Can virtual reality be our future ?
The release of the PlayStation VR2 has reignited the debate over whether virtual reality (VR) is the future of gaming. While Sony has stated that VR will continue to play a significant role in the industry, the lack of unique experiences for the PS VR2 and a shortage of "system-sellers" has raised concerns among industry experts.
The debate over whether virtual reality (VR) is the future of gaming has been ongoing in the industry, with strong opinions on both sides. The release of PlayStation VR2 has reignited this discussion, with one of the industry’s biggest players stating that VR will continue to be a significant part of gaming. Some had speculated that Sony might abandon its VR efforts due to a lack of investment in blockbuster VR games, indicating a lack of faith in its initial foray into the field. The original PlayStation VR released in 2016 was uncomfortable and clunky, with a lack of exclusive must-play games being a significant issue. However, despite these drawbacks, five million units were sold globally. Players had some enjoyable moments, such as playing Tetris Effect, but there was a lack of memorable experiences. Resident Evil 7 played via the headset was the most terrifying gaming experience ever encountered.
The new PS VR2 offers a slicker, lighter, and more comfortable experience than its predecessor and is positioning itself in the middle of a crowded VR marketplace. To use the headset, one must already own a PlayStation 5. Although it is more expensive than cheaper options like the Meta Quest 2, it is still more affordable than high-end options such as the Valve Index. However, games journalist Jordan Middler from Videogames Chronicle (VGC) is concerned that there is a lack of unique experiences available for the device, which has been an issue since the beginning of VR gaming. Horizon: Call of the Mountain is currently the only true PS VR2 exclusive, leaving gamers wondering where all the other big Sony titles are, such as a Spiderman VR game or a Last of Us VR experience. The absence of “system-sellers” is a common criticism aimed at VR devices.
The lack of unique experiences available for the PS VR2 is a concern for games journalist Jordan Middler from Videogames Chronicle (VGC). He questions why players would choose the PS VR2 over other headsets, given that most titles are playable on other devices. Sony’s reliance on the Horizon series VR tie-in to do the heavy lifting is apparent, with Horizon: Call of the Mountain being the only significant exclusive title at launch. However, Middler is impressed with the game, describing it as “absolutely beautiful” and capable of capturing the scale of the machines in a way that is comparable to scenes in Jurassic Park. The gameplay is also noteworthy, as it is not just a theme park experience.
Games for the original PlayStation VR are not compatible with the new PS VR2, which means players with a library of games for the former device will need to start anew if they choose to upgrade. This factor, along with the lack of unique titles, leads Middler to believe that the PS VR2 will only appeal to the most dedicated virtual reality gamers who believe in its future. Middler questions whether players will have faith in PlayStation to invest in creating more games, given the previous iteration was “abandoned” towards the end of its lifespan. The PS VR2 has several advantages, but it also raises many questions, making it a microcosm of the virtual reality gaming experience. The role of VR in the future of gaming is likely to be a topic of conversation in the industry for some time.