Why Aren’t People Talking More About the PSVR’s Non-Gaming Capabilities?

It seems that we here at Pure PlayStation just can’t stop talking about the PlayStation VR. We loved it as a peripheral thanks to all the games and experiences it’s brought. Yes, there are plenty of games for the PSVR. A quick scan of our review section will show that in spades. On a side note, go and play RIGS: Mechanized Combat League. I won’t stop talking about it until everyone does. Well that’s technically a lie as I need to continue the article but you get my drift. The technology is amazing but we’re not seeing how truly far it can go. Don’t get me wrong, I still want great games for the peripheral (like RIGS: Mechanized Combat League) but the possibilities for entertainment extend much farther than that.

Video game legend, Kaz Hirai, said at this year’s CES, “Our ambitions for VR are not limited just to gaming. Sony is well positioned to take a One Sony approach to set trends in a virtual reality across our content divisions, enhancing how you experience movies, music, television, and more.” For example, PlayStation and Sony offered an “experience” for PSVR owners to be in the middle of ‘Carry Me’ by Kygo. But that is chump change compared to what I’m thinking about. My hopes and dreams focus more on the movie and television aspects that the PlayStation CEO mentioned. Also, some neat things about sporting events. You can probably see where I’m going with this.

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First up are movies. Imagine sitting inside a makeshift theater with a giant IMAX screen in front of you. Now picture this through the lenses of the PSVR. You’d of course have to pay for a “ticket” (most likely through the PlayStation Store) but imagine watching Star Wars: Episode VIII in complete clarity, at the same time it’s in theaters, but from your favorite gaming seat. Granted that’s a Disney movie but Sony does have their own movie company. Perhaps movies produced by the company have a lower ticket price while a deal is worked out with other networks. So Sony movies could have say a five dollar entry fee and other company’s movies have a ten dollar one.

Plus, we could go one step further. Each virtual theater can seat up the same amount a normal one can. That way you have friends and strangers around you (but out of the way) in the same vein as Sports Bar VR does. You can only see their headset and motion controllers. Naturally, you’d have to worry about people being a nuisance so there should be some convenient mute abilities in place. Besides that there could be specific groups created that allow these hypothetical movie watchers to talk among themselves, if they so choose, and no one else would hear them. If the proper audio technology is implemented into this experience, this could potentially be a new boom for the film industry. They don’t have to worry about bootlegs either because the ability to disable the share button and prevent access to watchable items due to the HDCP is already in place.

Next is television related but I will take it one step further. Producers and technicians could install 360 degree VR cameras both in the audience and within the set. Then fans of whatever show could put on their PSVR, choose where they’d like to sit, pay for their access, get synced to a camera, and sit back and watch their episode live. There could even be a camera just off set and out of the way that offers a player an incredibly close view of their favorite characters. Who wouldn’t enjoy seeing the hijinks of the It’s Always Sunny gang up close and personal? Then when technology has evolved enough, maybe the option to literally be in the middle of a room as the shooting is taking place? Be able to look around at the set, actors, audience members, the camera, etc.

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The same can be done with music concerts. In fact, that’s already being worked on and perfected. I’ve seen concerts streamed to Youtube that can be viewed through a 360 degree camera. Apply that same concept through the PSVR and Sony’s musicians would have a completely new way to allow their fan base access to their work. After all a stadium or an entertainment center only has so much room. Heck, there could even a section at every music event that’s just for 360 degree VR cameras. This could easily be done with sports games as well. Picture sitting ringside, at floor seats, or right behind your favorite NFL team. I imagine each area would cost a specific amount and would probably match the stadium’s real life seating arrangement. Still the ability to enjoy NFL Sunday “in person” as the game starts seems like a dream come true to me. Add on a possible way to switch between games at will like you do with your remote control and you’ve completely made me a customer.

The last thing I’d like to touch on though, is those who will surely say, “Just go to these things in real life.” While your sentiment to hold back progress is appreciated, sometimes people don’t have the money to travel, buy access, and enjoy themselves at these events. Some due to disability can’t even attempt these things either. Not to mention that simple convenience factor. I would never go to a real life concert because of A.) the good ones are too far away or B.) I just don’t feel like actually being around people and listen to music I’ve already heard. I can just imagine watching a New England Patriots game from the stands or luxury box without having to worry about using energy to converse with people. Some days people just want to be left alone.

There are a ton of possibilities here and not just with the events I described. This could also work with conventions, trade shows, festivals, fairs, hell even an outer space walk of sorts. Of course you’d be limited to wherever the camera is or moved, but you get my point. The tech is here, the ideas are here, it’s just up to PlayStation to seize the opportunity. Then to truly stretch their wings they’d need other companies support and let’s hope that for the sake of altering entertainment for the better, they’ll be on board.

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4 comments
  1. You do realize PS VR is being left behind, look at the dev stats. The studio’s that made rigs is shuting down too. PC VR is far better.

  2. “sometimes people just want to be left alone”
    I’m in this camp, most of the time. PSVR, to me, is fantastic. I’ve bought nearly everything released for it so far, and share your love of RIGS.
    While I don’t mind playing an occassional multiplayer game, I’m mostly into single-player games. With VR excelling at simulators, I’m really stoked for some of what I’ve seen upcoming.

    As for other people’s feelings about VR or PSVR, I don’t really care because I’ve been lusting for VR since the early 1990s, and have been there through its entire evolution. I’ve also been a gamer since the early 1980s, so you could say I have a very cultured taste in gaming. As such, I don’t buy into any of the nay-sayers that are critical of VR or PSVR in its first months of commercial availability. They’re entitled to their opinion, sure, but I don’t care about it because I’ve already made up my mind a long damned time ago to make sure to help my fave platforms become a success –not only by buying and playing, but also by developing. Some of us truly believe that VR is going to take over. 15 years ago, we said the same thing about Linux and its now the dominant kernel running on more smartphones worldwide above all other platforms.

    One thing though: while PSVR, Vive and Rift are all fun platforms, its the next gen coming up to really pay attention to; specifically MSVR & OpenVR, and the emerging WebVR standard. Once these are all in place to set the foundation layer, we’ll begin to see VR really begin to take on a life of its own.

    VR, I believe, will find its killer app in terms of social experiences that meld virtual presence and real time communications into more vivid shared environments. Imagine a VR based derivative of IRC that uses 3D custom environments as the ‘chatroom’, such as being able to meet in what appears to be a real room, the bottom of the ocean of Europa, or maybe looks like the office of The Elusive Man from Mass Effect 3. The show ‘Caprica’ showed a number of possible applications for VR that need only to be realized.

    While this first gen of good VR devices *are* a bit primitive compared to what Sci Fi has envisioned in the past, so were console games during their first couple of generations and they still sold enough units to get to where we are today. 30 years out, I think the critics of the first gen will look quite silly for all their projections of doom and gloom.

  3. Damn, a comment almost as long and detailed as the article!

    VR is still young, but if these are the baby steps then we’re in for a treat when it starts to run

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