Gaming Week In Review – Playstation braces retail for VR, Microsoft wants to play ball.
Sony, Oculus drops first launch details on Virtual Reality headsets
With years of excessive hype in the rearview, it’s finally time for Virtual Reality to become reality. At the Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco this past week, both Sony and Oculus released firm details on their VR projects hitting consumer stores this year. Sony made the biggest impact by announcing that PSVR (a headset attachment to their PS4 console) would hit store shelves in October and come in at $399. The low price came as a bit of a shock, considering Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are charging $599 and $799 respectively for their kits. However, there is some fine print. The PSVR retail package won’t include the PS Camera, required for the headset’s use. Also excluded are the Move controllers that allow for the natural hand movement seen in many demos. Sony also confirmed a bundle containing the required accessories but has not yet confirmed how much it will cost.
Not willing to let Playstation hog all of the attention, Oculus came out with a list of the titles available on the Oculus Rift headset as the first round of pre-orders ship out this month. Notable titles include ADR1FT (a narrative adventure game taking place in the aftermath of a spaceship collision), racing game Project CARS, Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time, and party game Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes. The games will go live on the Oculus storefront at the end of the month, but don’t expect to hop in right away. Oculus has currently pre-sold all available stock up until July of this year.
Microsoft wants to play nice with Playstation, PC
For too long have the console wars divided social groups in twain. Friends on Playstation aren’t able to play games with their XBox brethren, and those on the PC could only rarely tap into the console player base. Picking a console typically came down to where friends played just as much as it did exclusive games and price. But all of that might change – all thanks to a little game about cars and balls.
Microsoft announced this week it would be ending its long-held restriction on multiplayer with players on PC and would be extending the invitation to “other platforms,” kicking off with Rocket League. The new changes to XBox Live will also be coming to #IDARB, alongside the game’s forthcoming Windows 10 release. Presently the new rules only apply to games under the indie ‘[email protected]’ banner, but it’s easy to see how this change in policy could extend to major studio releases like Call of Duty, Destiny, or FIFA. Sony was quick to reply to the initiative, saying they’ve never had any restrictions on cross-platform play – but they only said they would be “happy to have the conversation” with any interested publishers or developers. So while Sony may not be onboard immediately, they’re not shutting down the idea altogether.
Follow Chris Berg on Twitter, @ChrisBerg25
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