Sony Corp’s video game division is cooking up not just games for their dedicated virtual-reality headset, but also non-gaming materials such as TV, film, music videos and other kinds of entertainment set to go on sale next month.
Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc.’s chief executive Andrew House said in an interview on Thursday that he was already in talks with media production companies to explore possibilities for the PlayStation VR headset. He also said that they were talking about years into the future, but that those are interesting conversations to start having now.
Meanwhile, SIE Japan Asia President Atsushi Morita appeared at a Tokyo event on Tuesday, ahead of the Tokyo Game Show annual exhibition opening later this week. He promised a VR experience on a music video, collaboration between the Resident Evil horror game and a Japanese rock band that takes advantage of VR technology’s illusion of 3-D and 360-degree surround imagery.
Another VR shown at Sony’s event was the Anywhere VR, which shows relaxing scenes, such as a beach or a star-studded sky, to the wearers. PlayStation VR will also be used to show live-theater performances, tours of historical sites, and karaoke video.
SONY’S VR Competitions
As smartphone gaming now encroaches on the console market, Sony has opted to seek growth through innovations such as VR. Sony’s VR works with its Play Station 4 games console and will be priced lower than Facebook Inc.’s Oculus Rift and HTC Corp.’s Vive headsets that needs more expensive PCs to run.
The competition in the VR production is no joke. There are well over 100 smartphone-based VR headsets from 65 developers already on the market, according to Lux Research, and they are priced lower since they use the smartphone’s screen as a display. Alphabet Inc.’s Google will add to that number wth its Daydream VR platform that works with its Android mobile OS.
Sony’s House reproaches this, saying smartphones would not be capable of achieving the highest quality VR experience.
“We are focused on great gaming VR experiences,” he said. “I haven’t seen a cellphone or mobile-based VR experience that really gets our content teams excited,” he said.
Sony’s London Studio Layoffs
Sony confirmed the news about its London Studio to GamesIndustry.Biz today. The news was that there would be job losses to their studio as their VR project wraps up. Sony immediately cleared that this is not a sign of their weak commitment to the VR game development.
Sony said that it is normal for their studios to layoff employees near or at the end of production cycles as studio executives evaluate positions and eliminate redundancies in preparation for the next project. They promised that they would help the employees who are going to be affected by putting them into other projects or roles within the company, or by talking to other developers.
The team at London Studio had been working on London Heist, a PSVR exclusive. The studio has already worked before on a number projects like Wonderbook, The Playroom, Singstar, The Deep, and R&D for the Eye Toy.
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