Sony developing Virtual Reality headset for PS4 [Update]

Custom-built headset in the pipeline; Drive Club team already working with tech

Sony is preparing to reveal the final piece of its PS4 hardware strategy at TGS by showcasing a PlayStation-branded virtual reality head-mounted display, CVG has learned.

[Update: Following the publication of this article, CVG has been told by people connected to the matter that there are no longer any existing plans to publicly showcase the virtual reality headset at the Tokyo Game Show.

In August, when Sony abandoned its initial strategy to reveal the device at Gamescom, CVG was told at the time that the reveal had been be pushed back to the Tokyo event. Now the expectation is to showcase the headset in 2014.

Executives at Sony have demonstrated the VR display to a select number of developers at E3 and Gamescom, and will also conduct closed-doors meetings at TGS. /Update Ends]

Sony originally intended to reveal the headset at Gamescom but plans fell through at the eleventh hour. The company is currently weighing up whether the PS4 device should be pitched as a key differentiator for the console or a non-essential add-on.

The matter has been slightly complicated, but not derailed, by the growing industry support for Oculus Rift. Sony's device will be a categorical rival to Oculus, and for months there have been rumours suggesting the two companies are seeking a partnership.

A games developer familiar with Sony's plans, who wished to remain anonymous, told CVG that Evolution Studios is currently working with the device to simulate a cockpit view on its PS4 title Drive Club.

Another developer claimed the virtual reality headset resembles the 3D headset that Sony first revealed in January 2011.

The head-mounted display will be available separately, like with the new PlayStation Eye, in order to keep the baseline PS4 price as low as possible.

In August, Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida suggested to CVG that R&D work on such devices was currently underway.

"Y'know, we're Sony, so we have lots of different things and different ideas in R&D," he said when asked if the corporation was building a VR headset.

"When it come to researching things, we are doing a lot of things that we can't talk about."

Sony intends to showcase over 50 PlayStation titles at the Tokyo Game Show.

That includes more than ten PS4 games such as Knack and Capcom's Deep Down, which was recently revealed to be an online title.