Virtual reality is one of the bigger themes going into this year’s E3 event, with thousands of products being showcased between the likes of Oculus, Sony and other third-party publishers. With that, a number of companies hit the ground running before the show even started, with each of the big four publishers involved promising some sort of VR-related product to come out within the next year.
Let’s cover each of the events, indicating what each company has in mind:
Although Microsoft didn’t show off any new games for its HoloLens technology (or any other related VR demos for that matter), it did promise that its next forthcoming hardware, Project Scorpio, would in fact be virtual reality-compatible right from the start, as well as ready for 4K-based visual performance. The company didn’t give a specific release date, but it’s expected around holiday 2017, and is not expected to get in the way of the current performance of the Xbox One hardware.
Ubisoft made one of its upcoming VR games a highlight during its E3 panel, with the debut of multiplayer gameplay for its free-soaring game Eagle Flight. In it, birds can actually “shoot down” other birds using sonar attacks, while chasing after specific objectives on a map. Using free-range flight, players can use any given number of routes to get to these objectives, then proceed to win the match as planned. The game is set for release later this year.
Although Bethesda is slowly but surely making its way into the world of virtual reality, it’s doing so with all the right licenses on board. During its showcase on Sunday night, it enabled players to take part with demos based on franchises like Doom and Fallout 4, utilizing VR tech. Fallout is currently slated for a 2017 release, and other franchises, like Doom and Skyrim, could easily follow suit.
Finally, Sony had a lot on its plate with PlayStation VR, devoting a good chunk of its Monday night press conference to the technology. Set to release this October for $399, a number of PlayStation VR games are getting a great deal of attention, including specific demos based on the Star Wars: Battlefront, Final Fantasy 15 and Batman: Arkham franchises, as well as original titles, like Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, which will be completely compatible with both PlayStation VR and traditional controls when it releases this January.
The company noted that over 50 games are slated to release during the launch of the headset, with many more in development for arrival over the course of the next year.
So, as you can see, VR is playing a tremendous part in the show, even before it opens. Imagine how much influence the tech will have once next year’s presentations start rolling around.