Following the unfortunate closure of developer Evolution Studios earlier this year, the fate of the VR version of their 2014 PS4 exclusive Driveclub was unclear, but thankfully work has continued by an internal Sony team, and the game is expected to arrive by the end of the year.

An earlier post on the Japanese PlayStation Blog suggested it would be a launch title for PSVR, but we now have confirmation on the US and EU PlayStation Blogs from Nico Orru, principal programmer on the project (and former developer at Evolution), that it will arrive this year, although he did not commit to a date.

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Orru says the VR version of the game has been in development for more than a year and includes significant enhancements, new content, and new VR features:

  • Game modes: Online virtual reality multiplayer race modes and an action-packed single player career are joined by drifting and time trial challenges.
  • Tracks: New and classic Driveclub tracks are brought to life through the power of PlayStation VR, including five all-new Urban locations.
  • A closer look: More than 80 cars are recreated with immaculate detail for players to explore up close with Inspection Mode.
  • Cruise control: A little time to kick back, open the throttle or just coast and explore any track, in any country at your leisure in Cruise Mode.
  • Virtual passenger: An immersive thrill ride through exciting replays of hot laps as players watch themselves handle their greatest challenges from a unique viewpoint in Passenger Mode.

“We’re passionate about trying to create the most memorable and exhilarating gaming experiences possible, so being given the opportunity to take Driveclub to a more immersive level thanks to VR is really thrilling,” Orru writes. “This not only allows players to truly feel the incredible speed, sensation, and precision of driving some of the world’s most exotic high-performance cars, but also the chance to race against or with one another in a completely new way.”

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Initially shown behind closed doors at Paris Games Week last year, Evolution had already worked wonders on the transformation from screen to VR. Cockpit-based driving games tend to transfer well, but in the case of Driveclub, conversion from a 30 FPS graphical showcase to a low-latency VR experience would have required serious attention.

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See Also: ‘iRacing’ to Expand VR Support to HTC Vive in September Update

Driveclub VR renders at 60 FPS, double the original framerate, and is then reprojected to 120 FPS to further improve the motion clarity. There’s no doubt that certain details and effects will have been reduced in order to achieve this, but the latest hands-on impressions from this week’s showing at Gamescom suggest that much of the visual spectacle remains, particularly in terms of lighting and interior detail.

This will likely be the final chapter of Driveclub’s rocky development story, and it appears to be finishing on a high note.

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The trial version of Microsoft’s Monster Truck Madness probably had something to do with it. And certainly the original Super Mario Kart and Gran Turismo. A car nut from an early age, Dominic was always drawn to racing games above all other genres. Now a seasoned driving simulation enthusiast, and former editor of Sim Racer magazine, Dominic has followed virtual reality developments with keen interest, as cockpit-based simulation is a perfect match for the technology. Conditions could hardly be more ideal, a scientist once said. Writing about simulators lead him to Road to VR, whose broad coverage of the industry revealed the bigger picture and limitless potential of the medium. Passionate about technology and a lifelong PC gamer, Dominic suffers from the ‘tweak for days’ PC gaming condition, where he plays the same section over and over at every possible combination of visual settings to find the right balance between fidelity and performance. Based within The Fens of Lincolnshire (it’s very flat), Dominic can sometimes be found marvelling at the real world’s ‘draw distance’, wishing virtual technologies would catch up.
  • PianoMan

    I can’t see how the current PS will be able to keep up with the fidelity. I imagine this will be more for one on the Neo.

    • Jayquan Phifer

      No it’s for the original PS4. Sonly already said there will NOT be Neo only games.

      • Anyway, it looks very cool.

  • Nigerian Wizard

    I have a feeling that console VR is going to age very quickly and “neo” type hardware rehashes are just bandaids.