During GDC 2014, Sony took the wraps off their own virtual reality headset, Project Morpheus. The folks at Oculus Rift were definitely not going to stand by and do nothing which is why they have also announced the Oculus Rift Development Kit 2 that they would begin taking pre-orders for. That being said, it certainly looks like a rivalry has been created.
However the folks at Oculus Rift have been in it a bit longer than Sony, at least as far as VR gaming is concerned. On the other hand, Sony has the experience and the resources to help make up for the lost time, so how does Oculus Rift feel about Sony entering into the fray?
Well surprisingly it seems that the folks at Oculus Rift aren’t too threatened by Sony’s entrance. In fact they appear to welcome Sony’s entry into the virtual reality market with open arms. Why is this?
Speaking to the folks at Develop, Oculus Rift’s co-founder, Nate Mitchell, explains why. “There are developers who want to make games in VR, but it’s hard to get sign off from their executives because it’s impossible to get the ROI right now. Who are you going to sell to: 50,000 Oculus developers? So with Sony getting in the mix, it really does mean there’s going to be a bigger audience, there’s going to be more people that can buy games.”
Mitchell also expresses hope that Sony would eventually begin the funding for the development of more virtual reality games which could make its way onto PCs as well and not necessarily be limited to just the PlayStation console platform. “Sony, I’m sure – I hope – is going to start funding development, and hopefully some of that comes to the PC side. Even if they stick to PlayStation and we stay on PC, there is no doubt we’ll have more people using VR than ever before in the history of virtual reality, so we’re pretty excited about the whole thing.”
Of course for now it seems that the more the merrier, especially with a big name like Sony throwing their weight behind the technology, it could certainly help to gain traction a lot faster compared to if Oculus Rift were to go at it themselves. However once both products become commercial, we’re pretty sure the tune will be changed.
However at the same time, there are companies like Ubisoft who despite Sony’s announcement of Project Morpheus, remain somewhat reserved and skeptical over the potential of VR gaming. The company claims that only when one million VR devices are sold that the platform could then be considered viable.