Tokyo Game Show is around the corner, and one of the things that has fans the most excited is a closer look at PlayStation VR. 2016 will go down as the year that virtual reality became an actual reality for many fans. Both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive have helped to prove that home VR is possible. However, both devices have such steep costs of entry that they’ve failed to gain traction in the larger market. PlayStation VR could change that with a large, pre-established user base and a significantly lower price point. Now, we’re starting to learn even more details about the highly hyped hardware as we countdown to the release.
One of the biggest things on the minds of fans is a basic one: which games are going to be available at launch? We expect to get a better look at these when TGS rolls around, because several high-profile VR games will be shown including Batman: Arkham VR and Rez Infinite, a fresh take on the cult-classic, on-rails shooter. These come in addition to the VR edition of the highly anticipated Resident Evil 7, which seems to be a return to the series’ horror roots, much to the delight of fans.
As the technology becomes more commonplace across the world, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to also expect its use to greatly expand. Virtual reality is already being used in many applications beyond just gaming and has even provided a new way to travel for those unable to leave their homes. The technology has actually helped some seniors to visit memorials and far off places that they never would have seen up close otherwise.
This virtual sightseeing opens up the possibility for yet another form of entertainment: sports. Everyone always wants to be closer to the game and the action, but the reality is that most of us are relegated to enjoying the competitions from the comfort of our couches. But what if we could stay on the couch and still have courtside seats? While it might be some time before the technology catches up to showing something like a live broadcast of an NFL game, a much more realistic possibility is that we could see it in eSports first. Because many of these games will likely already have built-in VR support, it wouldn’t be that much of a stretch to offer a more in-depth spectator view, from inside the game. An estimated 70 million people worldwide watch eSports and that number is only continuing to grow as the market becomes more accepted in mainstream culture. There are already VR spectator modes for popular games such as DOTA 2 where fans can actually watch the match from inside the game, making for an incredibly meta fan experience. Who’s to say that the same experience won’t make its way to games like Madden, FIFA or even Call of Duty?
We only have a little more than a month left before PlayStation VR is finally here, and it could be the push that the tech needs to make the transition from novelty to necessity. With more than 40 million PS4s currently in the market, the user base is already there and it’s up to Sony to take advantage of it. The PlayStation VR is expected to launch October 13, 2016.