Sony Thinks That VR Can Save Kinect
Yesterday we reported on how Sony worldwide studios boss Shuhei Yoshida and the rest of the the Sony execs don’t quite know why the PS4 is so damn successful. That’s not too much of a worry since it’s doing well. If they weren’t sure why it was failing, ala Square Enix for the past five years, then it would be a different case.
Anyway, Yoshida has some further insight to share. This time regarding VR and motion controls. It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to figure out that motion control and VR are inextricably tied together. It’s far better for your experience to have the game respond to your gestures than a controller firmly planted in your hands. Also, it feels a little weird to play without seeing the controller. Maybe that’s just me [insert commentary on religion].
Now, Yoshida believes that motion games had their day and can’t really do much on their own but that virtual reality systems such as Project Morpheus and Oculus Rift can do great things for the PlayStation Move which has somewhat faded into anonymity.
No mention was made of Kinect because not even Microsoft acknowledges its existence anymore. We’re going to assume that Yoshida forgot to mention it.
“Motion gaming was a big thing, but, like with social games, dance games, music or guitar games, I don’t think there’s a lot of appetite for another motion game at this moment,” Yoshida told Pocket-lint. That doesn’t make me feel great about the two Move controllers I have sitting on my shelf, but it’s hard to deny that many gamers and developers have moved on from motion controls–if they were ever on-board in the first place.
It’s not that Yoshida feels anything is wrong with Move; describing it as “a precise and accurate 3D input device,” he said the PS3/PS4 motion controller “was a bit ahead of its time.” According to him, that’s because it’s hard to take advantage of the 3D positional tracking it offers on a 2D screen.
“So now we are realizing that, when we do Project Morpheus, the one thing you want to do immediately is interact with an object in virtual space, and the one way to do that is that you need a 3D positioning input device, like PS Move,” Yoshida said.
I’ve never owned a PS Move and don’t see the need for owning one. I previously owned a Wii and its novelty wears off after a while.
Project Morpheus from Sony and Oculus Rift are currently the leaders in VR and could do some great things for the way we view films at home. However, in terms of gaming they could prove to be a little too expensive to ever achieve the Oculus dream of a Rift in every home. Dev kits for Oculus Rift currently go for around $350 with Morhpheus having no pricepoint to go on just yet. Couple that with the approximately $100 cost of motion controls and you’ve got yourself a package that costs more than either the PS4 or Xbox One.
I can’t see people buying into that for something presently as gimmicky as VR. It’s awesome, make no mistake but there is no burning reason to invest in virtual reality tech just yet.
Despite the flak it gets, I would wager that Xbox owners use their Kinect more than PS users plug in their PlayStation Eye or break out the Move controller.
VR might present a revival for motion controls but only if people are willing to meet the price that these systems will go for.