There will be no place to get a better insight on the future of PlayStation than at this year’s Game Developer’s Conference. Executives, developers and engineers from all across Sony’s many video game branches will be on hand participating in panels, giving speeches and postmortem talks on their software and peripherals.
Some of the more interesting sessions include one discussing whether free-to-play gaming can work on the PS4, a panel showing how Sony aims to support indie developers and one titled “Creating Unique Interactive Experiences with the PlayStation 4,” which just might be where Sony finally unveils its long-rumored virtual reality headset. Oh yeah, there’s also the Shenmue postmortem that Yu Suzuki will present alongside Mark Cerny, the PlayStation 4’s lead system architect.
Looking to the future, Sony has added another session to its growing list titled “Driving the Future of Innovation at Sony Computer Entertainment,” on March 18, which will be hosted by Richard Marks, the research and development director at Sony Computer Entertainment of America, and Anton Mikhailov, a Sony senior software engineer. Joining Marks and Mikhailov on stage will be the President of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida.
Unfortunately, we don’t know much else that will be covered during this session other than the little information its description gives us that reads, “Join Sony Computer Entertainment for a presentation on innovation at PlayStation and the future of gaming.”
As previously mentioned, rumors have been swirling for some time now that Sony will finally unveil its VR headset at GDC, and most recently, it was suggested Sony might showcase it during the “Creating Unique Interactive Experiences” session. However, given the fact that Yoshida will be present at a GDC event the day before, it wouldn’t surprise us to see it finally showcased publicly there.
If so, the VR headset could still be presented a day later at the “Creating Unique Interactive Experiences” event alongside Sony’s other gesture-based peripherals, like the DualShock 4, PlayStation Move and PlayStation Eye. Whatever the case may be, all eyes will be on Sony during GDC where many expect to see its new headset that will rival the Oculus Rift, but we won’t be surprised if it no shows once again, as it’s already done so at Gamescom and Tokyo Game Show.
It will be interesting to see how much resources Sony puts into its VR headset once it finally brings it to retail. While the Oculus Rift has showed a lot of promise, virtual reality gaming has yet to catch on in the mass market. Sony certainly has the first-party development studios to create original, innovative games, but are people ready to don a headset and step into virtual reality, or will Sony’s headset just be one more failed attempt at capturing our imaginations of living in another world?