Jim Ryan: There Will Be ‘a Completely New VR Format for PS5’

So, just to be clear, there’s no date on it? You’re doing your best and it will happen when it happens?

We’re doing our best. I was just looking at the supply figures for the UK–we put a considerable amount of product into the UK market last week. And that will continue over weeks and months to come.

Fair enough. We imagine you’ve got a roadmap for 2021 in terms of the games that you want to release. How fixed is that given the disruptions Covid-19 has caused to development? Returnal recently got pushed back a month.

Yeah, we’re feeling pretty good about Returnal, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, and Horizon Forbidden West. And, you know, there are two approaches to this: You can either hold the date and put out the game irrespective of quality or you can ship it when it’s right. We have always taken the latter approach. There have been some fairly high-profile instances of publishers trying the former approach.

That’s one way of putting it…

It never works at the best of times. But I think in this world, where creative people are working remotely, you’ve just got to respect the fact that that development needs to take what it needs to take and to get the games right.

So one game you didn’t mention there that had been dated for 2021 is Gran Turismo 7. What’s going on with that one?

At this point a PR representative for Sony jumped into the call promising a statement on GT7— probably in the hope that we’d actually ask about some of the many new announcements. You can read that statement below…

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“GT7 has been impacted by Covid-related production challenges and therefore will shift from 2021 to 2022. With the ongoing pandemic, it’s a dynamic and changing situation and some critical aspects of game production have been slowed over the past several months. We’ll share more specifics on GT7’s release date when available.”

All right, PlayStation VR 2. The second PlayStation VR. What are we calling it at the moment?

We’re not calling it anything at the moment.

So the obvious question is what’s changed from the first headset?

So this will be a completely new VR format for PS5. PlayStation has considered VR as a strategic opportunity and a big innovation story. We think there are two themes that you’re going to see: us capturing the technological progress that has taken place since the present VR system came to market and a considerable amount of lessons learned. Because the present system was our first one. [Changes will be] things like moving to a very easy single-cord setup with this one and many other similar learnings. Dev kits are about to go out.

VR is getting a lot more traction now, but it’s still a nascent market. Why make a follow-up to the first headset?

We believe in VR and have been extremely happy with the results with the present PlayStation VR and think that we will do good business with our new VR system for PlayStation 5. More importantly, we see it as something beyond this coming iteration that really could be really big and really important. We like to innovate; we think our community likes us to innovate. I’d turn around the question and say, “Why not?” For us, it’s a very logical step to take. We’re very excited by it and we think that people who are going to make VR games for our new VR system are going to be very excited too.

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