We wouldn’t blame you for being excited to see the reveal of Astro’s Playroom and Resident Evil 8: Village for PS5, but so far there’s no indication that these games will support PSVR even though their predecessors did.
Sony must have known that it would make our hearts skip a beat when revealing two new games for PS5 yesterday that previously had very successful VR versions. Unfortunately there’s been no definitive statements on whether or not the games will support PSVR.
While the games haven’t been confirmed for VR, Sony has confirmed that PS5 will support the current PSVR headset (and it’s expected to launch a PSVR 2 in the future).
Image courtesy PlayStation
Astro’s Playroom is the followup to ASTRO BOT Rescue Mission, one of PSVR’s most acclaimed games, which closed out 2018 as the 7th best rated PS4 game that year (among all games, not just VR games) according to review aggregator Metacritic.
So it goes without saying that PSVR fans would love to see more of Astro in VR.
Unfortunately, as far as we know so far, the newly revealed Astro’s Playroom won’t support PSVR. From what’s shown in the trailer, the game appears to be a showcase for the PS5 DualSense controller and its newfangled haptics.
The original Astro Bot Rescue Mission was made exclusively for VR and played with a gamepad; so there’s nothing about the game being gamepad-based game that would exclude it from supporting VR. However, the trailer footage that we have so far appears to show a few things that you wouldn’t want to do in a VR game, like quickly rotating the player while Astro goes down a slide.
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Granted, the game could conceivably have a special camera mode which would make it suitable for use with PSVR, but there’s reason to believe that PlayStation’s Japan Studio wouldn’t want to make a game that attempts work with both VR and non-VR. The studio said as much in our deep dive article with Astro Bot Rescue Mission’s Creative Director and Producer, Nicolas Doucet, who explained that the studio decided to drop the game’s non-VR co-op component so that it could focus all of its efforts on VR mechanics.
Some levels [in Astro Bot] initially allowed three extra players to join on the TV. It was fun to play together but we soon realized that in order to make the [non-VR] TV gameplay work, we were limiting the amplitude of the levels too much, thus hurting the ‘VR-ness’ we were after. Removing the multiplayer and focusing on a solo game allowed the game designers to be much more daring and efficient with the use of VR in their levels and the final game would have not been possible had we kept this multiplayer mode.
But who knows… with the critical success of Astro Bot Rescue Mission, perhaps Sony gave the green light for a larger production which includes enough developer resources to do both? We’d certainly be thrilled to hear that Astro’s Playroom will support PSVR, but so far there’s simply no evidence for it.
Resident Evil 8: Village
Image courtesy PlayStation
If you ask PSVR enthusiasts what the best games are, you’re almost sure to hear someone recommend Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. Although it wasn’t designed for VR from the ground-up, the game’s creepy, claustrophobic, and atmospheric horror is taken to new levels in its optional VR mode (which allows players to go through the game start to finish with PSVR and gamepad).
So you can understand why fans would be hoping that the newly revealed Resident Evil 8: Village would also include optional PSVR support on PS5. But, alas, there’s no confirmation so far.
At a minimum, there seems to be clear evidence that adding a VR mode to Resident Evil 8 would be a smart decision. Developer Capcom’s own stats tell us that some 1.25 million PSVR players have played Resident Evil 7, which makes it possibly the most popular VR game on any single platform.
While we can’t account for how many players bought the game because of its VR support (as opposed to those who would have bought it anyway and then decided to try it with their headset), Resident Evil 7 potentially earned some $50 million dollars in additional sales revenue thanks to the VR mode.
So it seems like it wouldn’t be a bad idea to add a PSVR mode to Resident Evil 8 as well, but so far there’s no confirmation.