The Oculus Rift
is a device that's captured imaginations like few before it since the creation of the Internet got going in earnest. But according to some new reports, it may not be the only game in town when it comes to virtual reality, and the next big thing in virtual reality could be coming from a much more familiar name than some would see coming.
Reports indicate that Sony
is looking to put together its own virtual reality headset for the PlayStation 4. Taking several cues from the Oculus Rift visor, the Sony version will offer a wrap-around 3D image. The reports further suggest that the system is actually being demonstrated to developers using DriveClub, a PS4 launch title. It's worth noting that the reports indicate that the Sony version will not boast the head-tracking technology that the Oculus Rift offers up, potentially making it less valuable than its counterpart. But still, the idea that Sony is developing its own in-house virtual reality system is one that should give a gamer pause.
If this is a rumor that ultimately pans out, it's a seriously destabilizing element for the console wars as we know them. While the Oculus Rift is planning to launch sometime in 2014, its compatibility with consoles is somewhat unclear as yet. There's no reason the Oculus Rift couldn't work with the Xbox One, so it may well be that Sony is working on something of a preemptive basis to bring a virtual reality system to its own console. If the Oculus Rift doesn't work with the Xbox One, meanwhile, then Sony has a game-changer on its hands. Many gamers would likely jump to the PlayStation 4 if it were the only system to come with a virtual reality component, and that doesn't even factor in the game developers that would likely go for such a system. Microsoft
is already having a tough enough time trying to shake the disastrous performance it turned in at E3 thanks to impressive backpedaling; the absolute last thing the Xbox One needs is to be known as “the console without virtual reality capability.”
Naturally, a lot of this is still up in the air, and with the new systems set to emerge in a little over a month, the impact of such developments may not influence buying decisions too greatly. But one thing that can be clearly noticed from this development is that virtual reality is likely to be a much greater part of a gaming experience than some expected, and in the not too distant future, as well.