In a surprise move by both Sony and Crytek, it’s been announced that the forthcoming built-for-VR title Robinson: The Journey is to be a PlayStation VR exclusive when it launches next year.
The Paris Games Show was a real tour de force for console gaming giant Sony as it pulled out all the stops to put its forthcoming PlayStation 4 based virtual reality platform PlayStation VR front and centre in it’s special press conference at the event.
There were a slew of titles that received new trailers, some new announcements too, but the biggest coup for the PlayStation brand perhaps was the platform exclusive deal reached with developer Crytek to bring it’s extremely promising VR-only title only to PlayStation VR.
Prior to PGW, the title whose heritage stems from VR tech demonstration series ‘Return to Dinosaur Island’, had been demonstrated liberally using Oculus’ Rift VR headset and high-spec PC base-stations, leading everyone to believe that the title would land on Crytek’s traditionally preferred platform, the PC. However, conversations with Crytek never yielded any concrete information about release dates or even specific VR platforms the game might appear on come release. Seems the firm was biding its time as it secured what has now transpired to be a very high profile exclusive with Sony.
The move is important for a couple of reasons, but primarily it demonstrates Sony’s commitment to making VR a think on it’s console platform. Not only did PlayStation executives have their finger on the pulse of the VR scene firmly enough to make the call, they clearly had the tenacity (and doubtless the money) to follow it through.
Elsewhere however, it’s a move that will doubtless have PC VR enthusiasts and PSVR skeptics a little upset this morning as one of the most promising triple-A VR titles may not see the light of day for PC gamers. Arguments that the title may now be compromised visually, are also (somewhat predictably) already beginning to burn – especially as the new trailer released yesterday looks very much like target render footage, albeit perhaps using CRYENGINE.
But Crytek are seemingly over the moon at the move and in a blog post published yesterday, Crytek’s Director of Production, David Bowman, said: “PlayStation VR is the ideal platform for Robinson: The Journey. Our work with Sony so far has made it clear that they want to deliver the most immersive and unique home VR experiences imaginable to gamers, and we’re working hard to make sure Robinson fits that description perfectly.”
Bowman himself told us at E3 that Crytek had invested big in virtual reality, boasting that at the time they had “..one of the biggest VR teams on the planet,” and later in the year at Gamescom, Crytek’s Executive Producer Elijah Freeman told us that Robinson was “…One IP in my career that’s likely to show the most promise”
PlayStation VR will launch in Q2 2016, just after the Oculus Rift and Valve’s Steam VR flagship headset the HTC Vive in Q1. It’s not yet clear when we’re likely to see Robinson: The Journey however.