Rumor: PS4 virtual reality headset unveil due next week
posted on 03.12.14 at 08:17 AM EDT by (@salromano)
Prototype already in third-party devs hands, says Edge source.

Sony Headset

Sony will reveal its PlayStation 4 virtual reality headset at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco next week, “developers familiar with the tech” have told Edge.

A prototype is already in third-party developers’ hands, who told Edge that the headset is “far superior” to Oculus Rift’s first incarnation, though it is expected to even out with Oculus Rift’s Crystal Cove devkit. Little software currently exists, but said developers expect to see something from Sony’s first-party studios at GDC.

Apparently, the tech will be unveiled during Sony’s “Driving the Future of Innovation” session on March 18, during which SCEA research and development executives Richard Marks and Anton Mikhailov (both known for creating PlayStation Eye and Move) will host. Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida will also be present.

Sony’s virtual reality headset was initially planned to be unveiled at the Tokyo Game Show in September, before pulling out at the last minute. Rumors have suggested it will launch this fall.

When contacted for comment by Edge, Sony said it does not comment on rumor and speculation.

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  • Pyrofrost

    Anytime I see a VR headset, I’m reminded of this:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1d/Virtual-Boy-Set.png

    • https://www.youtube.com/user/GamingHeroTetsuya TetsuyaHikari

      Yeah, only this one shouldn’t give you migraines.

      • jujubee88

        I read that last bit as “mini-games”. Seemed about right.

  • https://www.youtube.com/user/GamingHeroTetsuya TetsuyaHikari

    Not surprising. GDC always has stuff like this. I guess I’m more interested how they plan on using it for PS4 and what kind of games they can make with it.

    inb4swordartonline

    • Invisbin

      If I can be in the game, full body movement and everything from taste, touch, and smell implemented…..time for me to ditch the pet wussy and say hi to COMPLETE VR.

      • Budgiecat

        with touch sensitive Powergloves and an automatic Tenga?

        • https://www.youtube.com/user/GamingHeroTetsuya TetsuyaHikari

          One step closer to having a real waifu.

        • Invisbin

          Soon….

    • jujubee88

      A well designed, thoughtful first-person RPG (that uses VR) seems interesting.

  • Dark_N11

    It will be 3D all over again.

    • Taedirk

      If they screw up the pricing, it will be. Hit the affordable price range on a PC like Oculus is planning with the past year or so of pure hype behind it and you’re going to do a damned bit better than 3D did.

      • abysswalker

        I think he also means that it will get stale sooner than expected. Just like the 3D on 3DS or PS3.

  • Impressionnant

    I wonder if Sony can afford this.

    • https://www.youtube.com/user/GamingHeroTetsuya TetsuyaHikari

      I’d be more surprised if they couldn’t.

      • Impressionnant

        You haven’t heard of their financial woes? Read up on it, man. Sony is haemorrhaging money from many of their fields. They’ve done well with the PS4, but the PS3 almost bankrupted their Playstation field. I hope Sony can pull it together, because I don’t like monopolies, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw the Samsung Playstation 5, in the future.

        • https://www.youtube.com/user/GamingHeroTetsuya TetsuyaHikari

          How can you say they’ve done well with the PS4, but turn around and say they almost bankrupted with the PS3? Talk about contradictions, lol. They’re fine, man.

          The NA branch has had some layoffs and such, but overall, they’re not nearly as bad off as you’d think. Now, Nintendo on the other hand… That would be a company I’d watch out for since they’re still losing money on the Wii U and even the president has reduced his pay for a few months due to their losses.

          EDIT: Though, to be fair, I guess Sony is in the same boat. Nintendo is succeeding in handhelds, but failing in the home console market. Sony is succeeding in the home console market, but failing in handhelds, lol.

          I guess it just doesn’t seem as bad since PS3/4 is more successful than Wii U, so the scales are tipped a little in their favor, despite the Vita VS 3DS figures.

          • Locksus

            “some layoffs” I wouldn’t call more than 10000 layoffs in the last few years just “some”.
            Besides, which one do you think it was that sold their headquarters to even stay afloat, and which one’s the one that has been building new buildings and hiring more people?

            • https://www.youtube.com/user/GamingHeroTetsuya TetsuyaHikari

              All the North American branch, lol. 10,000 layoffs is nothing when you’re a company as big as Sony, come on now. Just think of how many employees they have at their European, Australian, Asian, Japanese, etc. branches too.

              EDIT: Now, if their stock suddenly plummets and they declare bankruptcy shortly after, then you can start talking about how this is a big deal. As of now though… 10,000 layoffs is a drop in the bucket in the big picture.

              This would be like saying, “Oh no! They lost $10,000,000!” Sure, to you or me that seems like a hell of a lot, but to a company like this? I’d be surprised if it even put a dent in them.

              • Locksus

                Fair points, sure, but if they HAVE TO lay off thousands of employees, sell off their headquarters and computer division and they are projecting a 1,1 billion dollar loss, I think that is saying something.

                • https://www.youtube.com/user/GamingHeroTetsuya TetsuyaHikari

                  You kidding? Companies as big as this lose that much money all the time, man. I think you’re overreacting, honestly.

                  • Locksus

                    Well, if you know for sure that several years of heavy losses and credit cut to ‘Junk’ status is normal for big companies, who am I to argue.

                    • https://www.youtube.com/user/GamingHeroTetsuya TetsuyaHikari

                      Hasn’t stopped them yet. Why would it now? Are you going to tell me, “THE VIDEO GAME INDUSTRY IS GOING TO CRASH!!” next too?

                    • Locksus

                      Yeah, they sure do have an infinite amount of money, just like everyone, yes?
                      And no, I am not. Great rebuttal, anyways.

                    • https://www.youtube.com/user/GamingHeroTetsuya TetsuyaHikari

                      Hell, why not? The United States keeps printing money it doesn’t have and in essence has an “infinite” supply of it. *shrugs*

                      I just think you’re blowing things out of proportion, that’s all. People have been saying this kind of thing since the 90’s, so I’m used to it at this point, honestly.

            • Elvick

              Combining Sony as a whole, when talking about PlayStation is ridiculous. Tired of seeing people do this.

              Please do include the 10,000 layoffs made to PlayStation. I’ll wait… I bet most of that is from the PC division sale.

              And they didn’t sell their HQ to “stay afloat”. If they didn’t sell it, they wouldn’t have gone out of business. And selling it didn’t magically bring them above the line.

              It just removed excess costs.

              Do you own a house? Seems like you don’t. Upkeep is expensive.

              And you’re ignoring that most businesses lose money before they make it. R&D isn’t free. Business is an investment of resources that you aim to earn back later.

  • http://Gematsu.com Vayne

    The key part is be the price of this machine and the public interest in this VR goggles.

  • MrRobbyM

    Will be pretty cool to see how this stacks up against the Oculus Rift but neither of them are really going to catch on in the long run.

    • jujubee88

      A lot of things I like ‘don’t catch on in the long run’. I don’t mind investing in busts that are lovely lovely busts. (No pun intended)

      • MrRobbyM

        Oh, yeah, that’s cool. I know what it feels like since I own a Wii U, hardy har har.

        Off topic question, where did you get your username idea from?

        • jujubee88

          I have a VITA, sir. Relax. :P

          And my username is just something not related to thinking. ;)

          edit: I don’t know how I came up with my username, actually. But I made it. I’ve been content with it and it hardly comes up and I hardly think about it.

          double edit: Sorry if you are not a “sir” and are instead a “madame”. lol

  • DrForbidden

    Looks like the most comfortable model to date, but that’s not saying much…

    • Zackasaur

      Sony already make very fancy VR headsets for film enthusiasts. They’re the best and most comfortable in the business.

  • Leon Keyv

    I wonder what Sony will name them. Playstation Goggles anyone?

    • Budgiecat

      Sony PlayVisor

    • gekitsu

      plEYEstation O.o

  • Crossbones (Prodigy-X)

    Hopefully at GDC Sony announces more games for the Fall and not just focus only on The Order 1886 and this headset.

  • Forty

    Probably not the best time for them to go head first into VR. Oculus has proven that we have the tech for this kind of stuff, but you still need to be an enthusiast with a great gaming PC and the spare money to drop on the tech. The PS4 just isn’t powerful enough to run games consistently at 1080p, 60fps and 3D necessary for VR to not look terrible, without bringing up the question of if a notable number of console owners would drop money on a peripheral as expensive as a VR headset.

    As a PS4 peripheral, this would be a Remote Play on PS3 style complete lack of adoption at worst and a PlayStation Move style “in a couple of AAA games but doing nothing notable” at best. Just not something third parties will be putting the time and money into supporting.

    Perhaps as an alternate to the Oculus, by marketing to enthusiast PC owners this could work, then later incorporating it into their 9th generation console if/when they make one, they could see some success, but right now or in the near future as a PS4 accessory?

    Still, I’d like to see them prove me wrong. Same with PlayStation Now, for that matter, I don’t see that working well or catching on either. Both game streaming and VR are cool in concept, but whether they can actually be brought to the table right now is another question entirely.

  • Zackasaur

    I will get this. I am totally on board with VR, but Oculus has never had anything to offer me.

    • Invisbin

      The horror games are just amazing with oculus.

    • gekitsu

      really? how’s that?

      as i see the situation, it is apparent that a working VR set at an affordable price is a nontrivial undertaking that requires extensive testing on the consumer and developer side besides the challenges of the hardware build itself.
      therefore, VR makes sense to me on the PC as a a platform, but i have a hard time imagining how we’d get the necessary testing and experimenting mileage out of it on the PS4. even if it turns out to be the more indie-friendly of the two consoles. right now, what VR needs, besides a solid product, is lots of small experimental programs, testing what works and what doesn’t, establishing default solutions to common setups and so on. not a place where it isn’t likely to go beyond tech-y gimmick.

      besides, i don’t see sony pulling a product out of their hat that somehow sidesteps the challenges a dedicated team with quite some muscle has been struggling with for quite a while now.

      really, i don’t mean to say you are wrong, but i don’t see where you are coming from and would like to understand. :)

      • Zackasaur

        I think you’re underestimating the fact that Sony have been working actively on VR for over a decade. Hell, they sell the best high-end VR headsets for film enthusiasts you can buy today.

        They’re experts in the field. Their only challenge will be how to continue to make better VR than Oculus while keeping the price just as low. For Sony, that shouldn’t be too hard. They’re the best positioned in the industry to do it, right now.

        • gekitsu

          thanks a lot, i wasn’t aware of that. :) i guess there still is a good bit of stuff to work out that is specific to gaming in VR as opposed to watching films, but their experience in film VR makes that much more probable indeed.

          i figured it was something like, i dunno… the ouija people entering the market for audiophile headphones or something like that. :)

          • Zackasaur

            No worries!

            The issues of how to make games for VR are interesting ones, but they’re not unique to any one company. Devs around the world will have to figure that out collectively. Right now, one of the things being figured out is how to make an FPS feel right. When we play with a controller, we don’t mind that the gun is basically glued to our faces. But when we play with VR… It feels weird that the gun moves with our heads.

            • gekitsu

              yes, thats true.

              the part on software experimentation was more me not getting behind you being generally on board with VR, not being thrilled about the oculus rift, and more positive about a potential sony VR headset.

              we need devs experimenting to find solutions to those dilemmas – and i see the necessary small proof of concept pieces being easier on the PC than on a relatively closed platform like the playstation infrastructure. as i see it, VR is bound to happen on the PC for a good while until it becomes a good proposition for the playstation or xbox. (and on the PC, i expect the more valuable advances from the sector without AAA budgets)
              so, yeah, i get being excited for VR, i get being excited of one day playing console games in VR, but i dont get what, right now, makes a playstation VR set more attractive than the oculus rift.

              other than that, i could imagine that VR hardware for gaming has its own pitfalls that set it apart from VR for film. more important peripheral vision and things like that. with a solid background in film VR, that should be achievable, though.

  • bloodiOS

    PlayStation Visor! Seriously though, I do not see the appeal of this.

    • jujubee88

      I do. It means I don’t have to wear my glasses to see the real detail of my TV’s images when I sit far very away. (My near sighted-ness kicks in at like 12ft+)

  • Six

    Expectations set at zero.

    (Shamelessly stolen from NeoGAF)

    http://i.imgur.com/3QQ6iUP.gif

    • jujubee88

      What?

      • Six

        What what?

        • jujubee88

          The gif, silly. What’s it implying?

          • Six

            That VR on the PS4 won’t be an optimal experience.

            • jujubee88

              What?

              • Six

                I think VR on the PS4 is going to suck, yo. The console isn’t as powerful as some like to think it is.

                • jujubee88

                  What does power have to do with VR experience?

                  • Six

                    Everything? If the frame rate drops or the screen tears, if the image is too blurry, if there is input lag…

                    You’re gonna have a bad time.

                    • jujubee88

                      What do you mean, specifically?

                      edit: I’ll research this tech, the games, etc come GDC. Sorry, I just want to compare the two technologies.

  • jujubee88

    It’s not useless. It’s just very niche sounding compared to other (commercial) tech.

    I thought the ipad and tablets were the same back before ipad came out, but now they are everywhere. They even replaced laptops for some.