Although Sony is working on engaging single-player experiences for Morpheus, their console-based VR solution is uniquely positioned for couch-based party gaming where local players interact with a player using the headset. Their new demo, The Playroom VR, does just this, shown off for the first time at E3 2015.
In development by Sony’s Japan Studio, The Playroom VR manifests the Morpheus-wearing VR player as a cartoonish monster (complete with charmingly personified headset), while up to four other local players control ‘VR Bot’ characters using a PS4 DualShock controller while watching the TV screen. SCE Japan Studio has worked on some of the decade’s most notable games, like Shadow of the Colossus (2005), Rain (2013), Bloodborne (2015), and the infinitely anticipated The Last Guardian (currently in development).
The player with Sony’s Morpheus VR headset has a forward facing view down a long city street with the VR Bots seen as little creatures fleeing down below. The non-VR players have a view that’s looking back toward the monster in order to watch as it chases them through the city. The Morpheus player has no controller, using solely the headset for input to smash buildings and helicopters from the sky by writhing their head back and forth. I can tell you right now that in this role I would supplement the game’s sound effects with my own monster noises….
The Playroom VR seems like it might encompass this particular scene as well as a number of fun Morpheus experiences. We would guess that the studio’s other VR demos, Magic Controller and Bedroom Robots (in which we also see the VR Bot characters), might be packaged into one title under the name The Playroom VR.
There’s no word on whether or not The Playroom VR will go beyond local multiplayer, allowing users without a Morpheus to get in on the fun. Regardless, it’s impressive to see that Sony’s PS4 is able to push not only 1080p VR at 60Hz (120Hz after reprojection), but also simultaneously support output to a standard TV for some party game fun. So far Sony’s other major competitors are not emphasizing this sort of play, likely because such systems are PC-based and therefore less likely to be found in a living room with easy couch access.