Unity Technologies is committed to virtual reality (VR) support with its Unity Engine. Over the course of the past few years the company has been integrating its popular middleware with head-mounted displays (HMDs) such as the Oculus Rift. In one of its most recent updates, Unity 5.2, the company also added support for the PlayStation VR HMD. This week, however, Unity Technologies has announced that it will be further expanding that support with the help of UK-based Engine Room Games, which has now joined the company on a permanent basis.
Engine Room Games has well over 20 years of experience in the industry, having helped out with recent titles such as F1 2015, GRID Autosport, Batman: Arkham Asylum and more. Since early 2013 the team has also frequently worked with Unity Technologies on the PlayStation support for the Unity Engine. Now a part of the full team, the developer is hard at work expanding Unity Engine support for PlayStation VR. Specifically, Engine Room Games is looking at 3D audio features for the device as well as its unique Social Screen aspect.
Social Screen is a term coined by creator Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) itself and refers to PlayStation VR’s ability to allow non-VR players interact with those in-HMD. This can simply mean a multiplayer experience in which other players use a standard TV image to play with a VR user. This is one of the features SCE is most eager to highlight with PlayStation VR. In fact, back at E3 2015 CEO Andrew House noted that he expects the device (then known as Project Morpheus) to be ‘the VR platform’ for social experiences.
PlayStation VR is set to launch in the first half of 2016 though a specific price and launch date are yet to be confirmed. VRFocus will continue to follow the device closely, reporting back with the latest updates on it.