It had been assumed, up until recently, that PlayStation 5 games would be able to use the existing PlayStation VR headset for virtual reality experiences. That’s not the case, according to a Sony statement sent to UploadVR. In a bizarre and disappointing twist, the organisation has admitted that in order to experience titles like Hitman 3 with PSVR, you’ll need to be playing the backwards compatible PlayStation 4 version. A similar announcement was recently made for No Man’s Sky: Next Generation.
So what does this mean? Well, in the case of Hitman 3, it means that if you want to enjoy the PSVR experience, you’ll have to download the PS4 build to your PS5 rather than the native next-gen version. While it will benefit from improved loading times and more stable performance due to Game Boost, it obviously won’t have the visual improvements that will be available on PS5. It’s also a messy solution: it means in theory you may have to have two different versions of Hitman 3 installed on your console in order to enjoy the stealth title to its fullest.
Fortunately, both Hitman 3 and No Man’s Sky: Next Generation are offering free PS4 to PS5 upgrades, so you won’t be out of pocket here. Still, this does sound like an incredible clumsy scenario – especially after one developer announced a PSVR game for PS5 a few months back. When we asked the studio about it, a spokesperson told us: “I can't really comment other than saying, yes we will be on PS5, and no we don't intend to release on PS4.” Presumably those plans have now changed.
Speaking to the Washington Post earlier this week, PlayStation boss Jim Ryan indicated that his company still believes in virtual reality, and suggested that while the technology is yet to have its true mainstream moment, he believes it’ll come in the future: “We definitely believe at some point in the future, VR will represent a meaningful component of interactive entertainment. Will it be this year? No. Will it be next year? No. But will it come at some stage? We believe that.”