Some may have you believe
If you’d look at the current videos doing the rounds this is the question being asked currently. Flashy thumbnails and minutes of YouTube footage are currently being dedicated to trying to answer this question.
Lets first take a look at some of the listed reasons below for this frankly alarming output of content that has this blogger and PSVR owner questioning whether he should get his unit listed on eBay in a timely fashion to minimise his losses on what may no longer be “the future of play“.
1. Sony’s advertising of PSVR
Or should that be the lack of advertising, as a seasoned gamer and someone who would consider himself as knowledgeable about up and coming products, especially when it comes to hardware. I must admit that I wasn’t even aware that the PSVR existed until I pre-ordered a unit in the second wave of registrations that Sony made available back in March ’16.
I felt late to the party, however, that didn’t stop me and I remember sitting in the pub with my friends gushing over what VR will do for gaming, how it will change the future and how finally after an experience I had at an expo at a young kid on a VR arcade machine that rotated (I don’t remember the name), that I’ll finally be able to be in the game and all for ONLY the low-low price of £349.99.
Now, skip forward to October ’16. launch day and if you were to have gleaned over the number of jacked in users at over at r/PSVR on Reddit you would have seen that the number only hovered around 2k, since then it’s grown to around 25.5k today. This is good, but it could have been so much better, in the U.K especially there were no advertisements on TV, Radio, or Internet that I ever saw or heard and I was very susceptible to VR advertising at the time.
2. Sony closure of VR studios
If you run a quick Google search for London Studio or Guerrilla Cambridge you’ll notice that these two gaming studios worked on two very important games for VR. First, London Studio put together what I consider to be an excellent VR experience in the crime, gangland, thriller, shooter that is The London Heist. I just wish that this game was longer and had more story.
[SPOILER ALERT] I wish that there was a part two due out soon that would further the storyline beyond the ultimate choice you’re forced to make in the final moments of the game, but I digress.[SPOILER ALERT OVER]
Guerrilla Studios’ put together a piece of VR wizardry that when the demo first lit up the HMD, I looked around to take in my surroundings, first up, then swiveling my neck left, then right, only to realise my surrounds, my natural response was to mouth “fuck yeah!” as I realised I was standing in the cockpit of a huge mechanised robot, immediately thoughts flooded my mind of Steel Battalion on Xbox, for those of you who wasn’t cool enough to know what this game was about, this is just the controller!
I proceeded to have the most fun with Rigs Mechanized Combat League, even though at first I didn’t really have a clue what I was really doing! Sometimes though, that’s the best part.
Now, however, both studios are closed and the talent that produced these joyful moments have moved on, hopefully into other VR projects to continue to delight us.
Sony said in a statement:
“Having reviewed and assessed all current projects and plans for the short and medium term, we have decided that in order to deliver on our strategic objectives, it is necessary to make some changes to the European studios structure.”
Note: Bold added for emphasis
This segway’s us nicely to our next point.
3. Sony perceived lack of communication on future projects
What exactly are Sony’s plans for the short and medium term for the PSVR?
I think this is the main point here, at the start of PSVRs life if you looked hard enough and by this, I mean Googled, as always. Then you would have known that there were 50 games and VR experiences due for release within the PSVR launch window and that this launch window is about 90 days from launch.
That launch window closes at the end of January (5 days) and I believe that what PSVR owners and perspective PSVR buyers need from Sony now is communication regarding the short term and the medium term of PSVR.
Sony, if you’re reading this, I’m a fan. You have the most accessible hardware with the least barrier to entry and some of the most favourable intellectual property, you’re working with some of the best talent in the industry, put together a damn showreel of what the next 3-6 months has in store for gamers and get the content out to us.
You effectively have the iPhone of the VR industry and you’ve delivered in stage one, what’s coming next?
My closing thoughts on PSVR
When I take all of the above into account and weigh up the pros and cons, for this blogger, it doesn’t really matter because at my core I’m just a gamer in every sense.
You see when it really comes down to it, all of the above and all the ‘what if’s’ surrounding PSVR and VR in general fade away into insignificance when you put the headset on and hold the PS Move controllers in your hands, it will forever remain with me as a defining moment in my gaming history and PSVR will sit proudly alongside moments like Sonic, Streets of Rage and Golden Axe or the first time I played Mario 64, Lylat Wars 64 or GoldenEye, being blown away by the style and roughness of Gears of War or something as simple as listening to the Halo soundtrack the first time you inserted that disc into your Xbox.
These are the moments that define gaming and this is what gaming is all about, it’s about experiences and the joy that the technology can bring you and if you’ve even been on the fence about PSVR you should get off of it and experience it today.
If you’ve already got PSVR, then be sure to pick up Resident Evil 7 Biohazard! It’s my top pick and my next VR experience!
Wish me luck and leave your thoughts in the comments below about VR.