A year into its life, Sony’s head­set should have more non-game apps by now

PlayStation Official Magazine (UK) - - OPINION - Chris Scul­lion

Be­fore PlayS­ta­tion VR launched, I got a lit­tle im­pa­tient and bought a Sam­sung Gear VR. Be­cause it was de­signed to be pow­ered by a mo­bile phone – al­beit a pow­er­ful one – and didn’t come with a con­troller as stan­dard, it tended to of­fer ‘ex­pe­ri­ences’ and other in­ter­est­ing apps in­stead of loads of games. Most of these were fan­tas­tic de­spite the Gear VR’s lim­i­ta­tions.

Now that PlayS­ta­tion VR is with us, it’s in­ter­est­ing to note that the op­po­site seems to be the case. If it’s games you’re look­ing for there’s a healthy se­lec­tion to choose from, but if you fancy some­thing dif­fer­ent, things are still look­ing a lit­tle bar­ren.

Don’t get me wrong: what’s there is great. Watch­ing 360-de­gree videos on YouTube is fun, and the free short story Al­lumette is still eas­ily one of my favourite PS VR ex­pe­ri­ences to date, act­ing out an en­tire beau­ti­fully an­i­mated play right in front of your eyes.

But with the head­set’s first an­niver­sary ap­proach­ing, there could be so much more on there. Other VR sys­tems have a spe­cial Net­flix app that lets you watch films on a big TV in a vir­tual log cabin, or an app that sits you in a proper cinema while you watch your saved video files: I’d kill to have that on PS4 too rather than just the big float­ing screen you get when you view non-VR con­tent.


How about a paint­ing app where you use the PlayS­ta­tion Move con­trollers to paint things in front of your eyes? Or a tourism app that lets you wan­der around for­eign land­marks with­out hav­ing to leave your house? Google Earth VR is avail­able on both ma­jor PC vir­tual re­al­ity head­sets, so what’s the hold-up on PS4?

Ob­vi­ously, since PS4 is a games con­sole first and fore­most it makes sense that the fo­cus for PS VR’s first year has been on mak­ing a lot of great games. But I still find my­self dig­ging out my trusty Gear VR ev­ery now and then to walk around in­side a Van Gogh paint­ing or visit a neon sign mu­seum in Las Ve­gas, and these are things I re­ally wish I was do­ing on Sony’s head­set in­stead. The core tech­nol­ogy is there. Get on it, de­vel­op­ers!

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