PSVR 2: You can play this eye-tracking adventure without a controller
Is it possible to control a VR game with your eyes only? An upcoming PSVR2 adventure game works without a controller.
The VR adventure Before Your Eyes uses the modern eye tracking of the Playstation VR 2 in a very special way. Players move through the surreal, colorful comic backdrops by blinking their eyes.
As part of Sony’s “State of Play” event, there are now more details about the title that was first revealed in January. Developer Goodbyeworld Games revealed in the Playstation blog that the controller is no longer needed after the game starts and can therefore be safely put aside. In the VR game, interaction is accomplished entirely with the eyes.
Control the VR game with just your eyes
The picturesque journey into the afterlife is controlled from a first-person perspective with the blink of your eyes. In the 2D version on Steam, this works with a webcam on the monitor.
In the PSVR 2 version, however, the eye-tracking integrated into the headset captures eye movements. Gamers control the camera with their head movements and influence the course of the scenes by winking. The current trailer hints that closing the eyes will fast-forward or rewind time.
The story begins after the death of the main character, on the boat of a mystical ferryman. His job is to escort souls to the afterlife. To help with this, he must first learn the life story of his companion. Therefore, he sends game players back to the past, where they relive the most important moments of their lives.
At first, the journey takes them through positive memories of family, first love, and a fast-paced artistic career. Later, it goes down into the depths of repressed memories to finally get to the bottom of a sad truth.
Clean control through Playstation VR 2
According to Graham Parkes, co-director of the project, Sony’s more modern implementation of eye-tracking offers major advantages:
“For one, the eye-tracking just works perfectly. With the PC version — everybody has a different webcam, different lighting conditions, which made it a real challenge. But with PSVR2’s advanced tracking technology, as soon as we got the headset on and started blinking around, it instantly felt like magic.”
Parkes had been thinking about a VR implementation for a while. Sony’s new VR focus on eye-tracking was finally the right opportunity.
A big plus point of the adventure game is admittedly its accessibility for people who have difficulty playing with their hands. But the developers are also focusing on new target groups.
The adventure game should be accessible to the widest possible audience from the very beginning. One of the team’s rules was that all game elements had to pass the “mom test.” Since the developers’ mothers were non-gamers, they stepped in as test players and should be able to enjoy the adventure just as much as experienced players.
Before Your Eyes will be released on March 10, 2023, for Playstation VR 2.
All information about Sony's VR headset can be found in our Playstation VR 2 review. The PSVR 2 is currently only available from the Playstation Store. You will also need a Playstation 5.
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