Here we are in 2017, and once again VR takes a major play in E3. Many of you are probably saying “duh”. To a certain extent, you are right… DUH.
But it’s different this time. Much different.
If you take a look at the Sony press conference (featured below), you’ll see that about half the games featured are in VR. Neither Nintendo nor Microsoft heralded as many VR games. In fact, Microsoft had nothing to offer the booth in ways of VR.
It’s no secret that Sony has been making a push into VR. Many of their booths showcased their VR capabilities this year. This is a big risk for Sony, one that will pay off if fans embrace Sony’s headset. With the first year of the fans being at E3 2017, it made access to fully review it a bit more difficult to work with. I can assume by the game line up that the technology/price point is ready in the minds of the PS overlords.
Keep in mind, I want Sony to be successful, I’ve been a loyalist since Playstation OG. A few things kinda bug me though. Why push Skyrim into VR? The game is six years old. Why Nintendo? Why Playstation? You could have made new IP’s front and center but you choose an aging game and add a Link skin / VR option? It’s lazy, and a bigger risk than we are used to seeing. Not only that, but did you see the new XBOX? It’s a beast that nearly doubles PlayStation power. The console war is heating up in new and unusual ways. But I digress…
The next weird thing was a final fantasy offshoot for VR: A deep fishing game. Now I’m all for mini-game offshoots (a round of Gwent anyone?), but they have to be so amazing that there is a legitimate market for it. Now I could be wrong, deep sea fishing could be the best game of 2018, but unless the fanboys and fangirls want to carry it because it has the words “Final Fantasy” on it, it’s more of a novelty than an actual fully fledged game. Now if they said Blitzball VR, that would have seen some crazy reactions.
It’s not all bad, however, Arch Angel and Star Child look great and are the main proponent of new IP for Playstation. But again, why does this all matter?
The reason Sony matters this year is because we are seeing the next step in VR entertainment. Phase three is the phase everyone has been waiting for since Oculus debuted in 2012: Mainstream. VR has been in development for five years. Countless industries from medical to tourism to entertainment have been waiting for just the right moment to jump head first. If Sony can pull off it’s in-house headset and establish itself as the mainstream VR company, the speculation of “is VR profitable?” is over. And the world finds itself with a VR in nearly every home within the next five years.
Bold moves Sony, bold moves indeed.
If you want to delve into more of what is discussed, check out our E3 live coverage of the Sony press conference.