PS4's Oculus Rift rival edges close to virtual reality, Doom 4 waits over the horizon
22nd Feb 2014 | 12:21
GDC shaping up quite nicely
Sony's PS4 virtual reality headset is real. It's alive, it's breathing and it's almost ready to make its grand debut. A reliable source informed TechRadar this week that they've seen it themselves - and that Sony plans to unveil its project at the Games Development Conference next month.
Our source also said that the headset's "quality and resolution are really, really good", which is a positive sign for many of us who have been skeptical about console-level VR. But while that may be the case, opinions on Sony getting into VR are naturally varied.
TechRadar UK Editor-in-chief Patrick Goss said: "I'm already wildly excited about the Oculus Rift and the fact that Sony is getting involved in VR headsets takes that to a whole new level. There's still that fear that version 2.0 of VR is going to sink like the 80s version did, but when the PlayStation brand gets used it certainly ups the chances that this really is a brave new world for gaming."
Meanwhile, GamesRadar's Executive Editor Andy Hartup said: "Sony has never been one to shy away from trendy peripherals, and it usually delivers a high-quality piece of tech. However... Sony also has the tendency to cut support for its gadgets at the first sign of waning popularity.
So, it's great that Sony has a VR product for PS4, but buyers should be cautious of dropping cash on it before they're certain it'll last longer than gaming's other expensive fads."
CVG Editor Andy Robinson is also a little more hesitant: "As exciting as it sounds, I can't see the VR headset making a meaningful impact for PS4. Price and the fact it's arriving post-launch will no doubt hamper its userbase - and thus any attraction to design bespoke game experiences for it - while even the PS4 hardware surely isn't well equipped to output the high framerate, dual 1080p images required for a smooth VR experience. It's fair to say I'm cynical. Maybe Sony will surprise me."
As far as the opinion of this column's writer goes, Sony definitely has a strong shot at making VR work and its determination to perfect the product before making any announcement is encouraging. But this is a product that will live or die by its price tag, so let's wait to see if Sony can be the first to make good VR affordable.
Meanwhile this week, the big fat resolution war waged on. The game giving PS4 the power edge this time was Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes. Konami confirmed the title will render at 1080p at 60fps on PS4 but 720p at the same framerate on Xbox One.
Ok, it's a bit of a bummer for Microsoft this early in a game, but it's important to realise that in a couple of years time, once developers are more familiar with the Xbox One, it's likely that both consoles will be on a par.
A Sniper Elite 3 dev recently said that his team is "not worried anymore" about the power, and suggested that we'll soon see games running comfortably at 1080p on Microsoft's box.
Doom Doom shake the room
It's a miracle - Doom 4 still exists, and we might get to play it in just a few months time.
With its new name, "Doom" is heading into beta this year. If you want to get involved, you'll need to get yourself one of the beta keys shipping with Wolfenstein: The New Order starting May - however it won't be open until an unspecified later date.
After John Carmack suggested the game may have been abandoned entirely, we can't begin to describe how fuzzy we're feeling inside right now.
Still, there are plenty of questions and few answers. What will be in the beta? Does the omission of the 4 suggest this is a complete reboot?
And will this actually happen… or will Doom 4 just end up being mercilessly snatched away from us yet again?