Oculus VR might be stealing the virtual reality (VR) headlines with its Oculus Connect 2 developer conference in Hollywood, California this week, but neither Valve nor Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) are backing down either. The former hosted a VR talk at the EGX consumer show in Birmingham, UK yesterday and the latter has done the same today. Talking about its PlayStation VR head-mounted display (HMD), SCE noted that the PlayStation 4 console with which it runs is an ‘amazing’ platform for driving VR experiences.
Simon Benson, SCE Europe’s Director of the Worldwide Studios Immersive Technology Group, said as much in the talks opening remarks. “In 2013 we got the compute power we needed,” Benson said. “The PlayStation 4, the most powerful games console there is, and it’s an amazing platform for driving virtual reality. So one thing we do for virtual reality is we want to make our games work really well there, so we have to drive them at a very, very high framerate. The PlayStation 4 delivers a high-definition image, stereoscopic at 120 frames a second, which is double what most games that you imagine today deliver. And that’s only possible because of the power of the PlayStation 4, so finally we’ve got that missing piece of the puzzle.”
A handful of PlayStation VR titles are set to run natively at 120fps, including Mixed Bag Games’ Futuridium VR. But many others will be locked at 60fps, with SCE getting around this hurdle by offering 120fps ‘reprojection’. This allows these experiences to be shown in 120fps in-HMD, even if they are not running at this framerate natively. VR requires powerful hardware to be able to run these titles, which is why Oculus VR itself yesterday introduced the Oculus Ready PC Programme, serving as an easy way to identify PC rigs that can handle the Oculus Rift.
PlayStation VR is yet to receive a release date. VRFocus will continue to follow the kit closely, reporting back with the latest updates on its progress.