Capcom announces that the development team behind Resident Evil will begin focusing on creating virtual reality projects alongside traditional console games.
Capcom has confirmed that their Development Division 1 team, the team responsible for the Resident Evil games, is currently working with virtual reality technology, with the goal of creating games for the tech. While Resident Evil wasn't specifically named, Capcom's explanation of one of their VR projects strongly hints that a VR horror game is in development by the Development Division 1 team.
"At present, we are focusing our energy on challenging the virtual reality (VR) game market. In this terrifying world, you can twist and turn as you like, but there's no escaping the creatures closing in on you...until you remove your VR headset and return to reality, that is."
Capcom likened the project to the experience found in their "Kitchen" demo, which was shown off at this past year's E3 event. Capcom credits the positive response to the Kitchen tech demo as the catalyst that convinced them to further pursue VR games, which they consider the "hottest market" right now.
Those worried that Capcom's new focus on VR experiences may interfere with their development of traditional console games should rest easy knowing that the company made it a point to clarify that they are simultaneously working on new console games along with the VR titles.
The VR horror project in development at Capcom could be a new IP, but considering the risks involved with developing for newer technology, it would make more sense for Capcom to rely on their tried-and-true franchises, such as Resident Evil. In fact, depending on how popular VR becomes over the next couple of years, it wouldn't be surprising at all to see Resident Evil 7 as a VR title, and virtual reality may just be the shot in the arm the series needs to regain its popularity.
Another possibility is that the upcoming Resident Evil 2 remake could utilize VR to help it better stand apart from the original. After all, Capcom specifically named Development Division 1 as the team working on VR games, and they also happen to be the team that is developing the Resident Evil 2 remake. Capcom may be looking to test the waters with a game like the RE2 remake before dedicating a completely new numbered entry in the series to VR.
Whatever Capcom decides to do with virtual reality, it's likely that the VR games will be multi-platform, with probable support for PlayStation VR and Oculus Rift, the latter of which will be compatible with the Xbox One. Capcom has also had a stronger PC gaming presence these last few years than its normally had, so support for the various other VR products is also a distinct possibility.
Resident Evil VR is certainly not officially confirmed, but keep an eye out. In the meantime, there are currently two games in the series in development, which are the aforementioned Resident Evil 2 remake and the multiplayer-focused Umbrella Corps shooter.