In a new article from Polygon about PlayStation VR, Sony Worldwide Studios President Shuhei Yoshida revealed that they like to treat the device as a console launch rather than an accessory launch. Although it requires a PS4 to work, the complexity, cost, and large game lineup (it’s already ahead of the EyeToy and PlayStation Move) make it a huge undertaking.
Discussing the games, Yoshida said Sony doesn’t have any teams of more than 100 people working on a single VR game. As time rolls on though, “it will naturally happen” that teams get bigger, but for now, he’s telling developers to create new, smaller experiences:
It’s just the relative progression of any new media. When the content side starts investing, you usually start small. And with VR, small games can have a very significant impact, and that’s more preferable. I’ve been saying that [to developers]: ‘Don’t start to write big design documents. If you do that while you’re working on something long-term, the whole industry will learn a lot and you’ll discover half of what you set out to do will become obsolete. So focus on finding great experiences, and packaging it to deliver, and keep doing that.’
As for the prices of PSVR games, Shuhei says they’ll be similar to PS4 games and range from $10 digital titles to around $60 for full retail titles.
On March 15, Sony is set to hold a PlayStation VR press event where a price and release date for the headset could be announced. In the Polygon article, Yoshida reiterated their previous stance that it “will be priced as a new gaming platform,” while PlayStation Executive Vice President Masayasu Ito said it has to be affordable:
If you just talk about the high-end quality, yes, I would admit that Oculus may have better VR. However, it requires a very expensive and very fast PC. The biggest advantage for Sony is our headset works with PS4. It’s more for everyday use, so it has to be easy to use and it has to be affordable. This is not for the person who uses a high-end PC. It’s for the mass market.
When the $599 price tag of the PlayStation 3 was brought up, Ito revealed that PS4 and PSVR development is almost a reaction to their regrets with the console:
We would not say that PS3 was a failure; however, there are many things we kind of regret. And we took the things we regretted with PS3 and made PS4 on top of that. So therefore our development of PS4 and VR is in some ways a reaction to when we had a hard time with PS3.
What do you think an affordable price would be for PlayStation VR?