By Peter Fox Spratt.
With the next generation of consoles just around the corner, it comes as no surprise that VR is once more the hottest topic of the day. With so many new titles to be VR exclusive games; Half Life: Alyx, The Walking Dead: Saint & Sinners, Iron Man and more, the scramble for a reliable VR headset on a console powerful enough for even greater immersion than the current ones available.
PlayStation VR 2, according to rumours, will be released along side the PlayStation 5 being semi-confirmed by Immersive VR Education. Immersive VR Education, publishers of Titanic VR and Apollo 11VR, in an investor report state “2020 will see Sony release the PlayStation 5 and a new version of the PlayStation VR headset (PSVR), which will further expand the high-end VR user base; the Group intends to support this device with its current suite of showcase software revealed that both console and headset are set be released some time this year.
Currently PlayStation leads the market in sales of their current generation of VR headset in comparison to the a major competitor Oculus Rift, however unlike the their competitors, the PlayStation VR (PSVR) is only compatible with PS4. What the PSVR lacks in features it made up for on running off console, this will unfortunately be the disadvantage as the need to upgrade currently technology to run newer software has always been the bane of the console.
In March 2019 Dominic Mallison, Sony Senior VP of R&D, indicated that the next generation headset model would include features such as eye tracking and wireless connectivity. Having such technology in a VR headset would revolutionise the industry, as it would free the player from the restrictions of the current generation cables required to use with consoles, whist ironing the bugs from the current generation wireless VR headsets and the benefit of having eye tracking should increase the reaction time for in game experience.
The highlight however will be who will have the greater experience of Half Life: Alyx in the console, PC and standalone VR headset war. Being in the dynasty, of the beloved titles (Half Life and Half Life 2) that has spawned even more beloved titles (Counter Strike, Team Fortress Classic, Portal), all eyes are on the competing VR headsets and PC as Half Life: Alyx is currently a windows exclusive. Fans of the series have waited for 13 years to enjoy the next instalment after Half Life 2: Episode 3 and Return to Ravebholm were shelved in 2017.
Most recent rumours have stated Sony will launch the latest PSVR with the PS5 some time in February 2020 as one of the many latest additional accessories for the console.