It was a long time in the making, but we finally got our hands, eyes and ears on the PlayStation VR in 2016. While not quite as powerful as some of its rivals, it’s less expensive, can run from your existing PS4, and is a whole lot of fun to use once you’re up and running.
The next question is how will Sony develop its VR accessory in the future? We’ve already seen a PS4 update in the form of the PlayStation 4 Pro, so a PlayStation VR 2 might not be too far behind. Here’s everything we’ve heard about the next-gen VR headset so far.
The PlayStation VR story so far
The (short) history of PlayStation VR might give us some clues about where Sony is heading in the future – remember the days when the headset was known as Project Morpheus?
Development on Morpheus (or the PlayStation VR) began as far back as 2011 according to Sony engineers, but as the VR teams at Samsung, Oculus and HTC also found, it’s only in the last couple of years that the technology has caught up with the VR hardware vision.
Project Morpheus was official announced as a real bit of kit at the Game Developers Conference in March 2014. It actually looked very much like it does today, and we walked away from our hands-on very impressed with the prototype.
It would be another two-and-a-half years before the PlayStation VR would go on sale, having changed its name along the way – the official launch date was the 13th of October 2016, with prices starting at £349/$399.
What does this tell us about the PlayStation VR 2? Perhaps not much – but the PS VR’s long gestation period might suggest a refresh cycle that isn’t all that short. As far as VR goes, it would appear Sony is keen to get everything right rather than rush out a product.
Sony is staying tight-lipped about how many PlayStation VR unit it has sold so far, although analysts don’t seem particularly optimistic about its impact on the market. Of course, the choice of games is only going to get better.b
If 2016 was the year when virtual reality broke through into the consumer market, then 2017 is the year when it has to prove its staying power.
In other words, the manufacturers have proved they can actually get this hardware together in a form that works and at a price that’s affordable – but will anyone actually want to buy any of it?
Consumer demand and sales figures are likely to have some influence on when we can expect to see the PlayStation 2 arrive – if no one wants to buy the first incarnation then Sony is likely to take longer over the second one to make sure it is a hit.