PlayStation VR 2, the backward compatibility that you do not expect and that in fact does not exist

PlayStation VR 2, the backward compatibility that you do not expect and that in fact does not exist

PlayStation VR 2

Here we go again. The umpteenth blow for Playstation home gamers has arrived. This time the grain affects only part of the community, but this does not mean that the regret is less consistent. Especially if the niche in question is that of Playstation VR loyalists, a segment of gamers that follows a branch of the videogame that is not yet mass, let's say, and that together with their Meta & Co colleagues on PC are managing to support the evolution of a media in its own right, young, immature, but with infinite prospects, and absolutely relevant for the future of gamers.

Among the reasons for this passive reaction (including mine), in addition to what has already been mentioned, there is also another element, and the worst if we want, that is: the d 'factor habit . Sony has now accustomed its users to leave pieces behind, without too many frills. And, although the latest choices of the Japanese company seemed to have hinted at a modest change of course (the owners of Playstation VR had received an adapter for free to allow it to work on Playstation 5) now the story is always the same again.
| : th_gamedivision_d_mh3 "); } Considering that we all expected this, we reflect and take note of the construction, and the diffusion, of a brand image that is dangerous for the long-term future of the company, especially when on other shores you can breathe completely different air, with a Microsoft always particularly attentive to the requests of the players (on the services front, then there are other problems). On this aspect, however, the gap that separates the company from its competitors is starting to become dangerously wide. If you continue to feed this storytelling, the quality of the productions, which have always been a distinctive element of the brand, in the future, may not be enough.

Same old story

The note with which the news is announced it actually has something lascivious, neglected, unkempt. Hideaki Nishino, executive of the Japanese company, confirms the lack of support for the old titles (which can still be played on PS5 using the first PS VR) because "PS VR2 was designed to offer a new generation VR experience". He then alludes to reasons dictated by the approach that the new titles will have, an element that would make the backward compatibility factor particularly burdensome (which would have to deal with games designed for prehistoric technological components such as PS Move and Ps Camera). Avoiding going into the technical, no one certainly expected that the operation would not require effort and resources.

We are not naive, so we do not even allude to reasons that speak of the preservation of videogame works, nor of the enhancement of true early adopters, those who at the time had decided to invest their money in the purchase of a viewer when that market was still practically non-existent. We focus on more pragmatic regions, which will bring what should have been a turning point, a 2.0 moment perhaps (or even just a remarkable sprint) for virtual reality, to instead face the same problems that the first-born viewer had encountered, that is: the scarcity of titles to play at launch.

Warning: the line up of titles announced by Sony is actually very respectable. As it was for the progenitor, the new viewer promises to draw out some cards that are certainly not insignificant, offering to those who decide they want to believe in this "new" medium more than a valid reason to get on the carriage of wonders. However, considering the narrowness of these titles, their gradual release and their generally short duration compared to what we are used to on ordinary titles (and we live in an era where little gems like The Order died under a shitstorm caused by low longevity ), it is not difficult to imagine that the new owners of Playstation VR, having exhausted the first months of novelties, will put their very expensive helmet in the beautiful packaging with which it will be sold.

Same fate, on the other hand, it happened to many of the buyers of the first viewer. And, you know, once you take a piece of hardware out of sight for more than a few months it becomes really difficult to get people to take it back. Even if you publish the pearl of the century, the re-engagement rate is gradually more and more complex to solicit. And if with the first viewer we say that you did not have much choice, because the library takes time to build it, inevitably, here instead, well, you are voluntarily castrating your target audience of works of artistic and technological value that are still expendable, considering also the excellent distribution moves that you had set up (free games from time to time donated to users through Plus and dedicated initiatives) to crowd the library of VR game players.

On the other hand, Playstation 5 was also was launched with this extra weapon: the PlayStation Plus Collection offer allowed you to have the best of the previous generation already available, so as to give time to new titles to come out, without ever turning off the player's machine, an objective that should be clear to anyone who launches a hardware in 2022. It doesn't matter how much you earn, it's the time people dedicate to you to decree the success of a platform.

Instead, if development audiences will not be the first to activate with various patches, what will happen? That works of the caliber of Astro Bot, Farpoint, Moss and an infinity of others will be left behind, waiting for remastered that perhaps someone would have even done without. Again, the task of revitalizing the market falls on the player, and on his pockets. But how many will be ready to do it? And above all, how much benefit can such positions give in an increasingly commodity-oriented market for the player?

For (all) the players?

The concept of "service" in marketing is now old, commodity is the new mantra. If a service, however innovative, does not take on certain traits that facilitate the consumer, it will have short legs, and in all probability it will not even be born. Switch lives on this idea, and it lives very well. Microsoft's Game Pass has long been working to erase generational boundaries, to take the user away from the hassle of thinking about how much he spends on a game, and on what platform he can find it.

Sony's problem, despite she too has recently launched with a totally renewed (and high quality) offer on this front, is that in this context being seen as the most "monarchical" company of all, to which "vices" (let's call them so) of gamers does not care that much, it is not farsighted. As we anticipated, no one was surprised by this choice, because it is now easy to expect drastic abandonments of this type from Sony. It means that the idea is now rooted in the community. And as we know it's hard to make people think again when you take a certain image in their eyes.

It took Microsoft almost a decade to get out of the sands it had thrown itself into due to a wicked management, and it did it by combining commitment, foresight and, above all, a portfolio that no one can afford. Nintendo, despite a totally independent price target, for the mere fact of never (or almost) having betrayed its mission and values, has been living for thirty years, despite generations of consoles that would have led to the failure of any focused company. on a single business. The quality of ideas, software and hardware, as we know, is fluctuating for everyone, it is an absolute variable that must be taken into consideration (and the PS3 generation reminds us well). How rosy can the future be for a company that shows itself disinterested in its users on too many small occasions, when the quality curve will be descending?

Playstation with the success of Playstation VR has indirectly assumed a responsibility, together to other producers of viewers: to contribute to the growth of a fragile market, which most of all needs continuity. The interests of hardware manufacturers, publishers and development studios are intertwined in a game that is finalized when a player decides to take over the pad, have fun and join a cause.

Playstation was off to a great start. He had intercepted a niche, a nascent market in which everyone had been terrified of launching himself, and had chosen to face one of the most demanding challenges of the last decade: to emerge victorious from the battle to make the VR market mass, a challenge faced in the best possible way. of its possibilities, with commitment, passion, and with sometimes incredible results, composing together with PS4 perhaps its best commercial proposal since it landed on the market.

But in the era of haste, of companies no longer seen as abstract entities and in constant dialogue with their users, the care for the people who choose you can prove to be decisive. And you certainly don't express this care by forgetting that 6 million people have a library of titles that could be lost forever. Or, if you have to do it for any reason, at least make sure that it doesn't seem like the umpteenth time you are moving forward without caring about what you leave behind.

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