Sony believes that Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus has provided additional “validation” for virtual reality technology.
According to Shuhei Yoshida, Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios boss, Facebook’s recent $2 billion purchase of the Oculus Rift company is a great thing for VR.
“I woke up that morning and saw the announcement and I was like ‘yeah!’” said Yoshida during an interview with Engadget. “For me, it was a validation for VR.”
Sony unveiled its own virtual reality headset called Project Morpheus at GDC 2014 last month. Although it is currently only a prototype, Project Morpheus will be compatible with the PS4 and PlayStation Move controller.
Yoshida believes that the Facebook and Oculus news will benefit both the Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus when they are launched commercially.
“We meant to validate Oculus by announcing Morpheus, and the Oculus guys knew what we were working on. I think they were waiting for us to make the announcement, so it would be Sony and Oculus together. But now Oculus being acquired by Facebook is helping to validate our efforts. More people will know about VR.”
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and founder of Facebook, believes that Oculus Rift and virtual reality will be the next big platform, with uses in healthcare, education and sports all on the horizon.
“Mark said he believes VR can be the next platform after mobile. That’s big thinking and kind of excited our thinking,” added Yohida. “We’ve thought of doing virtual travel or something, but talking about a new platform? What does that mean?”
Like Oculus, Sony has discovered that there are some user issues with virtual reality technology, especially involving motion sickness.
“VR of the past, including our own prototype, has been very difficult to use in terms of getting headaches and becoming nauseated. Those early prototypes had larger latency and the positional tracking may not have worked as well.”
Similar to the latest Oculus Rift Crystal Cove prototype and the Oculus Rift Developer Kit 2, Sony believes its GDC unveiled Project Morpheus prototype is getting close to a user friendly experience.
“With the kit we have now, what we demonstrated at GDC, I think it’s the first time we can really provide developers with something and say, you can use ours, and you’ll be alright.”
Read more: Oculus Rift vs Project Morpheus