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PlayStation VR

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Then it becomes a matter of artstyle being way more important than how advanced your shaders are or how bumpy your mapping is. Increased poly count and fancy lighting does not necessarily equal pretty graphics. Think about how some Wii U games from Nintendo look miles better than graphically intensive PC or next-gen games - because of the style.

Yes, definitely. Who is going to release these games though? All of these things are hallmarks of commercially unsuccessful console games, and that's before they're made exclusively for a peripheral only a small percentage of the console user base will own.

This is going to be the next PS Move, basically. I'm sure it'll get there one day, but not this gen. Still, it'd be a nice surprise if they do manage to make a success of it - VR is very exciting.

Oculus Rift and a PC powerful enough that you'll be able to force any game to work with it without any graphical downgrades is the safe bet for VR in the near future.

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i really don't think VR is much of a gamble for a gaming company. its inevitable.

A company like Sony stands a better chance than anyone of creating a proper mass market device (like the next iPod/pad/walkman) if they approach it in the right way, and sony is now run by a former games division chief - i really can't see them being blind to the opportunity VR presents. its going to usher in a new era of games and entertainment. and you have to start somewhere if you don't want to get left behind in what is going to become a gold rush.

if sony have been working on this for a while I'm sure the PS4 will have been designed with a VR accessory in mind all along. 1080p/ 60fps with reduced effects sounds just fine to me.

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Well, to be clearer: this is a niche add on device to a relatively mass market but still niche device. It's only ever going to sell to a subset of a subset.

What needs to happen with VR is similar to 3D: integrate some kind of room based broadcast mechanism into a TV (a truly mass market device) that fulfils multiple uses including some that aren't VR, and you stand a chance of getting it in a large percentage of homes. Until then, you're stuck trying to convince non-nerds to strap a device to their head, disconnect from their surroundings and the people in them and play the handful of games that will be released to support it.

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Rez style game designed around an expensive peripheral? Worked for Child of Eden!

People have wanted good VR for what, 20 years plus? I don't see that kind of support for the Kinect.

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Well, to be clearer: this is a niche add on device to a relatively mass market but still niche device. It's only ever going to sell to a subset of a subset.

What needs to happen with VR is similar to 3D: integrate some kind of room based broadcast mechanism into a TV (a truly mass market device) that fulfils multiple uses including some that aren't VR, and you stand a chance of getting it in a large percentage of homes. Until then, you're stuck trying to convince non-nerds to strap a device to their head, disconnect from their surroundings and the people in them and play the handful of games that will be released to support it.

remember when there was talk of (MS) projecting the game onto walls?

microsoft-projected-room-gaming-patent.j

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If the system were sufficiently integrated with the PS4 then they could do something like G-sync where the refresh rate of the display is synced to the frame rate of the game. According to a digital foundry article I read this makes dropping to 45fps look fine because you don't get torn or duplicated frames which ruin the experience.

Tomb Raider's panning benchmark sequence at 45fps looked very, very good - almost as good as the 60Hz experience. Even at 40fps, the experience still looked highly presentable.

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2014-nvidia-g-sync-review

Maybe things are different with VR but assuming 45fps was OK then that'd be 25% saving on gpu power. There's also the possibility that the headset itself has some hardware to help out with aa or scaling although I can't see this working very well.

I also wonder if we need full 1080p (1920x1080). When you have one screen for each eye surely something like 1080x1080 for each would work?

Wipeout VR would melt my brain I think.

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I am definitely excited about the prospect of this, Elder Scrolls or No Mans Sky VR anyone? but share concerns that these consoles just aren't going to be able to give the best experience. From Kaz Hirai's ces Keynote he was all about delivering new experiences and breaking boundaries so can imagine its definitely something he would want to push through.

Technically how do you think they are going to set it up? an additional base the ps4 plugs into? a new ps4, ps4VR with extra hardware for the headset? with a split HDMI cable? or through the Vita Remote play functionality?

The latter would negate the need for wires but would obviously add more weight, battery life and lag...

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It's interesting how early they are introducing this into the consoles life cycle. I suspect the software won't be ready to any great degree, and this is more about two things - one: brand protection when Occulus goes fully mainstream and suddenly everything else, even PS4, seems quaint and old fashioned. Two: not betting the farm on VR until you've tested consumer and developer reaction first.

I imagine it will be a high price, low selling, experiemental device, and if it is a success, Sony will put a major amount of cash at stake to build a VR centric console integral to the PS brand at a later date.

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Could be an amazing USP for the PS4 though, if it's any good.

The TV features etc will look a bit weak in comparison to the other console that you can get a good VR headset on. Me from the 90's that went and played all those shit VR games in the Trocadero is really quite excited. I know Oculus will be 'better' due to the potential power of the PC running it but I've only got shitty work laptops so I'm in no danger of getting an Oculus and a PC but I would definitely get a VR headset for a console I owned.

Although if it doesn't look like really blocky polygons and has Craig Charles bleating away in the background like that shit VR TV show, I'm going to be reluctant :P

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The resolution issue is a bit of a non issue in my eyes. Yes, the world has moved on to expect 1080p but we'll adapt perfectly well to a lower res quickly. Anyone who has gone back to an old console will understand that once you get over the initial shock, you adapt quickly to the lower res.

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The resolution issue is a bit of a non issue in my eyes. Yes, the world has moved on to expect 1080p but we'll adapt perfectly well to a lower res quickly. Anyone who has gone back to an old console will understand that once you get over the initial shock, you adapt quickly to the lower res.

It's not about getting used to a lower resolution on your telly, you're right about that as far as a standard console experience goes, but this is a low resolution on a screen strapped to your face - at 720p you'll be able to count the pixels, breaking immersion and other issues. It's not about resolution preferences, it's about making the actual VR experience work.
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Edge are reporting THE REVEAL as happening next week as well now!...

Sony’s VR tech will be revealed at GDC – and it represents virtual reality gaming’s greatest hope
Neil Long at 10:35am March 12 2014
PS4-4-610x3441.jpeg

A new VR headset for PS4 is expected to be announced next week, according to developer sources.

Sony will reveal its Oculus Rift-beating VR headset at GDC next week, according to developers familiar with the tech.

A prototype is already in some thirdparty developers’ hands, who have told us that Sony’s VR headset is far superior to Oculus Rift’s first incarnation, though that is expected to even out a little with the arrival of Rift’s new, more advanced Crystal Cove devkit. They also said that there’s little software to speak of currently, but they expect to see something from one of Sony’s firstparty studios at GDC, even if it is just a tech demo.

There’s also no pressure on developers from platform holder Sony to adopt the tech; indeed, the studios we spoke to were excited by the technology, but questioned its viability as a platform. The cost of VR game development and its niche appeal means that many developers will wait and see how the Sony-authored experiences fare before committing to VR game development in earnest.

Sony will reveal all at its ‘Driving the future of innovation’ session at GDC on Tuesday, March 18. The event’s description on the GDC site is deliberately brief, but it is significant that it’ll be hosted by senior SCEA research and development executives Richard Marks and Anton Mikhailov. Both men helped develop PlayStation Eye and Move; feeling out the possibilities of virtual reality on consoles appears to be a logical progression for the pair within Sony’s R&D departments. The presence of Sony’s President of Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida lends the showcase extra kudos, too, and its significance is being stressed privately to Sony’s development partners, who are being told that it’s not a session that they’d want to miss. When contacted about all of the above information, a Sony spokesperson told us: “We do not comment on rumour and speculation.”

sony%20virtual%20reality.jpg

Sony has showcased head mounted displays like this at CES over the past few years, but the incoming VR headset is the real deal – it has been put together by PlayStation R&D and will be branded as such.

Nonetheless, barring a last-minute change of plan – which has happened in the past, as the headset was almost revealed late last year – Sony will announce its entrance into virtual reality gaming next week, and it’s a game changer for the medium. Oculus Rift is well-funded and its technology is dazzling, and if you can stomach using VR, we’re already seeing thrilling games emerge. Frontier’s Elite: Dangerous and CCP’s Eve Valkyrie are among the more spectacular examples, but the medium has its problems, too.

There’s the obvious issue of motion sickness, the lack of a standardised controller and VR gaming’s potential complexity, not to mention cost. If it is to become anything more than an expensive hobbyist niche, it’ll need the backing of a major platform holder to popularise the medium by simplifying the proposition and opening it out to the average player. Sony has all of this in its grasp, potentially – it has millions of players already locked into its ecosystem, and the preexisting marketing and distribution presence to take VR mainstream. Right now, VR on PS4 represents virtual reality’s best chance of becoming a viable future platform for interactive entertainment.

Speaking at a press event for its forthcoming Oculus Rift game Eve Valkyrie, CCP’s Chris Smith tells us: “We are passionate about the potential of this new wave of VR tech, so the more people who have the possibility to experience it the better as far as we are concerned. So yes, we would definitely welcome VR headsets for console players – it can only help bring the experience to the mass market.”

Smith says four things need to happen to make VR mainstream, be it through Oculus Rift or Sony’s headset. Virtual reality must deliver genuinely new and worthwhile game experiences, killer launch games, an acceptable price and a good promotional campaign. Though Sony is in a better position to deliver all of this right now, Smith is confident that Oculus Rift can do the same. “As far as I can see Oculus and VR as a whole is on the right track,” he tells us. “The first barrier is getting the Oculus on everyone’s head to show them why it’s a viable platform. The subject of ‘if’ or ‘will’ Oculus be a platform is not even a question worth asking after you have experienced it. If there is perhaps one barrier, it’s how long I can game with VR. Right now an hour is fine, but can I game for 10 hours? Perhaps having to take a small break isn’t so bad.”

Oculus-Rift.jpg

Frontier’s Elite: Dangerous and CCP’s Eve Valkyrie are among the best examples of forthcoming Rift games – thirdparty games on Sony’s VR tech is believed to be nonexistent right now, though firstparty studios can fill that gap.

Longer stretches of play are leaving players dazed for hours afterwards at this point. Indie studio Streum On Studio is developing SpaceHulk: Deathwing for Oculus Rift, and it too says VR must overcome this problem. “Oculus seems to be working hard on that,” says studio associate Longuepee Christophe. “The new HD version seems to have started to decrease this effect a bit.”

On the controller front, fellow Oculus Rift game Loading Human from Italian indie Untold Games is currently using Razer’s Wii Nunchuk-like Hydra controllers to replicate the player’s hands in the game. Its designer and art director Flavio Parenti suffers from motion sickness himself, but continues to work on the project, such is his enthusiasm for VR. “It’s a new medium so rules can be set and have to be discovered,” he tells us. “But the nausea has to go away. The real war is going to be on the controller side. We already almost have a standard view in VR, but how do you control something in VR? I’ve been playing tech demos for almost a year now and I can assure you the only way to play is with motion control, not with a gamepad. I think we need something that’s in between the two.”

SpaceHulk: Deathwing developer Streum On Studio says that it is using a gamepad to control its VR game, too, and it’s the same with CCP’s Eve Valkyrie, though its lead designer Chris Smith sees potential in all kinds of inputs. “Flight sticks, controllers and body tracking hardware all bring new opportunities to player control in VR as well as new design challenges,” he says. “Right now we are using a standard console controller and it’s working great.”

More complex, non-traditional controllers always excite and inspire game designers, but ultimately the simplest solution will surely win out. And it already exists; Dualshock 4’s light bar in concert with PlayStation Eye could offer both traditional and motion-based inputs for VR games, if executed well.

With Microsoft’s own spin on wearable tech still some way off, Sony already has everything it needs to steal Oculus’ thunder at GDC. It has the audience, the branding and the support of game developers across the industry – if its tech is accessibly priced and can overcome the problem of motion sickness, Sony’s VR headset could be the device to truly kickstart virtual reality gaming.

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I don't necessarily believe that power is everything. The key to presence (as I understand it) is refresh, persistence, and response to movement. As long as those are at the sweet spot, you can be looking at some completely abstract geometry (the example in the Valve slides of the room made out of webpages comes to mind) and find it totally convincing.

Imagine VR games with trippy visuals like Rez. Not as demanding as things like Battlefield, but as long as the presence is working it doesn't matter; they'd still be more immersive (at a base neurological level) than anything you've played or experienced outside of the real world.

What you believe is irrelevant.

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If Driveclub has become a VR game do not expect the visuals to match the game trailers as the fancy lighting etc will have to be scaled back to prob las gen visuals.

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I'm surprised the Oculus Rift guys haven't been bought by Microsoft or Sony yet.

Saying that, I think they're wearing the Magical Investment Cloak of Gaben which provides +18 protection against console integration.

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I'm surprised the Oculus Rift guys haven't been bought by Microsoft or Sony yet.

Saying that, I think they're wearing the Magical Investment Cloak of Gaben which provides +18 protection against console integration.

It would be a disaster if Oculus was bought by console manufacturers as the PC is the best environment to nurture VR. I believe there were rumours that Steam were going to purchase Oculus but anyhow they are working closely together right now.

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Be really interested to see if VR on the PS4 will really mean that much of a scaled back experience. A lot of that seems like assumption. Of course the cutting edge experience will be on a PC. But there is still room for great things from a device like this,

I played the oculus on a very moderate PC and the biggest limitation of that was the resolution of the rift. So if they have something more in line with 1080p I think that's increably exciting. And in all likelihood a much more affordable way into VR (if you don't have a monster rig - which I don't).

Can't wait to see what they have planned...

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