Since his debut in 2016’s Playroom VR, Astro Bot has become something of a mascot for Sony’s PSVR headset.
So why’s he showing up in a non-VR game?
If you missed the news, Astro’s Playroom is a free PS5 launch title that comes installed on every console. It’s a third-person platformer just like 2018’s Astro Bot Rescue Mission, but with no support for headsets.
In a recent interview with Famitsu, Sony Japan Studio Head (and Astro Bot Director) Nicolas Doucet explained that the team was using the character’s popularity to help frame what is essentially a platformer comprised of lots of tech demo-like ideas. Instead of PSVR, Astro’s Playroom is designed to showcase the new DualSense controller for PS5, which features additions like triggers that provide resistance.
As a result, much like how a Mario game often utilizes the new features of a Nintendo console, Astro’s Playroom is a series of different ideas strung into a campaign. “However, the character Astro already existed and was quite popular,” Doucet said of featuring Astro himself. “I decided to challenge using that character. Because of that, it may not be noticed by those who play it, but this work also incorporates many tech demo elements.”
Doucet also revealed that the game has about four to five hours worth of content and plenty of platform staples like collectibles and more. Sadly, though, it seems like VR support won’t be included in this entry into the series. Fingers crossed that Astro Bot Rescue Mission 2 is in the works for a possible PSVR 2 headset, though.