStation VR will primarily consist of seated experiences. In fact, Marks made references to such experiences like RIGS: Mechanized Combat League as proof of this in his talk.
Sony itself did recently purchase SoftKinetic, a tech company working in hand-tracking for VR. This, along with some other patents, suggests that the company may be looking into some more advanced form of inputs for PlayStation VR in the future, though players can expect to utilise the DualShock 4 and PlayStation Move motion controllers for now. PlayStation VR is set to launch in the first half of 2016.
VRFocus will continue to follow PlayStation VR closely, reporting back with the latest updates on its progress.