FeVRier: The Myth of the gameless PSVR

PSVRThe internet thrives on the creation of myths and the spreading of misinformation parading as facts. In such an enlightened age, where information is available on tap 24 hours a day 7 days a week it is incredible to think that many take what they see on the internet at face value and blindly believe it without doing research.

Myths thrive in the internet age because it preys on our assumption that reliable information is easy to find on the internet – while it is true that reliable information is available in abundance, it rarely seeks you out. 

Why the philosophy of online myths?

Well recently I have noticed that there is a myth surrounding the PSVR; a myth that is without merit and without any basis in fact. That myth is perpetuating its way through gaming websites in the comment sections and the discussion boards; and that myth could prove to be incredibly damaging for the future of the format.

“There are no games for the PSVR”

This is a line that I have seen daily since October 13th – there is no shred of truth in the statement! The general trend seems to be the people who are saying this do not own the PSVR nor do they keep up with the release schedule or indeed the games that have already released.

In a sense I understand the ignorance; when I have no interest in a subject, information passes me by. However, when these people are bombarding every article/tweet/status about the format with this nonsense it creates a narrative that casual observers will believe and perpetuate to their friends. This will put off potential buyers and end the format and the advancement of its technology – leaving gaming overall worse for it.

Let’s do our best Mythbusters impression and put this narrative to shame with evidence and fact.

“The PSVR has no games”

rigs-coverIs said in pure ignorance or worse yet, plain old lies!

The PSVR launched on October 13th 2016 with over 30 titles available to purchase – these titles covered a vast amount of genres and catered to a wide demographic of gamers.

These titles ranged from short passive experiences like ‘Allumette’, ‘Kismet’ and ‘The Kitchen’ right up to fully fledged titles with hours of gameplay like ‘RIGS’, ‘Thumper’ or ‘Driveclub VR’.

While there is no doubt that there was a variance in quality of title available at launch many of these titles are excellent and collectively the launch of PSVR is one of the strongest in recent memory. I like many others bought a handful of games to enjoy and share with our families.

Since launch there has been a steady drip feeding of games and the total of games available on the system was 50 by the December 31st 2016.

As of right now there are 100 games and experiences available to buy for the PSVR. In fact if we consider that the PSVR has been out for 19 weeks; that equals an average of 5 games released every week – which is a much higher average than traditional gaming has to offer.

“There are no games coming out for the PSVR though”

starblood-arena-511129-1When you rebuke the first line this is usually the second line of defence for the myth believers and again it is a line with no basis on reality. 

The truth is there is a very clear schedule of constant releases, every week this year there has been, at least, two new additions to the PSVR library; it is a growing one that has a number of high quality games and experiences.

Yesterday Sony released a statement that stated they have “100 experiences currently available for PSVR; with 220 titles in development, of which 100 will be released in 2017” – this is a statement of intent, the fact that Sony said that they “firmly believe Playstation VR will take the lead position in the VR market” should put to the rest the idea they will not support their platform.

Q1 2017 for PSVR has a total of 16 games confirmed for release (not including what has already come out) including ‘Paranormal Activity: The Lost Soul’ and ‘Starblood Arena VR’.

There are absolutely games coming out for Playstation VR.

“Well none of those games count because they only last an hour or two” or “Real games aren’t possible on the system”

revii-psvrThis one is true actually. They’d never release a real AAA title on the system like ‘Resident Evil VII’…

…oh wait!

Of course “real” games are possible on the system; they’ve been there since launch for goodness sake! ‘RIGs’ is a multiplayer shooter with just as much content and depth of play as traditional multiplayer games; in fact it had more content than ‘Star Wars Battlefront’ did at release.

‘Resident Evil VII’ proved that games as we know them are perfectly viable on the PSVR with developer diligence and little to no compromise with control or graphics. Sure there are comfort settings, but these can be turned off until the game is exactly the same as the traditional game but with more immersion.

‘Dirt Rally’ and ‘Driveclub VR’ both prove that racing games are not only viable, but perfectly suited to VR.

‘Until Dawn: Rush of Blood’ proves that the tracking of the system is outstanding and that light gun games (on-rail shooters) should make a comeback.

‘Farpoint’ looks to prove that first person shooters are viable too and the previews suggest that it already does!

Whilst ‘Thumper’ and ‘REZ’ prove that non-VR games can be complimented and improved by adding it in.

I can think of no genre of game that VR could not accommodate and/or improve – with just a little thought from the developer and some comfort settings everything should be fair game.

Real games are not only possible on PSVR, they are already here and they are brilliant to play.

“Sony will dump the PSVR like it did the VITA and the Playstation Move”

psmove-imageblock-us-25nov14.pngAnd here we are; the last holding position of those who spread the myth.
This one is the hardest to debunk because none of us a psychic nor are any of us privy to internal Sony secrets. Of course we could refer to the past and try to find patterns to apply here and they look bad at first glance;

• Playstation Eye (camera range) – released in 2003 and sold moderately well over its 11 year life span, by 2014 the range had sold 10.7 million. The original Eye toy was incredibly low resolution and had terrible tracking so by the PS3 release it had been repurposed into a higher resolution webcam.
• Playstation Move – would try to capture some of the Wii momentum and was quite successful selling 15 million by 2012. The technology was incredibly impressive but tracking was held back by the low resolution of the Playstation Eye. Relaunched with PSVR
• Wonderbook – the less said about this the better. As far as I’m aware there are no official sales figures. Dreadfully supported bad idea.
• VITA – an amazing console that was truly under-supported by Sony although the remote play is excellent, a console needs its own games. 13 million sold.

There we have it, Sony release hardware that pushes technology; undersells and eventually gets killed off…

…except that’s not the narrative, while many of things underwhelmed Sony have dropped none of them quickly – they have always repurposed their hardware where ever possible!

You’ll also notice that the PSP is missing; that’s because it was a massive success worldwide and enjoyed a long life full of support by games developers. Why? Because it was a market leader – and if you scroll up, PSVR is currently the market leader in VR.

Conclusion

With all the above evidence; I have a feeling that PSVR will be just fine. If you are on the fence about buying one but are worried about public consensus and Sony’s “history” I’m telling you that there is absolutely nothing to worry about. The system has a rich, varied and high quality library already and that it is steadily growing into an amazing system with experiences you cannot get anywhere else.

I regret nothing about my PSVR purchase (and I did buy it #notsponsored) and I’ve actively encouraged others to do the same when asked. It’s brilliant!

Do you have a PSVR?
Do you worry that Sony will kill it?
Are you happy you have one? Tell me in comments/facebook/twitter

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