In the face of a number of virtual reality competitors, PlayStation VR will stand apart from its rivals not only through its technological prowess but also due to its accessibility, simplicity and sociability, according to a key Sony figure.
Towards the end of a keynote presentation on the journey of PlayStation VR hosted earlier today at EGX 2015, the director of SCE Worldwide Studios’ Immersive Technology Group, Simon Benson, was questioned on what makes PlayStation VR particularly unique, and why end users should ultimately choose Sony’s tech over the likes of the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive.
While re-iterating PS VR’s strong technical capabilities, particularly when used in conjunction with the PS4 – including being able to deliver images at 120 frames per second with a 100-degree field of view – Benson also spoke of the importance of remaining true to the values people associate with PlayStation. He said:
“There’s a couple of really significant things that we’re very proud of, and I think that’s first of all with PlayStation, people expect we can take technology however advanced and we can make it simple and accessible so everyone can be included and everyone can access that.”
Using SCE London Studio’s Wonderbook augmented reality (AR) peripheral as an example of an extremely advanced technology that could be picked up and played by children, the developer said PS VR has been designed with a similar philosophy, adding: “One thing I think PlayStation brings is the idea that yes, it might be advanced technology, but it’s plug and play – you can plug it in, and you’re there, and everything just works.”
Benson then went on to champion PlayStation VR’s ‘social’ gameplay, and the idea of headset-wearing user playing along with their friends using a conventional DualShock setup:
“Some people think that VR can be quite an isolating experience, but that’s not really very ‘PlayStation’, so we also looked at ways that we can make sure that the whole idea of sharing and community – which works really well on PlayStation – [can translate to VR].
“If we were playing a VR game in our living room, people who walk in who want to play with you, can do – they’re not excluded from the experience. So we’ve done a lot of work on looking at the social aspects; how we can bring other people into the game, too. For example, we have the social screen, where you can put a different picture on there and someone can be playing in VR, and other people can be playing along on the TV screen, and you can take turns – you can pass and play, so I think that’s really a significant area that we’re really proud of.”
For more PlayStation VR, you can check out our hands-on impressions of the tech, along with Rebellion’s BattleZone demo, currently being showcased at EGX.