You’d think that the virtual reality (VR) industry has had its fair share of announcements for one year. In the last 10 months Oculus VR has confirmed the release window for the Oculus Rift head-mounted display (HMD) for Q1 2015, revealed a position-tracked input solution for the device and revealed launch details for the consumer Gear VR. Valve and HTC, meanwhile have introduced the HTC Vive HMD, its ground-breaking SteamVR system and are gearing up for a limited launch this year. Finally, Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) has renamed its Project Morpheus device to PlayStation VR, revealed a near-final version and announced a H1 2016 launch window. It’s been a hectic year for the tech, then, but it’s not over yet.
Paris Games Week takes place in France this week. In truth, it isn’t expected to be a major event for the VR industry – Oculus VR isn’t even exhibiting at this year’s event – but there’s still a few good reasons for fans to pay attention.
The biggest of these is the fact that SCE is planning to host a brand new press conference – the one that it missed back at Gamescom in August – later on today. Videogame fans are expecting an event that provides updates on some of SCE’s first-party studios with a particular focus on European efforts. It’s likely that PlayStation VR will play a role in the show to some degree – SCE wouldn’t miss the chance to mention it at the very least – but how much stage time the kit gets remains up for debate.
It’s entirely possible that VR fans see some new videogames confirmed for PlayStation VR later on today. SCE’s Shuhei Yoshida suggested as much a few months ago and – bar Gamesom 2014 – there’s yet to be a major SCE press event in which it hasn’t revealed at least 1 new piece of software for the device. It could well be that these are simply new tech demos that will do the rounds at future events but – considering Mike Bithell’s Volume just confirmed VR support and the recent rumour that Until Dawn is due VR DLC – it would be nice to see some true VR products at the end.
It would be nicer still to hear some release information for PlayStation VR but it seems unlikely at this point in time. SCE still has one major press conference to go for the year in its opening keynote at the PlayStation Experience on 5th December 2015, and that feels like a better bet to get release information for the device. It’s still possible that some details arrive at PGW – don’t forget that, of all places, PlayStation VR received its true branding at last month’s Tokyo Game Show in Japan – but we’d predict a little more talk about the device in the build up to such major announcements.
PlayStation VR isn’t all we can expect to see from the technology this week, however. Oculus VR might not be there in an official capacity but no doubt some Oculus Rift titles are, while the HTC Vive should have another showing too. Don’t expect any major announcements for either, but VRFocus will no doubt be getting its hands on a number of experiences and providing updates on each.
PGW may not be huge for VR then, but should hopefully hold enough news to keep fans busy until the real announcements start to pour in.