Early this year, PlayStation confirmed the existence of their PSVR successor. The yet-to-be-named new VR unit from PlayStation is now out in the wild and in the hands of developers. The new controllers look fantastic. Plus the promise of the PS5 hardware should be a huge jump from the current PSVR tech that is deeply rooted in 2010. For fans of the current platform, it is a relief to see Sony continue on the fight. Yet now that Facebook has bought up a lot of the third-party studios look. In addition to Sony shutting down the smaller, more experimental development teams. Who is going to make all of these PS VR2 games?
With the announcement of the Resident Evil 4 port to Oculus, it is clear Capcom still has faith in VR. Do not look for them to bring Resident Evil 4 to PS VR2, as that is most likely exclusive to Oculus. Although I would be surprised if a VR port of Resident Evil Village was not on the table as one of the PS VR2 launch games.
Like all Sony first-party games, Gran Turismo 7 will release when it is ready. Although you have to wonder if GT7 is getting moved back to be the flagship AAA Sony exclusive for the launch of PS VR2. Gran Turismo Sport failed to deliver a full experience with PSVR. However, look for Sony to leverage the power of the PS5 to make Gran Turismo 7 fully VR compatible. Pair that with a racing wheel and a nice seat. A combination that will make for an ultimate living room racing sim set up. Or just get you really sick.
Ready At Dawn
When Ready At Dawn was acquired by Facebook last summer, they were hard at work on an unannounced PSVR/PS5 title. While the fate of that game has yet to be confirmed, it is very likely canceled. Ready At Dawn announced Lone Echo II as part of the Oculus Gaming Showcase this April.
It is almost a guarantee that something will be done in some capacity with Dreams. The game creation toolset has yet to be moved to the PlayStation 5. While Sony clearly has more ambitious plans, it does currently support VR today. Look for Dreams to be one of the early PS VR2 games in some capacity.
Something else to consider here is the now-closed Manchester studio. They were confirmed to have been working on a “next-gen VR game” for nearly three years. Sony cited closing the studio for “job redundancy.” We have no confirmation that their game was officially canceled.
SIE London Studio
Sony’s London Studio could be another home for the defunct Manchester studio game. Either way, the types of games SIE London Studio has worked on in the past make them a perfect fit for a second-year PS VR2 game. They had previously worked on Blood & Truth, which by the way, now has a PS5 performance patch. SIE London Studio also worked on PSVR Worlds.
When Sony acquired Insomniac Games in 2019, it had already released six smaller VR titles. Often lost behind Ratchet & Clank, and Marvel’s Spider-Man exists Insomniac’s VR group. Both talented and capable enough of releasing a lot of VR content clearly. Yet, now they have the backing of first-party support. It would be a major home run for them to work on another Resistance title. There would be no other VR studio on the planet with more intimate knowledge of the PS5. Having already released two AAA titles and a remaster by the end of 2021.
SIE Japan Studio
While some of the experimental and smaller teams are gone from SIE Japan, they are now centered around Team Asobi. The developers behind Astrobot Rescue Mission and PS5 darling pack-in Astro’s Playroom. You can just about guarantee that an Astrobot game in some form is in the works over at SIE Japan. I would be willing to bet a PS VR2 equivalent of Astro’s Playroom will be included as a pack-in PS VR2 game. As well as a follow-up to Astrobot Rescue Mission sometime in the second year of the PS VR2 release. I believe Sony will want to include something that acclimates users to the new hardware and controllers.
A port of our 2019 VR Game of the Year, Asgard’s Wrath, could be in the cards as a PS VR2 game. The former Sly Cooper and SIE port studio were acquired by Facebook in early 2020. It is unlikely they were contracted out to make a PS5 game at the time. It is even more unlikely Facebook would let them fulfill obligations to their competitors. Facebook’s spending spree will have a significant impact on the volume of PS VR2 games going forward. In fact, look for Facebook to acquire more VR studios in the future.
Epic is a wildcard here. I think they find a way to show up for Sony within the first two years of the PS VR2 release. Epic and Sony are deeply tangled within each other. Especially now with Sony’s $200 million investment into Epic Games. While I will not keep my hopes up. A VR game from the creators of the Unreal Engine could be anything
When asked about Half-Life: Alyx coming to PlayStation platforms Designer Greg Coomer said, “We believe Sony’s VR platform has been a huge success for the medium, and we assume that lots of Sony customers would love to experience this new chapter of Half-Life.” If you are not familiar with Valve they are heavily invested in the future of VR. Not just their own platform but, the technology as a whole. Ideas that may even not come to fruition for another 20 years.
The lack of a real “no” in the quote, screams to me that they have PSVR dev kits. I just can’t imagine how Half-Life: Alyx could run on the original hardware. It sounds like Half-Life: Alyx coming to PlayStation is something Valve is open to. It is a win for both sides. The PS VR2 controller is very similar to how the Valve Index works. I think that they will leverage each other here, maybe Valve can learn more about the PS5 3D audio and haptic feedback. With the changes at the top within PlayStation, it felt like a successor to PSVR was a long shot. I am not sure if Sony moves forward without something like Half-Life: Alyx being on the table. As it will be a major console exclusive. Even two full years after its release.
First Contact Entertainment
Every day, I grow more and more surprised that Facebook has not acquired this highly talented VR team. First Contact Entertainment released Firewall: Zero Hour and Solaris: Offworld Combat. Both are very similar team-based first-person-shooters. Firewall: Zero Hour is not only one of the best PSVR exclusive shooters, but it is also one of the best overall PlayStation shooters.
We know the team has their PS5 dev kits ready. As Firewall: Zero Hour has been enhanced for the new console. As long as they are free agents, they should be releasing another shooter for PS VR2. If I were in charge of Sony, I would give them SOCOM and a big budget. Firewall: Zero Hour is very underappreciated. Giving them a bigger name to work on would be a perfect fit.
Giving another team SOCOM may not be in the cards for Sony. I have to wonder, why is Guerrilla Games hiring ex-Rainbow Six: Siege staff? I am sure that most people at Guerrilla Games are hard at work on getting Horizon: Forbidden West across the finish line. A single-player story-driven action RPG. Unless . . . there was a smaller subset team, made up of holdouts from their PSVR title RIGS. As well as these multiplayer-shooter hires.
Now that Guerrilla Games former studio head Hermen Hulst is overseeing all SIE first-party teams, you could envision them getting carte blanche with PlayStation-owned IPs. SOCOM or not, it is clear Guerrilla Games has a small and talented multiplayer team working on something.