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VR vs. PlayStation Experience 2015 – Another Strong Showcase for PlayStation VR as Patience for Real New Thins

Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) had a great PlayStation Experience. Fans saw the first footage of Final Fantasy VII Remake, Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom made a surprise reveal, and Epic Games launched its assault on the MOBA market with Paragon. Overall there was no denying it was a strong show for the company, but its virtual reality (VR) showcase was a slightly different story.

PlayStation VR headset

SCE has been paying increased attention to its PlayStation VR head-mounted display (HMD) at conferences since its dismal E3 showing and that’s great. Tokyo Game Show (TGS) was plenty of new demos and the reveal of that final name, while Paris Games Week (PGW) held some of the first major videogame announcements in Gran Turismo Sport and Tekken 7. Looking ahead for PlayStation Experience, many hoped this would be the show that the company finally dropped some of the bombshells that it might have up its sleeve. Despite some exciting new reveals, that didn’t quite happen.

A total of seven new titles were announced for the kit at the show. We finally got confirmation that Job Simulator was PlayStation-bound and Modern Zombie Taxi Co. reappeared for the first time in a while. Ubisoft finally made a full commitment to VR with Eagle Flight and Rez Infinite seemingly came out of the blue to be one of the tech’s most promising titles. Golem promised an intriguing new experience and Ace Combat 7 made a triumphant return. Arguably the winner of the reveals? 100FT Robot Golf, which sent audiences into fits of laughter with its hilarious take on VR.

There were all great reveals, adding to what’s already an incredibly strong line-up for PlayStation VR. But, as with the last few VR showcases, the multiple elephants in the room were not addressed, and the kit’s section came and went without so much as a mention of a release date and price. Despite persistent rumours, No Man’s Sky was also a no show on VR, and it’s starting to become a potentially damaging situation. SCE’s silence on the support could make confirmation that it won’t support the kit all the more disappointing. Meanwhile, if it does support the device, why hold back?

There was also a hugely unfortunate moment in which SCE bravely tried to communicate the VR experience to the audience with an on-stage demo. PlayStation Magic Lab’s Richard Marks took to the stage with a partner to showcase 2 player experience using the PlayStation Move motion controllers. It certainly seemed as if it might have been a good attempt at communicating VR’s message had it actually worked. Sadly, Marks’ controllers weren’t tracked, and he was forced to awkwardly dodge incoming fire as an audience looked on in confusion.

As ever, the wait continues for news on the release of PlayStation VR, then. We can at least rest assured that the kit will have strong content to back up its arrival, but patience for such that information is starting to wear out. The H1 2016 release window is now just a few weeks away and yet we’re no closer to learning when PlayStation VR will release.

  1. It’s looking like Oculus and Sony are both awaiting for the other to announce their launch-plans first for an easy one-up.

  2. “The H1 2016 release window is now just a few weeks away…”

    Well don’t worry, it’s not going to be January. I’m guessing late Q2. Sony’s product is incredibly polished, and through smart choices (“reprojection”, non-pentile screen, and others) and lots of experience (decent software lineup, great optics, better handling of this product launch than Oculus and Valve/HTC could dream of), they’ve got what I think will be the best overall ownership experience for First Generation VR, and at a price of entry (PS4 + PSVR) below that of the other major players (including fast PC). Hell, it’ll probably be about the same price as a Gear VR (S6 Edge+ + GearVR).

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