In contrast to most high end VR headsets, PlayStation VR has exceeded its own sales expectations, selling an impressive 915,000 units in its first four months.
So what’s driving this adoption? A pre-built audience of PS4 owners helps. Unlike the Oculus or HTC Vive, there’s no need to buy a super computer to power the headset if you already have a PS4.
Although the number of PS4 games available for VR is still fairly low, Capcom’s recent release of Resident Evil 7 for VR has made a big impact - doubling the amount of time Playstation VR users spend playing.
It seems content is king in VR gaming just as much as it is in OTT.
The sales figure is a positive sign for virtual reality and probably establishes Sony as the leader in the premium side of the market — headsets connected to PCs and game consoles that provide more immersive experiences than are currently possible through inexpensive headsets that use smartphones for visuals.
Unreal Engine is behind the most visually and technically impressive games on the market, which makes it perfectly suited to demanding use cases like VR and VFX. This week they revealed some features of their VR Editor, which lets you create interactive 3D environments while in VR. Why is this important? It brings productivity boosts to experienced developers while at the same time making 3D more accessible to beginners.
They've also worked with Pixar to hook it up to Pixar's open-source USD graphics pipeline. This is exciting for the film industry and animators, who could have the ability to step inside a CG sequence. Indeed while filming Star Wars: Rogue One, director Gareth Edwards used VR to help frame shots that relied on CG, all while live in the studio.
Announcing its VR headset, which Sean Hollister at CNET likens to HTC’S Vive, LG's could be a healthy competitor to what he terms as the “gold standard” of VR headsets. The overall experience—the comfort of the headset, the controls, the display—is a step in the right direction for LG, according to Hollister.
Forbes reports that this week at GDC 2017 Windows announced Windows Mixed Reality: a rename of a previously rumoured project to create VR headsets capable of mixed reality with the Windows 10 Creators Update. Microsoft revealed an Acer headset at the San Francisco gaming conference, which is available to developers this month for $299.
The fact that virtual reality is coming to the Xbox platform will no doubt thrill more users than the idea of a headset powered by Windows 10. However, Microsoft is putting more resources into what it calls "mixed reality", with Alex Kipman of Microsoft making reference to 'Project Scorpio', the codename for the next Xbox One model, capable of true 4K gaming, high-end virtual reality and HDR content.
Both Microsoft and LG, clearly, have some catching up to do with Google and Sony who are making strides in VR, but the landscape for headsets and devices is rapidly changing, bringing more variety and choice for users.