E3 2014 proved to be something of a strange showing for virtual reality (VR) technology. While Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) chose to put its Project Morpheus VR head-mounted display (HMD) on the bench in favor of its more immediate line up, Oculus VR revealed some exciting exclusive content for its Oculus Rift VR HMD, without much talk of the hardware’s anticipated consumer release. It’s now two months on and Gamescom, the industry’s next big event, is upon us. Will it prove to be a big show for VR?
Let’s look at SCE first up. Leading into the show there hasn’t been much more mention of Project Morpheus. The device remains firmly in its prototype stages, with the company showing it off at smaller, enthusiasts-driven events as opposed to consumer-focused blowouts. We still haven’t seen any truly major videogame announcements for the device and there’s barely been a whisper of the consumer release.
That said, you can be sure of, at the very least, a name check for the device at SCE’s upcoming press conference at 18:00 BST today, 12th August 2014. Where the company will go from their is unclear; rumour has it that Supermassive Games, the team behind the Jurassic Encounter VR experience, will rereveal its upcoming horror title, Until Dawn. It’s been rumoured that the experience has moved to PlayStation 4 since its 2012 announcement with support for the Project Morpheus, though that’s yet to be confirmed.
If the rumours were to be true, it could pave the way for more announcements. SCE studios such as Media Molecule have teased reveals show the show; could they be bringing Project Morpheus support to their titles? And what of hardware details? Will we hear any more about a possible consumer release for Morpheus. If not, this is likely SCE’s last chance to talk about the kit on a mass scale in 2014, and we’ll likely be left waiting for 2015 for more news.
Oculus VR isn’t quite in the same boast as SCE, of course. It doesn’t have its own press conference but it does have its own event coming up in the form of Oculus Connect in Hollywood, Los Angeles on 19th – 20th September 2014. With that in mind, Gamescom doesn’t seem like the ideal venue for news about the consumer version of the headset, especially given the slightly delayed release of the second development kit (DK2) pushed closer to this week’s event.
The company could, however, make some new videogame announcements again. Oculus VR is fond of casually dropping fairly significant news on its own blog during these events; could there be another Oculus VR-published title in store for this year’s show? The company has certainly made its intentions of building a strong first-party line up going forward.Perhaps Gamescom is where they start delivering on that premise.
Elsewhere we’re bound to see updates on a range of other VR supported titles. The likes of Slightly Mad Studios’ Project CARS and nDreams The Assembly will be at the show. Expect plenty of news from these kinds of outlets.
Gamescom 2014 likely won’t leave a huge mark on the VR industry, then, but there’s sure to be enough news to keep enthusiasts entertained throughout the week. VRFocus will be at the event to bring you all the latest on Project Morpheus, Oculus Rift and all other VR related items.
‘VR vs’ is VRFocus’ weekly feature that takes an issue currently challenging the VR industry and discusses how to fix it. Looking at everything from the videogames in development to the strength of the technology, we highlight the problems and try to come up with the best solutions.