Sony wants to prove to the world that virtual reality is not just for hardcore gamers playing on their own.
The platform holder revealed its VR headset – Project Morpheus – at the Games Developer Conference last month. It even showed off a number of demos including a diving simulation called The Deep, which was developed by Sony’s London studio.
And the head of the studio has told MCV that it has been experimenting with ways to make virtual reality a more social experience with people in the same room who do not have a headset.
One of the things that we have worked on quite hard is something we call the social screen,” said studios boss Dave Ranyard.
And that is where you can see on the TV a version of what the person within the Morpheus is seeing. And we can link up a tablet or a phone to the device, so we have companion app play. In our demo The Deep a second person with the companion app can add in extra sea life, like a giant turtle, which the shark can then attack before it gets you. If you put these things together, you can have one person in Morpheus and a group of people in the living room either helping or hinderingthat person.
The 1970s future vision of virtual reality was a very solo experience of people playing on their own. But actually it might not be that, it might be quite a social experience.”
His comments follow Facebook’s acquisition of rival VR headset Oculus Rift, and that company’s plans to make VR a more mass-market proposition.