Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) London wants to make virtual reality (VR) social. That might prove tricky for a technology that involves users wearing a head-mounted display (HMD) such as the PlayStation 4’s Project Morpheus, but if anyone can do it it’s the team behind Singstar, EyePet and more. Studio Director Dave Ranyard has recently been speaking about the social aspect of VR, stating that it’s something his team ‘really want’ to make happen.
Ranyard said as much in an interview with Digital Spy at D.I.C.E. Europe 2014. “That’s something we really want to bring to VR,” the developer said of social VR experiences. “We made the EyeToy games, like EyeToy Play… and there was a point with those, before they were released, when the team realised actually we like watching people do this is almost as fun as doing it.”
He went on to talk about Street Luge, the developer’s VR demo in which players race a luge down a busy road, trying to perfect times. According to Ranyard, this was an experience comparable to the likes of the EyeToy titles, with people talking about it afterwards.
The developer then touched upon Project Morpheus’ ‘social screen’ concept, in which the image displayed on the HMD is also shown the on the TV screen. “Having that social screen is really important to us. There’s actually quite a lot you can do with that. We’ve been doing lots of companion apps as well – you can interact, you can see what they’re seeing – you can imagine that with a haunted house, and you can totally see it – the payoff is brilliant.”
Ranyard went on to again stress that it’s not clear if either Street Luge or the developer’s other demo, The Deep, will actually release with Project Morpheus. The HMD itself is yet to receive a release date. VRFocus will continue to follow the device’s progress as it moves towards launch, reporting back with any further updates.