As part of a recent software update, the PlayStation 4’s new Healthy and Safety disclaimers now include a message regarding Sony’s forthcoming PS4 based VR system PlayStation VR (PSVR). Specifically that it’s not to be used by anyone under the age of 12.
Although rapidly maturing and evolving, Virtual Reality is still in its infancy. As such there’s still so much we don’t know about the use of VR and its effects on a users physiology or indeed psychology. VR simply hasn’t been in the commercial domain yet.
Therefore, companies braving the frontiers of consumer virtual reality this year are understandably playing it safe in their messaging and setting of expectations for VR’s use when it reached peoples’s homes.
According to Eurogamer, the wording for the new Health and Safety message which has been delivered alongside a PS4 3.50 software update and it reads:
Why Sony has chosen 12 years of age as the cut off point here is unknown. Perhaps it’s simply to do with the ergonomics of the headset, specifically that it simply won’t fit a child’s head. In any case, it joins other sage advice on ensuring you clear your VR space of pets, children or anything else that might fall victim to a flailing VR user. And of course, the expected warnings that users may experience nausea or blurred vision after VR sessions are included.
Oculus has included similar warnings at the launch of Rift applications for some time. Their guidelines for both Rift and Gear VR headset use by children is slightly higher, at 13 years of age.