The future looks promising…
And it certainly seems to continue to trend positively as the year forges onward. Now, I’m currently soaking up the rays in Puerto Rico with my newly wedded wife, but I was able to glimpse Sony’s E3 showing. Filled with gorgeous visuals, awesome trailers, and a killer orchestra, Sony presented some pretty memorable material. Fortunately, my BitCulture friends have done a phenomenal job covering E3 news, so I haven’t been totally blind; and I read enough to know that Sony’s show was pretty impressive. I mean, Resident EVII (Resident Evil 7) simply blew me away.
But that’s truly the idea that I want to discuss today: VR. Sony dedicated quite a bit of time to its VR line up, announcing that, from release to the year’s end, 50 different VR titles will be available for the PSVR. My biggest concern with Sony’s VR addition is whether they will support the headset. We know the tumultuous road the PS Vita endured without any first party support (though it does have a rocking JRPG selection). But the question for me is: Will Sony support the $400 I may invest in the VR set? 50 year one games could go a long way in the future, but I want to discuss both the positives and negatives that I saw in their E3 coverage.
We’ll begin with the reasons why I’ll most likely be purchasing a PlayStation VR at some point in its early life. For starters, the PlayStation VR will run games the way they were developed. In other words, and unlike its PC counterparts, the VR is designed with the PS4 architecture in mind–and since the hardware is static, or unchanging–the VR will run virtually the same on any PS4 (and since I will for sure be purchasing the PS4 4k, I’m assured this). There won’t be any hardware limitations that will require multiple upgrades like PC users may have had to deal with. In other words, I won’t have to change video cards, buy new hardware, and then spend $600-800 on a headset. $399.99, and I’m set.
But the second set of positives I really want to discuss is the few games presented at E3. In particular, Resident Evil 7 stood out against almost all of the games for me. Until the Resident Evil logo spread out across the screen, I was engrossed in the mystery of “The Kitchen” and the creepiness of exploring that abandoned, broken house. Seeing that Capcom, an arguable leader in video game publishers, as well as Square-Enix and others, have jumped into the VR space means quite a few devs/publishers seem prepared to support VR (I know the Rift and Hive have already done well). And the awesome gameplay demo for Resident Evil really drew me in. Will the PS VR be a success? It’s far too early to tell, but with the demo for Resident Evil, I have high hopes.
While the majority of the PS VR experience from E3 really was a positive showing, I worry about one perceived flaw. Now, I’ll find out in the near future whether my concerns are valid, but half of what Sony presented at E3 were not actual games. For example, the Star Wars VR segment was simply titled Star Wars Battlefront: X-Wing VR Mission. So, then, is it just one mission, and you’re done? Is this just a tech demo for what can be accomplished on the VR? Whatever the case, I worry about this. Why?
I worry because of the Final Fantasy XV VR Experience, where you take control of Prompto, the blonde haired friend of Noctis, in a VR segment. Basically, it looks like you’ll be immersed in a FPS experience with the same gameplay elements from Final Fantasy XV. My issues? The shooting didn’t look great, and, again, it’s just a segment. So half of Sony’s E3 VR segment was actually just video game pieces or tech demos. I could be wrong, as I mentioned previously, but the conference didn’t shape my perceptions else wise.
On the whole, I was very impressed with Sony’s conference and the PlayStation VR. Resident Evil 7 is something I really want to experience in VR. I will likely have the PS VR by its January 24th, 2017 release. With that said, and even though I love Sony, I will warily go into this purchase because both Sony and Nintendo have spurned my good faith in the past. Still, E3 just cemented my firm belief that the future of gaming is still so very bright, and 2016 is shaping up to be one of the best years in gaming history yet.