Ever since video games entered our lives, we’ve all dreamed for the days we can leave our TVs and controllers behind and make way for the lands of virtual reality. While several video game companies, like Nintendo with the Virtual Boy, have tried and failed to fulfill our dreams, the award-winning Oculus Rift virtual reality headset suggests we might be closer than ever to entering that virtual dreamland.
And while Oculus VR’s Oculus Rift has led the way in the virtual reality resurgence, Sony has been rumored of secretly toiling away on a VR headset of its own- check out the patents here. Rumors of Sony’s VR headset began to surface last September it was reported the company planned to reveal it at Germany’s Gamescom conference last year but canceled the showing at the last minute. Soon after, it was believed Tokyo Game Show would host the unveiling, but that proved to be untrue, as well.
Now, new rumors are swirling about, and if TechRadar’s reports are true, we’ll finally get to see its new virtual reality headset at this year’s Game Developers Conference. Here we go again…
Unlike Oculus VR’s approach however, TechRadar’s source tells them “Sony has deliberately taken its time to tweak and polish the headset before revealing it.” This could be the reasons for the previous no-shows, especially considering that its first appearance will be judged closely in comparison to the Oculus Rift, and the tipster went on to say, “the quality and resolution are really, really good. People will definitely be impressed with what Sony’s built.”
Looking at the GDC schedule actually gives us some clues as to where and when Sony might showcase its headset. Chris Norden, a senior staff developer support engineer at Sony, will host a GDC session titled “Creating Unique Interactive Experiences with the PlayStation 4” on March 19. Its page description:
This presentation will explore technical capabilities and new features of the PlayStation 4’s new input devices. Attendees will leave this presentation with a better understanding of some of the new and exciting features that are available to developers to make their PS4 games stand out from the rest.
The page states the DualShock 4, PlayStation Eye and PlayStation Move will be showcased, but the headset would naturally fit right into this live demonstration. It will be interesting to see if Sony finally takes the wraps off its VR headset and, if so, what information they’re willing to share.
While the promise of virtual reality has us foaming at the mouth, Sony certainly has a lot of work ahead if it hopes to succeed where all others have failed. First off, they need to offer a quality, competitively priced headset with compelling software that gives people unique experiences they can’t get elsewhere. To date, they’ve yet to even support the PlayStation Eye much on the PS4 and we all know how little use the PlayStation Move got on the PS3.
Sony can’t simply tack on VR functionality to traditional, controller based games and think it will win gamers over. One only needs to look at Microsoft’s failure with the Kinect to understand that just won’t work. If they can somehow pull it off, though, we might finally get a chance to live that virtual life we’ve long dreamed for.