You only get virtual reality when you try it. So allowing folk to try it looks like it will define the upcoming VR marketing push.
This poses a problem for Sony, Facebook and Steam/HTC. They desperately want folk to buy PlayStation VR (350), Oculus Rift (500) and HTC Vive (690). But unlike a trailer for a game that can be shared online or in-store, the only way to market a VR game ‘properly’ is for folk to strap themselves into a headset.
HTC Vive is being demoed in a handful of stores across the country, and now Sony has said that it’s going all-out to get the tech into as many hands (or onto as many heads?) as it possibly can.
It’s going to take time and money and effort to do that – and we’re willing to do that, bringing PS VR to as many consumers as possible at roadshows and such,” Sony Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida told Eurogamer.
I totally believe that Oculus, Vive, Valve, HTC and ourselves are helping each other bring high quality VR experiences to new consumers. Anything we do, or they do, is helping each other create more awareness of VR.”
Yoshida also touched upon the power deficit that PlayStation VR will have to contend with. High-price PC headsets must be connected to high-power computers. While this gives PlayStation VR a huge price advantage, it also means that technically it will always be behind the pack.
The advantage Sony does have, Yoshida argues, is that PS4 offers a fixed point for developers to work from meaning that over time experiences will inevitably improve.
In terms of the highest graphical performers, it’s a PC world. The AMDs and NVIDIAs of the world are always bringing out new, more powerful graphics cards for several hundred dollars and there a group of consumers willing to keep investing in that,” he conceded.
So on that standpoint we are fixed platform, as you say. PS4 is PS4 for everyone who owns it. With PS VR, we can ensure developers can spend a lot of time tuning their games so they can ensure the experience is great for everyone trying it.
In the past, even on the same platform you saw that games kept looking better and better [over the life of the console]. The same will happen with PS4, too. Our system software guys will continue to work improving and tuning PS4 as well.”