You’d think if a division of Sony was making a VR experience they’d be using the company’s own headset, PlayStation VR (PSVR). It’s surprising to learn, then, Sony Music Entertainment is working with a rival headset, the HTC Vive.
The Japanese division of Sony Music is at the 2017 South By South West (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas right now showing off an experience named Gold Rush VR that uses not one but four Vives attached to backpack PCs, allowing four people to roam around a room scale area without tripping on each other’s wires. You can see it in the video below:
Basically, players step onto a wooden makeshift tram in the real world, which comes to life in the virtual one, transporting them to different zones to explore from within the confines of the vehicle.
This piece is being showcased as party of Sony’s Wow Factory, a set of projects from the company’s innovation labs that, according to an official listing, are “developed with a spirit of open-minded and unbridled experimentation.” That probably explains why the company is using Vive instead of PSVR; the latter headset can’t pull off the same level of position-tracking seen in the SteamVR platform that Vive uses.
But the Vive display isn’t the only VR installation from Sony at the show. There’s also an intriguing mobile VR experience called Parallel Eyes in which players can see each other’s perspectives and use that to their advantage to play a game of tag in real life. It doesn’t exactly sound like the safest use of VR, but we’d be lying if we said we didn’t want to give it a go.
Finally, PSVR itself is also on display at the show with popular launch game Rez Infinite and the incredible synesthesia suit that it’s been shown with multiple times over the past year.