Activision Brings Call of Duty to VR… Sort Of

by Jamie Feltham • June 8th, 2016

The biggest franchise in gaming is about to get VR support. Sort of.

Activision has just announced this year’s Call of Duty XP event, in which it will preview the upcoming entry into the mega shooter franchise, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. Taking place from September 2nd – 4th you can expect eSports tournaments and more right from sunny Los Angeles. You can also look forward to a Call of Duty VR experience, but don’t get too excited just yet.

According to Eurogamer, this experience will be running on PlayStation VR, which makes sense seeing as creator Sony began an exclusive content partnership with Activision for last year’s Call of Duty: Black OPS III. In it, you’ll get to pilot a personal fighter jet from Infinite Warfare known as a Jackal. It sounds great, sure, but it’s strictly not going to be included in the final release of the game when it hits on November 4th 2016. Apparently it’s a one-off experience designed specifically for the event.

Perhaps Activision could release it as some sort of promotional experience at some point later down the line, but it’s staying tight-lipped for now. PSVR itself will be launching just ahead of Infinite Warfare in October, and we also know that Sony and EA are teaming up to release a Star Wars: Battlefront VR experience on PlayStation VR that we expect to be pretty similar to this. You can’t run the full game in VR, but you can cherry pick gameplay elements that would fit right in and build something around that.

Sorry to get your hopes up but it seems like true VR support for Call of Duty is still a ways off. That much should be obvious to most VR fans; the first-person shooter’s lightning pace is a recipe for fast simulator sickness, and the intense violence the series portrays would need a much more considered approach to be acceptable. There’s also the question of market size; VR won’t have an install base big enough to make a full blown entry into the franchise viable for years to come yet. That said, games like RIGS: Mechanized Combat League are trying to push the boundaries of what’s possible with the VR FPS. Maybe we’ll get there in time for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare III.

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