OPINION

The Playstation VR 3 probably won’t be released until 2030 – what does that mean for VR?

The Playstation VR 3 probably won’t be released until 2030 – what does that mean for VR?

Sony hints that the Playstation 6 will not be launched before 2028. What does that mean for a possible Playstation VR 3?

The U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is currently investigating whether Microsoft’s acquisition of video game company Activision Blizzard will harm competition in the video game market and whether it should prevent the big takeover.

Competitor Sony has a say in the proceedings and argues that an offer from Microsoft to make titles from the acquired publisher available on Playstation until 2027 is not sufficient because major Activision brands like Call of Duty will no longer be available for the next console generation.

Sony mentions the year around which Playstation 6 could be released, but the year is redacted. Market researcher Piers Harding-Rolls sees the post as an indication that the successor to Playstation 5 will launch after 2027 – probably 2028.

Playstation VR 3 not before 2030?

It would be the longest console cycle in Playstation history. Playstation 1 and 2 were on the market for six years before being replaced by a new generation. Playstation 3 and 4 had a life cycle of seven years. Playstation 5 would be eight years old when Playstation 6 came out in 2028.

This calculation has to consider that Sony had to deal with supply problems for two years due to the pandemic. Economically, the Playstation 5 could not grow as fast as expected before the pandemic.

The first Playstation VR was released in 2016, just under three years after the launch of the PS4, and Playstation VR 2 will go on sale approximately two years after Playstation 5. If Sony maintains this pattern, then Playstation VR 3 is not expected to hit the market until 2030, which is eight years away!

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That’s a very long time for virtual reality, whose technology is still in its infancy and developing at breakneck speed.

Specifications and hardware features

This concerns specifications like the screen’s resolution. For comparison: The display of the six-year-old Playstation VR resolves with 960 by 1,080 pixels per eye, while the successor headset displays four times as many pixels with 2,000 by 2,040 pixels per eye. What is state of the art today may already be obsolete tomorrow.

Although it should be noted that the Playstation VR 2 is more modern at launch and thus also more future-proof than the first Playstation VR, which was already partly technically outdated at market launch. For example, Playstation VR 2 is the first headset on the market that supports eye tracking – a key VR technology with great potential. The Playstation VR offered nothing of the sort.

Technical specs aside, the Playstation VR 2 could age in other ways as well: New hardware features and tracking systems could make the VR headset look old in a few years. What if mixed reality catches on and people prefer to play in their living rooms instead of completely immersing themselves in virtual worlds? The Playstation VR 2 is not technically equipped for such a development.

PSVR 2 is already outdated in one respect

PSVR 2 is still wired. For the next VR generation, Sony is hopefully planning with a wireless device. 2030 would definitely be the time to take this step.

Maybe everything will turn out differently. Playstation VR 2 will be a flop and Sony won’t release a new headset, although I think that’s unlikely. Or the device becomes such a huge success that Sony releases a Playstation VR 2.5 with improved specs and new hardware features in the middle of the console cycle. A Playstation 5 Pro could breathe life into Sony’s second-generation VR, or at least extend its lifecycle a bit.

A third possibility is that Sony jumps on the Meta bandwagon and launches a standalone VR headset similar to Meta Quest, which can optionally be connected to the Playstation 6.

So as you can see, a lot can and will happen between now and 2030, particularly in the VR market, which still has many technological surprises in store over the coming years that we have no idea about today. Just as we could not have guessed 2016 where we are today. Many of us tried to, but almost all of us were thoroughly wrong.