VR Is Such A Major Step Forward for Games It's Almost Unfair, Sony Says

"We have something here that we've never experienced before," worldwide studios president Shuhei Yoshida says.

Virtual reality technology like the PlayStation 4 headset Project Morpheus is such a radical step forward beyond the way traditional games work that it's "almost unfair," according to PlayStation worldwide studios president Shuhei Yoshida.

"We have something here that we've never experienced before," Yoshida said when asked by The Verge what he thinks the future of VR looks like. "Working on game development, we always try to create a new kind of experience, and having VR technology is almost unfair."

"There are many areas we can improve on to bring it to an even higher level" -- Yoshida said about the current iteration of the Morpheus headset

Developers can rapidly prototype new ideas--and we have seen many compelling examples of unique VR experiences so far--thanks in part to game engines like Unity, Yoshida said.

Also in the interview, Yoshida stressed that Sony does not have only a fleeting interesting in the VR space. "For Sony Computer Entertainment, VR and Morpheus is one of the areas we are very excited about, like cloud gaming with PS Now, or other networked services," he said. "We're really focused on bringing that experience to consumers."

Project Morpheus, and competing headset Oculus Rift, remain in-development products with no word yet on when the final, consumer models will be available. Yoshida said Sony is happy with the current iteration of the headset it has working now, but still has more revisions to make before it's ready for release. "There are many areas we can improve on to bring it to an even higher level," he said.

In addition, before Project Morpheus can come to market, Sony needs to have a full pipeline of software lined up. And this could be particularly challenging, Yoshida said, because making a game for VR and making a game for traditional consoles is quite different.

"Every developer who has started working on VR learns that they have to relearn what they have learned over the years making games," he said. "A lot of tech and new assets can be used again, but the approach has to be pretty different. If the games or apps are designed poorly, it makes people sick, which is a really, really bad thing to have as an introduction."

Further, Yoshida said he envisions VR as more of a medium than peripheral. VR can have as dramatic an effect on the video game industry as 3D graphics cards did when they arrived two decades ago, he said. "The 3D graphics card had a huge impact, but developers are still learning how to use it in games like Grand Theft Auto or The Last Of Us, twenty years after the launch of PS1," he said.

Lastly, Yoshida stressed that Project Morpheus needs to be "affordable" when it's released or it won't ever catch on with a wide audience. Sony has not announced a price point for Project Morpheus, but we do know you won't have to spend $1,000 to buy one.

The Verge's interview with Yoshida was part of a much wider feature on VR in general. Be sure to check out The Verge's full story for more.

Are you excited by the possibilities for VR in games? Let us know in the comments below!

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch

For all of GameSpot's news coverage, check out our hub. Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Written By

Discussion

643 comments
littlem1ckey
littlem1ckey

yes it will be a long time before we get to experience this :( 

ArchoNils2
ArchoNils2

yeah it is really unfair consoles have nothing to match Oculus Rift. The PS4 does not have the power to support good looking 1080p with 100Hz and in 3D. And even that is pretty low. I do own a devkit 2 and which for the res to increase which it will

basedxghost
basedxghost

i think VR is gunna have an impact on peoples actual reality... if some people get lost in WoW theyll really get lost in a virtual world

xneonic
xneonic

Until it is truly groundbreaking in quality, VR will just be another niche peripheral. Think of social media before Facebook and Twitter. Think of MP3 before the iPod.

Vodoo
Vodoo

I'm waiting for the type of VR that plugs directly into my nervous system through a port in my back. Anything short of that isn't real VR, like the movie eXistenZ with Jude Law.

el_swanno
el_swanno

Propaganda.

I prefer Hidehiko Yoshida to Shuhei...

blue_shift_91
blue_shift_91

sony PR has stated this for pretty much every piece of peripheral garbage they've released for the past several years. probably the only thing more embarrassing is the sheer number of VR tech devices they've released that have all failed to generate demand.

rinker03
rinker03

I'm not sure why, but I would rather be introduced to VR by some scary/action movies that I can observe like I was there....maybe it is because I can't see how they can do away with the disconnect relating to operating a controller or keyboard/mouse.

Aaronp2k
Aaronp2k

I won't be getting this straight away. I will get it when it all kicks off and there is loads of development towards it however.

saturatedbutter
saturatedbutter

How is it a step forward when the quality of the games will have to take a step back in order to function properly? Needs 1080p/60+ FPS in order to keep you from vomiting. To do that, the games have to be less graphically impressive. That's not a step forward.

leeko_link
leeko_link

So first it's wearing expensive 3D glasses with our games, now it's wearing expensive 3D headset with our games. Some evolution huh?

theKSMM
theKSMM

The next person who makes a dumb comment about 1080p is getting a swift kick in the nuts.  >:-/

Johny_47
Johny_47

Still very early yet but it could be bloody brilliant. Smell O' vision is still something I'd love too though, but that's more of a peripheral like something called AmbiX tried with a sense of feel in games a while ago. They tried having things like little powerful fans aimed at you in such a way that if, for example, you were riding down a hill on a bike it'd blew a lot of air at you to simulate wind on a bike =P

rogerpenna
rogerpenna

Since consoles can barely run a game at 1080p, I assume that unless SONY releases it´s VR Headset for the PC, it can have hardware competitive with Oculus Rift, but the games will not play with same quality on Oculus Rift and on the Sony device... the resolution will be too low on the Sony device, not because of the hardware of the VR Goggles, but because of the console hardware.

Gadeos
Gadeos

VR has so huge potential and looks so promising that's exciting just to think about it. It's really a next step in video gaming and I believe that it can change the way we play, not like Kinect which didn't actually do anything MS promised  it would (I'll never forget the "conversation" between Mollineaux and Milo... that was crap, not even X1 and current kinect'd be able to do that)

EmperorSupreme
EmperorSupreme

We do a lot of competitive gaming in our house on PC and I'm always yelling to people to stop looking at my monitor.... lol

This would be great for that. I hope Sony can get some real traction with this beyond just Playstation.  VR can change everything about gaming. 

Megavideogamer
Megavideogamer

VR headsets will have their time in the spotlight but price will keep them a niche product. While Sony's headset won't cost $1000.00 it is highly unlikely Sony will ever be able to get it at $200.00 which would be mass market price point.

Project Morpheus will likely debut at $599.99 hopefully with a pack in game at least?

rai1gun
rai1gun

With the difficulty consoles are having in rendering 2015 games in 1080p60, I don't think anyone is going to want this anytime soon.


To run a 3D VR headset, a GPU will have to render double the frames (one for each eye) required by a standard display. Expect 720p30 at best with that in mind. And that's 720p on the end of your nose, not 12-15 feet away on your 60" TV.


Nope, simply not going to happen without significant compromises during this console generation. Not unless they release a souped-up version of a PS4 or Xbox One with dual-GPUs. How much would you pay for one---if it INCLUDED the VR headset?


RedXuchilbara
RedXuchilbara

@ArchoNils2 you do know Project Morpheus has 360 degree head tracking, and Oculus Rift doesn't right?

and the picture is 1080p.

ojmstr
ojmstr

@ArchoNils2 Here is something i copied from the Verge interview on page 2 >> 


Stephen Ellis: I just saw the Morpheus system that Sony is developing for video games, and it’s extremely high quality. The people working on it have actually been doing it for some years — they’ve developed displays and tracking technology that’s really, really good. It makes Oculus look like Model T in terms of the quality of the tracking, and the imagery is very good. 

RedXuchilbara
RedXuchilbara

@basedxghost how do ppl get lost in wow? the game is like "hordeible" :-p


it used to be good back in Vanilla wow, now it's a watered down version of it's self.
like raids back in Vanilla were more challenging then they are in the newest content.

/facepalm

gregglle
gregglle

@xneonic i'm a VR enthusiast and i've learned a lot about psychology in terms of how people make assumption.  look at the assumption that you made.  assuming that it's not "groundbreaking" and taking your argument from there.  you need evidence dude. EVIDENCE.  and what does the evidence point to? that the vr IS groundbreaking.  You are assuming you "know" what it's like inside the mask.  Think about it

gregglle
gregglle

@Vodoo do you think people would really plug shit into their brain.  NO! I mean come on!  And btw- you're response is a very typical response from a very typical naysayer making very typical assumptions.  Real VR is what the oculus rift.  Input systems will be implemented as time goes on.  Right now, having your sight and hearing fully enveloped, and having pristine tracking and high fidelity 3d is enough to have minds blown.  True virtual reality has to do with being able to convince the brain that it has been transported to another world via the headset.  And it can only be achieved with really good tracking.  You'll be surprised bro. 

gregglle
gregglle

@el_swanno propoganda or VR?  Here's some advice- learn how to distinguish b/w gimmicks and non-gimmicks.  You people got fooled by motion controls with the wii, then you realized it was a gimmick.  Most people are jaded because of this motion control/3d fad that happened.  So now that something truly legit is here, everyone cries "foul!".   However, I don't.  I buy into this virtual reality revival.  And guess what? I never fell for the motion control fad.  Because I knew it was a fad way before it came out.  But yet, I believe in VR.  Why do you think that is? because i'm stupid? or smart? Who knows.  But apparently I can tell when something is legit and when something is not.  Don't you wish you had that gift.  

crazynotstupid
crazynotstupid

@saturatedbutter If you choose to look at it like that then you can. There are still 2D games being released that are often better than many 3D games. It doesn't mean 3D is not a step forward from 2D. Similarly VR will be a step forward regardless of whether or not it has better resolution or frame rate to begin with. The fact that you can't look past those things for something as radical as VR shows how little imagination you have, I'm sorry to say.

mikkepost
mikkepost

@saturatedbutter But...the PS4 already does that for nearly all its games. So 1080p@30fps would be a step back anyway. And trust me, you don't even need Second Son-level graphics to immerse yourself in VR.

rai1gun
rai1gun

@rogerpenna Agree. Novelty at best this console generation. and it won't be cheap either. I just can't see how it will be worth the financial investment. 


theKSMM
theKSMM

@rogerpenna Nobody needs 1080p on a screen that's one inch away from your eyeballs.

ojmstr
ojmstr

@rogerpenna You are wrong and Yoshida with 30+ years experience with gaming technoly is right, ok dude;) 

mikkepost
mikkepost

@rai1gun EVERYTHING I HAVE.


Oh, and VR games will be specifically tailored to achieve 1080p/60fps, obviously. They might not be as impressive looking as other 2D AAA-titles, but they will be WAY more immersive. And that's gonna trumph all the triangles in the world in my book.

ojmstr
ojmstr

@rai1gun btw Yoshida has confirmed it will run in 1080p at 60fps 

ojmstr
ojmstr

@rai1gun I allways find it funny when people think they are experts on the topic but in reality they don`t know anything about what their talking about. You have probably been reading this on the internet and you think you actually know this and that about the morpheus just by reading rumors probably from PC oculus rift fanboys and im pretty sure you havn`t even tested out any VR devices yet. These words Yoshida said here are some pretty powerfull statements and i wouldn`t underestemate them, i highly doubt he would say all this when there are no weight behind those words. Lets just wait and see what Sony will come up with in the not so distant future before you jump to conclusion. 

mordeaniis
mordeaniis

@rai1gun It's common to think that it's effectively doubling the performance cost but that isn't true. While there is a significant increase to performance costs, it's not just a straight doubling, and different aspects of performance will be impacted differently. Both frames share textures and geometry. And each frame is only half of a screen.

Part of it will definitely be making engines that are more VR friendly, and games will have to make compromises to reach that 3D at a good resolution.

gregglle
gregglle

@RedXuchilbara @basedxghost i first started playing wow right after burning crusade hit.  Even though it wasn't true vanilla, it was close.  It was a million times better than it is now.  It's so watered down it's not fun to play!

xneonic
xneonic

@gregglle @xneonic I agree with you that that would be a poor assumption. However, I am not making that assumption. I'm saying that, in order for VR to become a phenomenon, one of these products will have to be absolutely supreme in quality. People had Mp3 players before the iPod came out, but when the iPod was released almost everyone jumped on.


I hope this clarified my thoughts for you.

saturatedbutter
saturatedbutter

@crazynotstupid Well they can go ahead and make Oculus games in 2D then. Go ahead and make it Virtual Boy 2.0. The fact is these VR games will need to be significantly toned down in graphical fidelity in order to accommodate the peripheral. It makes Next Gen just Last Gen plus headset. I never said it would be terrible or that I wouldn't be able to look past it, but factually it is a step back, not a step forward.

saturatedbutter
saturatedbutter

@mikkepost "You don't even need" is just a cop out and really means "it's going to be a step back." Games with the level of graphics in Second Son is their new standard. Unfortunately, Oculus Rift games will need to be toned down to basically PS3 games with VR support.

rogerpenna
rogerpenna

@theKSMM It seems Sony fanboys have not read or watched any Oculus Rift videos... the proximity to the screen resulting in what they call "screen door effect" is one of the major Rift criticisms.


The Oculus Rift Developers Version 2 has 1080p resolution and STILL some people talk about screen door effect. So it seems obvious to me consoles that can barely run decently at 1080p will never be able to handle quality graphics at even higher resolutions.

saturatedbutter
saturatedbutter

@theKSMM What are you talking about? The closer you are, the most you need higher resolution, not less. Even at 1080p you will still get a screen door effect because you can see each individual pixel and the space between them. If anything, 4K is needed on VR headsets more than anywhere else.

rai1gun
rai1gun

Yes, the display capabilities of the VR headsets will likely meet or exceed 1080p60 performance. However the 3D rendering happens on the console / PC, which determines actual rendering resolution. The VR unit will probably upscale that output to whatever the capabilities of the screens in the headset are.

rai1gun
rai1gun

Sure, the VR display will. It may be capable of receiving a 1080p60 signal. But the console still has to render the frames.

rai1gun
rai1gun

@ojmstr @rai1gun It doesn't take an expert in Oculus or Morpheus technology to do math. I've followed the gaming hardware industry for decades and know enough to confidently state my opinion above. I don't presume to be an expert at all. Just someone with an informed opinion.





rai1gun
rai1gun

@mordeaniis @rai1gun Any increase in performance cost is bad news for the consoles. Any reduction in graphical quality when using Morpheus will not go over well at all. This already applies to 3D films, with many movie goers opting to see the 2D versions over brightness / fidelity / watchability concerns.


It does matter what 3D method is employed. True, passive / interlaced 3D would be cheaper to render, but that's not going to do well when you are trying to mimic total 3D immersion and head / camera tracking.


Plus, again, all at the end of your nose. 


Impressive novelty at best on this generation's consoles.

mikkepost
mikkepost

@saturatedbutter By the way; what do you get out of doubting something that hasn't even come out yet? Wouldn't you be happier if it was amazing? Wouldn't we all? Everything will constantly evolve in the direction where people are having the most fun (that's how they make their money). You should be glad developers are trying to maximize your good times. If it flops, it flops, but if it succeeds; good for everyone, right? Or would you not want to immerse yourself in games any further than you already are?


I'm sorry, but I'm having a hard time figuring out why you are so against this. And judging from your activity on this topic, you seem to really hate where this is going.

mikkepost
mikkepost

@saturatedbutter I really didn't need to cop out now did I? Oh well, luckily you can avoid this guaranteed disappointment by just ignoring it completely. Good for you! Me on the other hand, am feeling quite optimistic.

ojmstr
ojmstr

@rai1gun Don`t wory it will be just fine, do some search on youtube or google user experience with the sony morpheus vr headset, everyone who has tested it out even at this stage (not even a finished product) says it works very well and they are amazed by it. 

ojmstr
ojmstr

@rai1gun i see what you wrote and i respect your opinion. We will just have to wait and se. Like i stated earlyer in this  thread, i predict we will see games like No man's sky released as a launch title for the sony morpheus vr headset. 

saturatedbutter
saturatedbutter

@gregglle You mean the people trying it on super beefed up PCs? Lets see what the public has to say when that thing becomes a commercial product and people start vomiting from using it because they aren't playing at 60 frames per second.

saturatedbutter
saturatedbutter

@mikkepost No idea what you are talking about. Never said I was against this. Just that it is in fact a step back, not forward. Less graphical fidelity is not a step forward.

gregglle
gregglle

@saturatedbutter @mikkepost if you understood what VR was, you would understand why the "graphics have to take a step back".  VR is a whole new medium.  It's completely different than playing a game on a screen.  It really is.  VR requires POWER.  So in other words, it actually requires beefy hardware.  Is that a step back?  But instead of beefing up the hardware, some people tone down the graphics to get high frame rates, etc.  But by the time OR comes out, there will be much more powerful pc's anyway.   And mikke is right.  VR is so amazing that you still can thoroughly enjoy the vr experience with even the simplest of graphics.  Step back?   And no, you do hate this..  For some reason.  It's because you are incorrectly identifying this as a fad/cash grab/gimmick..... when in fact, it's quite opposite.  

mikkepost
mikkepost

@saturatedbutter But if you've tried an oculus (or even your cell phone in a google cardboard) you must have realized that the immersion will beat graphics any day. That being said, there are obviously no AAA-games for the oculus/morpheus yet, since the product needs to be released and sell a good amount before releasing a game would be profitable. Those who dabble with graphically intensive games in oculus are reporting amazing results already. Star Citizen comes to mind, but I have no idea if that'll ever get released on consoles. 


I don't think it'll be hard to get great graphics in a Morpheus, but it might be hard to convince good developers to risk chaining their big new game to a fresh peripheral. I'm sure many developers still have nightmares about the kinect and playstation move.

saturatedbutter
saturatedbutter

@gregglle the fact is no matter how much better hardware gets, you will always need significantly better hardware to run a game with VR than to run one without it. So the games that don't support it will always look better than the ones that do. I don't hate it, despite you inexplicably telling me that I do. But that is a step back.

Also, VR is not a revolution.