Virtual Reality or VR is and will be one of the biggest topic at E3 2016. With the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift out in the wild, it’s now the consoles turn to showcase their offering. The PlayStation VR is due later this year and Microsoft has yet to offer anything solid from their end so we’re keen to see what each company has to show.
The Respawn Ninja team sat down to discuss what we want to see from both Microsoft and Sony, here’s what we have to say:
VR seems to be the next evolutionary step in gaming, so it comes with no surprise that we will inevitably see more than a few exclusive titles for each of Microsoft and Sony’s VR units. What I hope we see from either Sony or Microsoft is an exclusive title that changes my ‘Hey that’s cool, but I don’t need it’ type attitude.
VR has impressed me so far with its capabilities, but has yet to grasp me as a consumer, especially considering the price tags attached. Potentially a gladiator styled game, or a title with setting that only VR experience can truly immerse you in.
I’d love to see some really out of the box things from both companies. VR is one of those things that could easily become more a novelty than a fully-fledged platform, so I’d really like for Sony especially to do is to take it seriously.
Microsoft has their hololens stuff in the works, so if Sony can give reasons for players to keep coming back to VR they’ll be in luck. E3 is the perfect time to reveal something from their developers that pushes PSVR into a must have – especially if that game is some sort of Rogue Squadron style, Star Wars fighter sim.
I think Sony will finally give PlayStation VR a good amount of show-time at E3 next week, and while it has some neat experiences and apps already announced for its October launch window, it genuinely needs a killer app to push it into the mainstream. That killer app needs to demonstrate the capabilities of VR, have at least some staying power, and be easily marketable to mainstream gamers. I’ve been skimming my thoughts for something that would be of this nature, but in the world of VR I think developers will have to design and look at things outside of the box to really unlock the potential of what Virtual Reality has to offer. Apps like House of Languages on Gear VR demonstrates educational value as well as being placed into a different, all-encompassing virtual world, and that’s certainly something VR can thrive on. So, for Sony, I hope we finally see something that will completely ‘wow’ us.
For Microsoft, Hololens looks great and I’d love to see more of what they’re making over there. Similarly, with the rumours that the Rift might become compatible with the supposed upgraded Xbox One, I’d be extremely excited to see that announced. If that does happen, then, Microsoft using some of Xbox’s plethora of fantastic IP on the Rift seems like the next logical hope to have.
Virtual Reality is quickly becoming the hot commodity this year, even though both Microsoft and Sony have shown us their own VR investments in previous years it would not be a big surprise if both companies doubled down on these technologies. With both consoles possibly having upgrades in the near future it would not be a jump to guess a possible VR upgrade will be included.
With 2016 being the year of VR gear we have seen an explosion of hardware come from major developers. This has given us an avenue to explore our favourite environments with an incomparable level of immersion. With that being said, while the hardware is definitely making its way into our hands I still see it at the “cool gimmick” stage of implementation.
Sony and Microsoft need to help initiate a change in this mentality as we approach E3. They will hopefully bring something that shows off the capabilities of Virtual Reality and attempt to push us toward the next step for both the creative and gaming market. I wouldn’t be surprised if both companies go out of their way to heavily push their own devices but hopefully we see don’t see the level of exclusivity seen from the previous console generations.
We’ve seen some awesome concepts and titles with the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift on PC already but it’s still relatively early in the lifespan, so we have yet to see the true potential of VR in the mainstream market. The price entry is also rather high, people can’t afford spending $2,000 AUD+ on the PC alone to run it and that’s without buying the actual VR HMD unit. So it’s up to the actual console market to push it along.
The PlayStation VR is promising and from my multiple hands-on – it’s a solid unit which exceeded my expectations coming from the PlayStation 4 hardware. Great hardware is one thing but software to carry it is the most important aspect of VR. So far we’ve seen first-party demos and concept titles from PlayStation and snippets of third-party content during TGS 2015. With the release around the corner, E3 2016 is prime time to showcase the major selling points for the PlayStation in terms of launch titles and we’re expected to see a massive push for this during Sony’s press conference.
Last year, Microsoft partnered with Oculus Rift and with the unit coming bundled with the Xbox One controller – we haven’t really seen much out from the console side of things. With PlayStation VR one of the biggest targets for Sony this year, we’re expecting something announced for the Xbox One possibly a release for the platform. If Oculus Rift releases on the Xbox One this year, it will be major game changer to the VR scene especially if it’s cross-platform. So I’m definitely keen on what Microsoft has up their sleeves to counter the PS VR.