Does PSVR Still Have a Chance?
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I don’t consider myself an early adopter. Especially when it comes to technology I’m not immediately down with, such as a new video game console. If it’s something more out of the ordinary or less immediately beneficial to me or my job here on the ol’ internet, I can wait to pick it up. So naturally, well on its journey to a recent milestone of three million sales and a few years into its life, I finally picked up a PlayStation VR. Now, I’ve been following the thing somewhat closely, if only because I pay attention to all the gaming news I can. There’s always this underlying question of, “Will Sony support it?" It’s been almost two years now and it’s not, “Sony is supporting it, hooray,” or “Sony messed up, y’all.” It’s still up in the air. Why is that? And, well, is Sony supporting it? The answer is yes!

I think a lot of this questioning comes from a general distrust of Sony when it comes to the company’s reputation with supporting its own products, which is an odd thing to say. You can’t deny that Sony doesn’t have a great track record, what with the company more or less burying the Vita before it really had a chance and jumping ship as soon as things didn’t look great. Even the PSP got reamed pretty hard by bizarre decision-making on Sony’s part here in the States. What I’m saying is that there’s precedent for Sony to drop things that aren’t the core PlayStation consoles, so people are more worried due to that than what’s actually happening with VR.

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As someone who just recently bought a PSVR, I’m still in the honeymoon phase. I was worried about motion sickness and I do totally have to monitor that, but I’m having way more fun with it than I even expected to. It’s truly an amazing device, and Sony’s initiative to keep costs down compared to the competition is something I hope pays off for everyone in the end, on either side of the transaction. But is the platform still actively being supported? Sure, but not in the way you think of when you think of support.

What I’m referring to of course is the lack of a real, true, “AAA” gaming experience on PSVR. Here’s the thing: You don’t actually want that. You may think you do, but that’s not what VR gaming is really about right now, especially on PlayStation. Sure, there’s weird versions of Skyrim and Doom, and Fallout 4 coming eventually, but those are outliers. I’m actually quite curious about Fallout 4, perhaps that will change things. But for now, VR is still growing. The kinds of weird, small experiences, side modes, and lower-budget games are exactly what we need in this space. If anything, games like Moss are what you might want to consider as the VR version of “AAA.”

VR is still a risk. VR is an experiment that requires audience participation, and everyone with a headset right now is still just going along for a ride we’re putting together as we roll down the track. That’s where VR is, and that’s why it’s still more things like “experiences” and weird, smaller games than someone trying to shove a $100 million AAA game into it.

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Plus, Sony has gone on the record plenty of times with things to say about the state of and future of PSVR. Just recently, the new CEO was at a technology event in Berlin talking about how the company is still experimenting with VR and brainstorming problems with the technology, such as motion sickness and, well, general vulnerability to surroundings. There’s going to be a lot of iteration here, and anyone with a PlayStation VR set is sitting at the ground level of a skyscraper. Myself included, even after waiting a couple years.

PlayStation VR is a long game. Sony is capitalizing on a trend, sure, but is still throwing darts at a board just like everyone else. It’s not going to be your primary gaming device in 2019 by any means, and that’s not what the intent was in the first place. It’s going to be that cool thing you go back to every now and then when something new comes out, or the thing you show your non-gamer friends to impress them. It’ll work out, because everyone wants it to. Also, Tetris Effect is gonna be dope, and we all know it.

Lucas White
Lucas White
@HokutoNoRucas

Writing Team Lead
Date: 09/18/2018

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