“If we don’t keep investing, somebody else is going to come along and win big,” says SIE London Studio’s head of VR product development Stuart Whyte.
Sony is probably the biggest supporter of VR in the games industry right now. It’s something that they’ve focused on a great deal and poured plenty of resources into, and considering how successful PSVR has been, it certainly seems like their efforts are being rewarded.
Part of those efforts is excellent first party games being made to leverage VR’s unique capabilities- one such game is the recently released Blood and Truth. Developed by SIE London Studio, the first person shooter has been received very well by critics and players alike, while it’s also been breaking sales records for VR titles. And as per Stuart Whyte, head of VR product development at the studio, similar investments in VR is something we’re going to keep seeing from Sony’s side. According to Whyte, even though VR is, on paper, a risky venture, in that it’s a new experience that no one quite knows the future for just yet, it’s still something Sony wants to keep investing in, keeping in line with what they’ve done for similar risky ventures historically as well.
“A few months ago, I went out for dinner with [Sony Worldwide Studios heads] Shuhei Yoshida and Shawn Layden,” Whyte said while speaking with EDGE in their August 2019 issue (Issue 334). “And Shawn was talking about, historically, Sony would place bets on things. I’m not going to name those things because I don’t want to be specific.
“It’s like, you’ve got £1,000 in your pocket. You walk up to a roulette table, you put the money on the table, you win or you lose. You lose, you’re like, ‘that isn’t going to work’, and walk away. In the past there have definitely been times when we’ve experimented with something that hasn’t worked, so we shut it down. But from the very top of the organization, there is something of, like, ‘There’s something here with VR.’ All hardware has limitations, but there is something here that, if we don’t keep investing, keep playing on that roulette table, somebody else is going to come along and win big.”
Sony’s investments in VR definitely seem to be paying off, so it’s hard to see them winding down in that area anytime soon- one would expect quite the opposite, actually. It’s also been confirmed that the PS5 will launch with PSVR support– but you shouldn’t expect to see a PSVR 2 anytime soon.
You can check out the full story in EDGE Magazine’s August issue by purchasing it through here.