News Article

Rumour: PS4 Will Take You to Another Dimension with Oculus Rift-Esque Headset

Posted by Sammy Barker

Virtual boy

Sony’s ill-fated stereoscopic 3D push may feel like a bad memory at this point, but the platform holder has made several indications that it’s eager to get into the virtual reality market. With the Oculus Rift headset proving popular among gamers and developers alike, reports that the platform holder is working on its own version of the device for the PlayStation 4.

According to the site, the manufacturer’s already got the in-production peripheral working alongside DriveClub internally. That makes a lot of sense, as the company’s Liverpool department – which is not far from Evolution Studios’ home in Runcorn – has been working on 3D technology for a number of years, with its chief Mick Hocking being incredibly quiet of late.

Of course, the Japanese giant has designed its own headsets before, with its HMZ line proving an interesting experiment. Pitched as personal 3D viewers, these futuristic devices simulate the experience of sitting in an enormous auditorium. The Oculus Rift differs by including accelerometers which allow you to actually look around as if you’re inside a game world. This is the experience that the firm's reportedly aiming to emulate.

Incredibly, it’s thought that Sony was hoping to show its own headset at GamesCom last month, but it decided to hold the announcement back until next year. Speaking as part of an interview with Engadget at E3, Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida admitted that the organisation has access to an Oculus Rift development kit and “loves” the technology.

The company behind the Oculus Rift has admitted that it has “chatted” to the platform holder, but it seems more likely that Sony would want to create its own version. “Y'know, we're Sony, so we have lots of different things and different ideas in research and development,” Yoshida told CVG when asked about the device. “We are doing a lot of things that we can't talk about.”

Having recently had a chance to check out the Oculus Rift, we can definitely see a future for the peripheral. The most impressive thing about the technology is how natural it feels once you adjust; physically looking around rather than moving an analogue stick is the most intuitive thing in the world. It’s a perfect fit for the PS4, then, but the big question remains: how much would the hypothetical hardware cost, and how many developers would actually support it?

Update: CVG reports that the headset could be officially revealed at the Tokyo Game Show in a couple of weeks. Exciting times, folks.


User Comments (32)



Epic said:

Interesting indeed but that will mean that people that are getting an Oculus RIft might need to buy another peripheral just to use it on PS4, for all those backers and gamers that Pre-Ordered the Oculus Rift, these are really bad news indeed.



MadchesterManc said:

With auto-stereoscopic 3D dragging its feet about coming into the mass market its no wonder devices like these are becoming interesting for people. Im interested, but Im not sure myself as well. Ill have to give it a go before id lay down the wonga. Theres a shop near my house that has one of Sony's HMZ headsets for sale at £250, preowned price too. Seems like a lot of money for a risky venture, but if it works fine the immersion factor would be incredible.



rjejr said:

These sentences read contradictory to me:

"The Oculus Rift differs by including accelerometers which allow you to actually look around as if you’re inside a game world."

"The most impressive thing about the technology is how natural it feels once you adjust – looking around rather than moving an analogue stick is the most intuitive thing in the world."

The first sentence makes these sound like a a 3D tv that you strap onto your face, the 2nd sentence is about immersive VR. Judging by the look of these things - they should ship w/ a full size PVC faux shark cage you can set up in your living room - I'm guessing it's all about the 3D w/o the movement, which makes them seem like a failure at launch.

Summed up best w/ your caption: "Virtual boy"

I'm not opposed to the tech, I once owned an iPod Touch 4 w/ a $10 3-D toy headset that came w/ a few games, and it was fun for a few minutes. The 3DS also has a few VR games - FaceRaiders shipping w/ the system and getting a lot more use, followed by Denpa Men - but if these don't track head movement I just don't see much use. They're better off just making a 3D Vita 2. Though I'm open to the possibility that I'm completely misreading all of this.



get2sammyb said:

Added an update from CVG. Apparently this could be announced at TGS, rather than next year.

@rjejr I don't think they do read contradictory. Sony's existing HMZ personal viewer just shows a static 3D screen; it simulates the sensation of being in an enormous cinema. The Oculus Rift (and this rumoured PS4 headset) puts you inside the game world, and allows you to physically move your head to simulate the sensation of looking around.



rjejr said:

@get2sammyb - But what does this cheap looking pair of goggles do? If it doesn't have movement detection, but you say you are looking forward to using movement detection, that's what sounded contradictory to me.



get2sammyb said:

@rjejr Sony currently manufactures the HMZ headsets. The rumour is that it's going to announce something similar to Oculus Rift — with the movement detection included.

EDIT: I've added a sentence into the article to hopefully make this clearer.



InsertNameHere said:

I'd be more than willing to buy a VR headset from Sony, granted I got to try it out first. That seems like one of the issues plaguing the Vita. If I walk into GameStop, there's a 3DS display right at the door and a Wii U set up near the back, but there is no Vita display in sight.

So if Sony does announce this, then I hope they have them on display at game stores so that people can try it out, rather than going in blind.

@rjejr I think they're just a mock-up of what someone thinks it would look like, not the actual design.



8vpiper said:

Already have a hmz-t1 Its pretty good but I had to mod mine to get it nice and comfy. it worked well with gt5 head tracking not wow but nice was just hopping the PS4 eye was going to improve it the hmz-t3 seems to have fixed what the uncomfortable parts were for me. the 720p screen never seems to have jagged lines like I expected. Would be a bit pissed to get a new headset paid $1000 dollars for the hmz-t1 but if their is support I'm there! I do get motion sick and the hmz-t1 actually a bit crappy to use in on-line shooters cant put my finger on why feels like refresh rate is to low but specs say otherwise



PMasterTy9 said:

I would rather see Sony teaming up with the people that are creating the Oculus Rift instead of making a rival product. The Oculus Rift looks amazing. If this works as promised I can see VR finally taking off.



DirectAim said:

What Sony need to do is support the Oculus Rift.
What Sony shouldn't do is release its own unique peripheral.
What Sony will probably do it release its own peripheral at a more expensive price to the Rift and then wonder why no one supports it or buys it.



chazaroonie said:

This sounds awesome to me. I'm picturing standing holding the sharpshooter, wearing the VR headset, totally immersed. We just need a 360° treadmill and total immersion will be complete. seiously though, I'm really excited about the possibilities this could offer. I don't care if Sony support Oculus Rift or make their own peripheral, I just want to use it.




@DirectAim I agree, with the good moves they've made courting Indies, supporting the Rift would make good sense.
My cousin has a dev kit and loves it, and seeing the Eve Online Enemy Starfighter videos, I can honestly say that I'd consider one myself if my PC had the stones to run games well.



8vpiper said:

It makes no business sense to support Rift how will they make money from it? The R&D has been done now to get that money back!



PMasterTy9 said:

@8vpiper They could still make money by supporting it. they could work with them on developing PS4 versions or they could give them more resources to improve their product and come out with a version 2.0. Also, if Sony slapped their name on it and added PS4 support people would be more inclined to purchase it as a PS4 peripheral or something to that effect which would bring in money for both parties. Not to mention it would look good on Sony's part to support another indie project and have something Microsoft doesn't have or be the first to it.




It would be interesting to see a Sony product, it'll no doubt look better than the rift, but again, I really think they should support in. A PS4 compatible version could just be the higher price point.
I have a feeling that a Sony VR headset at this point will use Move technology with the new camera.



-CraZed- said:

@get2sammyb I just read an IGN report about the second version of that headset they show behind closed doors as early as October last year:
which has AR features with full head tracking etc. (Protoype-SR).

Also, the title good sir. This screams 'Sony once again developing off someone else's research' which we all know isn't true, as they have already shown the preluding tech for their soon to be announced VR headset. I suspect you are using the 'Oculus Rift-Esque' as a frame of reference but I don't think it is necessary. I'd say we all have a pretty good grasp on what VR is...

Tantrum aside, this is good news for several reasons. No.1, it will ensure the OR team really push themselves to make the OR the best it can be once they know there is some actual competition. And no. 2, it could lead to more aggressive pricing on both sides. Sony can't afford to put out a monstrously expensive piece of tech if it wants to compete with the darling of the tech community. I like the news and look forward to hearing more about the both of them.



-CraZed- said:

@8vpiper Even if the OR competed with Sony's tech on their console the licensing fees alone would make up for any loss of sales. You don't see Sony banning third party controllers and peripherals just because Sony makes their own. They both generate income for the PS brand.
It is a win, win.



8vpiper said:

@-CraZed- I do understand the licence would bring some cash in the same with the way i see no problem with @PMasterTy9 logic. End of the day the person that can bring this in at $250 or under will win out! If Sony pricing is the same as hmz then it would be smarter to go with Rift. That said what will Rift sell for to general public?



PMasterTy9 said:

@8vpiper Well, the dev kits for OR are $300 dollars and I assume dev kits are generally more expensive than consumer models. So, $250 could be viable.



8vpiper said:

if with sony help tech and production help they could bring it under $200 brillient but does ps4 have the grunt?




I'd say accelerometer and Move tech for motion tracking.
No reason properly optimised games should pose a problem for PS4.



AaronYeager said:

It should come as no surprise why Sony would not want to support OS and rather make their own. They've been working with virtual reality tech for years now, and to team up with the Rift is almost like throwing away years of development and research. After hearing this news I'm almost willing to bet Microsoft tries to buy off the Rift.



Squiggle55 said:

Honestly, I was very excited about the Oculus Rift, but, at the end of the day, all I care about is having the best possible VR product on my PS4. If Sony's peripheral matches the Rift in quality, then I don't care if they team up with Oculus or not. That's just the business side of things. All I want is VR on my PS4.

How awesome! I will absolutely buy one on day one.

And what exactly do developers have to do the make their game compatible with these devices? All I care about is the immersion and putting an imax size screen on your face. I don't care about the head tracking as much which I suspect is the developing-heavy part of it. I'd love to see every game compatible with simply using it as your screen.



DirectAim said:

@8vpiper Supporting Rift will shift consoles. Especially if they get one of there studios to make a killer game that is designer for the rift! Also I think supporting developers who decide to support the rift is important.



gturbo7 said:

Hi mate, you said you have seen a hmz t1 in a shop near you, could i please ask where that is please, i've been after one of these for a while and thats quite a good price, cheers.

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