Right now, Sony’s PlayStation VR (PSVR) headset is seen as a peripheral for its PlayStation 4 console. In the future, that perception might switch.
That is according to Warwick Light, the head of PlayStation UK. Speaking in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Light spoke about how VR represented the innovation coming from the company. “VR has huge potential,” he said. “That should help us address that lifecycle. It is plausible in the future that the console becomes the peripheral for VR, rather than the other way around.”
Currently you could compare PSVR to peripherals like the PlayStation Move motion controllers; additional and optional hardware that give existing PlayStation owners new types of experiences with new games, while the console itself remains the priority. Light’s words suggest that, one day, PSVR itself could become the priority, and the console that powers it is the add-on, perhaps suggesting the majority of PlayStation content will be in VR. That’s a pretty big implication for the future of the PlayStation brand, though Light’s words are in no way definitive.
Such a future would be a long way off; VR in general has a long way to go before its a dominant platform in people’s homes.
At the very least, it shows just how seriously Sony is taking VR, which some fans have begun to doubt in recent weeks. Light somewhat addressed those concerns, too, speaking to the relatively subdued marketing campaign the headset has seen since launch last October. He explained that, in the UK at least, Sony was aware that “demand would outstrip supply”, and so it promoted accordingly. That was a process he described as “quite tricky to do, because at the same time we also had a responsibility to let the mass market know that there was a viable and affordable VR new entrant.”
“So rather than going out big with a huge TV campaign, we sort of went underground a little bit,” he said, later adding: “As we address the supply issue, we will be able to go out with a lot more mainstream messaging on VR.”
The company seems to be addressing that issue already; next week two bundles will be launching in the US, offering a headset, camera, two Move controllers and one of two games. Hopefully it’s a sign that PSVR’s supply constraints are finally coming to an end.