Did Sony Do More Harm than Good with Its PS VR Keynote Showing?

Just reading through some comments on Sony’s PS VR across the Internet and it appears there are folks who aren’t convinced and even more worryingly have changed their opinion on the device after the Sony The Playstation Experience 2015 Keynote. One comment we picked out read:

“I was going to buy the Playstation VR but after this not going to any more, its going to be like Playstation Move”.

And another dismissing the games shown as:

“Indie shovelware”.

Whilst these are just two opinions which don’t take into considering the full picture, the sentiment has perhaps changed for some, going from exciting new tech to a potentially worrying peripheral which might join the relegated ranks of Move, Eye Toy and Microsoft’s Kinect – something we’ll assume Sony will be wanting to avoid like the plague considering the huge investment it has made in VR.

ps vr

We’re still just as excited as ever for Sony’s PS VR device which launches next year as we’ve been closely following its development since its reveal as Project Morpheus, and like many, just want to dive into the incoming VR storm which begins proper next year when more options hit the market. Whilst there’s going to be some stiff competition for Sony’s PS VR from the likes of the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, we’ve maintained that it’s Sony who are actually doing best at showing working products to the masses; well that was until yesterday. We’ve respected that it’s a hard sell to convey VR to those not able to actually try the headset on themselves and in our own experiences and what has been reiterated by everyone involved in VR development, showing 2D imagery just doesn’t cut it. Yesterday’s Sony Keynote during the Playstation Experience 2015 was filled with plenty of new titles to marvel at, but unfortunately, a tech demo aimed at presenting the device failed to work properly and simply looked dull and uninviting – especially in comparison to how games such as Robinson: The Journey were presented during the Paris Games Week earlier this year. This is a crucial time for getting VR into the hearts and minds of gamers and yet when a stage demonstration fails to work properly or ignite an air of enthusiasm it’s not a good sign. Sony have had plenty of time to present VR to the masses, and so to quickly pull together an uninspired tech demo was perhaps a poor decision.

PS VR tech demo

Further into the Keynote and a number of VR games were showcased including some fresh gameplay, but…many of these highlighted the fact that VR has very high requirements for games that look and play like AAA experiences gamers will be expecting. The recommended minimum specs for playing Frontier Development’s Elite Dangerous in VR on PC were recently released and suggested a minimum GTX 980 GPU (a £350 – £400+ graphics card) and an i7 3770K processor were required to run the game. The PS4 hardware falls behind this spec considering its relatively low price. Ubisoft showcased a new Eagle Flight VR game which if you look at the detail you can clearly see lower texture detail in its art direction. This is deliberate because it’s likely the PS4/PS VR combo would struggle rendering a game with the same level of detail as say Assassin’s Creed Unity or Syndicate in VR. The comparison images show the PS4 version of Assassin’s Creed Unity.

eagle flight


What we are seeing here is a bit of smoke and mirrors though when it comes to presenting VR and perhaps yesterday’s showing was a more realistic look at what some VR games will look like with The Modern Zombie Taxi Co. and 100 FT Robot Golf. We’ve always maintained imagery in 2D isn’t always indicative of what games will look like in VR. This is an inherent issue for all VR platforms where sharp 2D images aren’t necessarily replicated in VR due to the early tech that’s being used (until we get 4K or higher displays). Sony did a good job of presenting new products but the most interesting and detailed looking, Golem and Ace Combat 7 were presented using CGI trailers much like Robinson: The Journey during the Paris Games Week presentation.

So, a flood of indie looking titles, no show stopping moments aside from a negative tech demo and those that might be interested in a new REZ game, people’s perceptions may have changed because to date, there’s been few games that have been presented as “must have VR experiences” with only promises (Tekken 7, Gran Tourismo Sport, Psychonauts, Robinson etc) and target renders being used to entice the uniformed.

That said, we think having as wide a number of games available is a good thing, because consumers need choice despite the adage “quality over quantity”, and without actually trying all of these games it’s hard to even comment on how well they might play once experienced in the correct VR environment. Ubisoft’s Eagle Vision game for example might have looked a little lacking for a traditional 2D game, but experience tells us that inside VR, flying across a virtual city could be incredibly impressive.

It’s still early days for VR though, and we can imagine there’s tentative steps in terms of investment being taken by developers and publishers alike on untested waters at present. It would perhaps be unwise to invest a AAA budget on a VR game considering there’s no clear indication of how well it will sell once it hits the market. Even so, there’s already an impressive amount of games in development for PS VR. If anyone is concerned, they would do well to remember that time is very much a big factor in new tech and that teething troubles are expected and not necessarily the death knell. So in light of the Playstation experience 2015 Keynote performance, testimonials and impressions from the show floor will speak far greater volumes and will no doubt convert more to the VR platform than those who are getting cold feet based on a quick look at some of the games in a stage presentation. Sony could have presented PS VR better during its keynote, but technical hitches and indie looking games aside there’s plenty of opportunity for consumers to be enticed by the tech next year, and we’ll reiterate, at least Sony are showing actual products for its PS VR which has to be commended.

Written by: Rob Cram

Rob Cram has hundreds of video game reviews, thousands of articles under his belt with years of experience in gaming and tech. He aims to remain fair and free from publisher/developer influence. With his extensive knowledge, feels his gaming opinions are valid and worth sharing. Agreement with his views are entirely optional. He might have a bias towards cyberpunk.

29 Comments Added

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    • Karl December 7, 2015 |

      Xbot tears so yummy still waiting for Microsoft to catch up lol pretty sad when a company hides their sale numbers stay salty when you get a chance I need the ingredient got your tears thanks

      • kevin December 7, 2015 |

        You’re a gullible idiot if you believe that Sony actually sold 30 million consoles. Sony have a history of lies and shenanigans.

  1. Sobekflakmonkey December 6, 2015 |

    I’ve been saying this forever and ever, and the closer we get to these newer VR headsets coming out, people are starting to realise that VR really is just a gimmick, VR is not something easily put into homes, if they were more focused on arcades and things then they would be able to actually make a worthy experience out of it, but quite frankly what all these vr devs are working on is just not gonna cut it, no matter if its sony, oculus, valve, the experience in the home will always be lacklustre…

  2. Barry Harden December 6, 2015 |

    Ahhh such salty XBone fucktards. VR is the new expereience everyone is hoping for. If it wasn’t there’s wouldn’t be a rush to produce VR headsets from multiple different companies.

    • kevin December 7, 2015 |

      Hopefully VR will be the end of PlayStation and gamers will no longer have to be subjected to obnoxious name calling trolls life yourself.

      • Barry Harden December 8, 2015 |

        Playstation saved gamers from what would’ve been a bleak future of Micro$oft’s control. You wouldn’t been able to play used or rent games. You wouldn’t been able to play without it being connected 24/7. You would’ve said goodbye to game borrowing with friends.
        VR is what you will need to step forward in gaming. You want to remain behind, stay with XBox.

    • Fweds December 7, 2015 |

      I wouldn’t bet your house against MS and Oculous Rift being much further advanced with Xbox than they are making out, MS will wait and see if the PlayStation VR flops before committing to what they may already have they will happily pay Oculous etc. The retainer rather than spend billions on what is likely to be a 5 minute wonder on consoles.

      • Barry Harden December 8, 2015 |

        Unfortunately for Micro$oft they would be in a world of hurt when VR takes off. There would be no way for the XBone to support VR unless they wait 2 years before coming out with a viable VR headset. The Oculus Rift as it stands now just doesn’t work the same way it does with a powerful PC.

        • Fweds December 9, 2015 |

          The $ony PS4 is not exactly going to set the world on fire with shovelware and very cut down graphics on anything that looks half decent.

          MS haven’t only been working with Oculus they have also partnered with HTC Vive and it’s not for no reason they are hardly likely to have just been sitting back and waiting for the competition thinking, “ahh if VR is a success then we will have ours ready in two years”..

          You like the rest of us have no idea of what MS may already have, did you know they had Hololens before the reveal ? No didn’t think so.

          • Barry Harden December 12, 2015 |

            M$ “partnering” doesn’t mean fuck all. The Oculus Rift & XBone demo a few months back had everyone laughing. Playing XBone games in VR means watching your games on a flat screen in a VR living room! That’s VR??
            Here’s the reality: If the XBone is to have true VR then it would need to develop an assisted hardware companion with a VR headset. This alone take time which thankfully Sony had the foresight to do years ago.

            As for Hololens, even Micro$oft admitted the poor Field of View is only suitable for business applications.

      • Barry Harden December 12, 2015 |

        The wait and see could be fatal error in business on Micro$oft’s part. For the XBone to have any viable VR would mean using the Oculus Rift in conjunction with an expensive PC connected to an XBone. Talk about a mess!

  3. Dirkster_Dude December 7, 2015 |

    So far VR is just another peripheral. As an independent gaming device it does not stand on it’s own. Developers and publishers don’t want to fragment the market into the haves and have nots because that means less sales which translates into less business or less money.

    • hvd hvd December 7, 2015 |

      which means you wont be playing skyrim wit it.you will have stripped down games to hit that 90fps they want for vr.you cant use 30fps games on it imo do to the sickness you get.

  4. QUIMICOMORTAL December 7, 2015 |

    I have never tried a VR headset so I don’t have any idea if it’s worth it or not. While I can agree that the stage demo was horrible! I also think Ace combat 7 was a great get. So, who knows?

    What I do know is that you cannot make a prediction or an article based on what a RANDOM guy posted!

    • hvd hvd December 7, 2015 |

      60-90 fps is their target for vr.which means you wont be playing skyrim on it.what you will get is 480p stripped down games to hit that..and thats not worth $400 for vr for me.

        • hvd hvd December 7, 2015 |

          oculus rift can do it.i was saying you wont beable to play your 30fps games in vr it requires 60-90fps for the motion sickness.people get motion sickness when playing bf4 which is 60fps.who is the ps4 going to handle that?

          • QUIMICOMORTAL December 7, 2015 |

            I don’t know, how many FPS will oculus will be providing?

          • hvd hvd December 7, 2015 |

            the oculus rift is based off of pc hardware the better pc you got the better fps.sony’s vr is a separate device not based off the ps4.you need at least a gtx 970 for oculus rift a pretty high end video card.

          • QUIMICOMORTAL December 8, 2015 |

            OK, so we are asuuming the vr from sony will be at $400 ($750 if you throw in the ps4) with 60-90 fps, and you don’t consider it worthy, and you may very well be right, but then I have to ask you, since you seem more prone to buy oculus, how many FPS do you consider enough? and how much would you need to spend on a PC capable of achieving that kind of experience?

          • hvd hvd December 8, 2015 |

            id rather buy valve vr instead of occlus rift.ps4 vr will be just another peripheral.they did say think of it as a separate device from the ps4.
            which means it will most likely cost $300-$400.which means you wont beable to play games like fallout 4 on it.maybe only ps vr made games.

            if you look at all the games they have shown for ps4 vr none were AAA titles.
            they made their own games for ps4 vr every time they demoed it.so for them to say think of it a a separate device and they want to hit 60fps-90fps.

            i dont think you will see AAA titles like farcry 4 on it. at least not right now.

            again this is just what i think and i feel it makes sense.

    • Karl December 7, 2015 |

      Still better than Xbox Juan enjoy your recycled milked shooters

      • Fweds December 7, 2015 |

        Enjoy your PS2 antique backward compatible shooters that SONY CHARGE $15 for despite the fact you may have already bought them.

      • hvd hvd December 7, 2015 |

        paying for backwards compatibility pa2 and ps3.xbox is free
        ff7 remake is being split up in to episodes because they know you will payu $20-$30 for 6hr-8hr of game play and they will at least 10 episodes.
        no big AAA games coming since bloodborne until uncharted 4.
        nothing but indies hence i call it the indiestation…indies await..lol
        crappy looking vr games.they want 90fps on console for them..lol yea right.
        the only thing ps4 does alittle better then xbox one is multiplats.

  5. Karl December 7, 2015 |

    I love the salty Xbot comments in the morning keep them coming my puppets

    • Fweds December 7, 2015 |

      Sony VR has nothing but shovelware.
      Sony VR is wired not wireless.
      Sony VR (and other vr) is the most UNSOCIAL gaming device yet invented, not only will people still not be getting outside these things encourage you to play alone in an enclosed headset.
      Sony VR is the opposite of Kinect which is free of wires and a very sociable gaming device.
      Sony VR will sell like Kinect 1 did and then people will realize just how restricted it is.
      Sony had better sell this for around £50 -£100 the ps4 can’t cope with decent graphics with this whereas Ocelots rift (guessing the retail standalone will be £200)etc only need an average pc to show amazing graphics in comparison.

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