Jim Ryan, CEO of Sony PlayStation, says virtual reality will not be an integral part of interactive entertainment in the near future. Ryan told the Washington Post that virtual reality still has a long way to go, although he stressed that Sony is not abandoning the medium. The statement suggests that an update for Sony’s PlayStation VR headset is years away.
“I think we’re more than a few minutes away from the future of virtual reality,” Ryan told The Post. “PlayStation believes in virtual reality. Sony believes in virtual reality and we are convinced that at some point in the future, virtual reality will be a significant component of interactive entertainment. Will it be this year? No. Will it be next year? No. But will it come at some point? We believe that. ” He notes that the next PlayStation 5, which will be released on November 12, supports the older PlayStation VR headset with a special adapter.
Pinning the success of VR at “some point in the future” and ruling out a “significant” VR market in 2020 or 2021 is not an overwhelmingly positive short-term view of the medium – at least compared to its competitor. Sony Facebook, which just released their Oculus Quest 2 Headset. That said, it would be more surprising if Sony indicated that we will see the PSVR news in the final months of 2020.
Sony has always been suspicious of its virtual reality projects. In April 2019, PlayStation system architect Mark Cerny told Wired that “virtual reality is very important to us” but did not give details. Dominic Mallinson, head of research and development, told CNET that a new headset won’t be arriving alongside the PlayStation 5. But Mallinson also appeared to take a next-gen PSVR for granted, discussing features like the updated eye tracking and controllers. And last month, Ryan called VR the “unproven space” that Sony was still “really intrigued and really excited”.