Shuhei Yoshida explains the long wait for Playstation VR 2
Sony's former game chief is "super excited" about Playstation VR 2 and looking forward to the public's reaction.
Shuhei Yoshida was the head of Sony's game studios for a decade and was instrumental in the development of the first Playstation VR. He is considered a big proponent and fan of virtual reality.
Yoshida was a guest at the BIG gaming conference in Bilbao this month, where he was awarded an honorary lifetime achievement award. In a panel discussion, the executive, who now heads Sony's indie studios, told how Playstation VR got its start.
The VR headset grew out of a grassroots movement by several Sony studios. For example, the makers of the God of War game series developed a VR demo for PS3. Finding himself in the body of Kratos was "incredible" and "inspiring" for him, he says.
Playstation VR 2 takes VR to a new level
The first generation of commercial headsets Playstation VR, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, all released in 2016, were just good enough to provide an enjoyable VR experience, Yoshida recalls.
"But we all knew that with more resolution, with more power, with more interactivity, everything technically speaking should be and will be improved", the longtime Sony executive says regarding PlayStation VR 2.
Sony took a long time to announce the new VR system: It wasn't until February 2021 that the company confirmed a successor was coming.
The weakening performance of Playstation VR, Sony's long silence, and the less than euphoric statements of Playstation CEO Jim Ryan raised doubts at the time whether Sony was even planning a Playstation VR 2.
Sony had to wait for Playstation 5
In February 2023, exactly two years later and nearly six and a half years after the launch of PSVR, Playstation VR 2 will launch worldwide. Yoshida attributes the long wait to the long lifespan of the PS4, and the fact that Sony wanted to offer a next-generation VR experience that only the PS5 could provide.
"So because of the console lifecycle, we waited. The launch of PS VR was in 2016, and we announced the launch of PS VR2 next year, so we waited for seven years to release the new experience."
Yoshida said he's excited for more people to try the VR headset because you can't understand VR until you try it for yourself. Access to the system is currently "very limited," even among journalists, he said.
"I'm looking forward to getting more people to try PS VR2 and start writing about it, talking about it so that everybody has a better idea of what we're bringing to the market".