PS5 Release Date: PlayStation's "ESSENTIAL" feature confirmed for new PS4, Xbox rival?
As we've mentioned before, 2018 has yielded plenty more news, leaks and all-round industry chatter around Sony's next PlayStation 5 console than the majority of last year.
Perhaps that's natural following the launch of Microsoft's more powerful Xbox One X and the continued success of Nintendo Switch which is approaching it's one year anniversary riding a wave of good feeling.
More recently a 'leaked' survey – with links to Sony – intended to ask what core features fans would like to see with the PS5.
But, thanks to one developer, we might already know one of the biggest and potentially most important new console features for the PlayStation 5; and it concerns Virtual Reality.
Harold Vancol is the Creative Director at Grab Games, which has created the John Wick VR game and more recently Knockout League.
Speaking to Official PlayStation Magazine UK (via Wccftech) earlier this year, Vancol said he did not think the PS5 should be bundled with a PSVR 2 headset.
However, he said the two products should be seen as “essential” together.
He said: “Buying a new console is a big undertaking for a lot of people, and buying the headset that I think people want to see in the future of PlayStation can almost be like buying a new console.
“So having these purchases separated gives each thing its own time to shine. However, PlayStation 5 and PSVR should be considered essential together.”
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It certainly feels as though PlayStation are committed to their recent VR investment as they started off the year announcing more than 130 new games coming to the virtual reality headset in 2018.
There have been 2 million headset sales so far of the fledgling technology and game makers are hoping that will double in the coming year or so.
Sony also believe its going to be much more than just a video games device in future, citing a forthcoming planetarium application to explore space virtually and the ability to watch blockbuster moves in a 360-degree space.
In a statement to Nikkei, Sony said it expects to increase its PS VR titles by around 80% by the end of 2018 to 280 games.
There's also been suggestions from Sony's top bosses in the past about iterating on the PSVR headset, hopfully making it less cable intensive.
Although we've seen a new model of PSVR launched (which allows for HDR input) such a significant upgrade (going wirelss) could be the logical next step for a 'PSVR 2'.
But this is likely a few years off and could arrive in line with the new PS5, which numerous industry analysts, developers and publishers have suggested could arrive around 2020.
Speaking on The 1099 Podcast back in September last year, Pachter said: "I think that's exactly when you'll see one (PS5) 2019 or 2020, and if I had to bet, it's 2020.
“Sony's making so much money with the PS4 that I think they'll continue to milk it as long as they can milk it.
“And I think the natural extension of that is the PS4 Pro becomes the default PS4, and they just knock that price down to $250 when they can and they keep selling it — a tonne of those.
“The PS5 is probably going to be their real 4K device, and so it just feels to me that they're not going to launch the PS5 until sales momentum for the PS4 slows, and it just hasn't.
“So you certainly get through 2017, 2018, and I just don't see it slowing in 2018 which should prop them to launch something in 2019.
“If it slows in 2019, they're probably launching in 2020."
More recently, industry expert Christopher Dring, publisher for Gameindustry.biz, told followers on Twitter that he'd been hearing rumours of "Sony slowing up progress on PS5 rattling around for a few months".
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Sony’s Shuhei Yoshida said in December that the firm continues to try to get gamers to experience the headset to really understand how good it is.
He said: "It’s a small community. And we respect each other. I think, the success of any of us, is the success of all of us.
“Because, [with] VR you have to experience it to really to understand the potential of this new medium.
"That’s the most difficult part, we were struggling. You have to communicate; you can't just show the trailer, because the experience is different.
"Getting more people to try good VR for the first time is a win for all of us. We are working on good VR.”
It certainly sounds like Sony are not giving up on VR anytime soon and we imagine that those plans also include it's integration into the PS5.