Developers of several titles available for the original PS VR discussed the perks and challenges of porting their games to PS VR2.
The gaming community is eagerly awaiting the release of PlayStation VR2. Initial reactions to the device have been positive, but concerns remain about its high cost and the lack of new, exclusive titles – among more than 30 games set to launch on PS VR2 on February 22, only Horizon: Call of the Mountain and The Dark Pictures: Switchback fit that description.
Several games set to release on the upcoming PlayStation VR2 are remastered versions of titles that were previously available on PS VR1, including Song in the Smoke: Rekindled, Moss, Moss: Book II, Tetris Effect: Connected, and Rez Infinite.
To gain insight into the developers' perspective, GamesIndustry.biz reached out to some of the creators of the remastered titles coming to PS VR2 trying to understand the developers' attitude towards remastering older games for the new hardware.
While it may seem disappointing that VR1 titles will not be able to run on VR2, it is noteworthy that a number of developers are willing to adapt their games for the new hardware, despite the additional effort required.
17-Bit's CEO and creative director Jake Kazdal, for example, said that the release of VR2 presented an opportunity for his team to create the best version of their prehistoric survival game Song in the Smoke.
He explained that the studio was previously limited by the constraints of VR1, particularly with the use of outdated PlayStation Move wands for motion controls, and while it is proud of the original version, it is happy that with the new dual-stick setup in the remastered version for VR2, it is able to create a "totally different game."
Mark MacDonald, the producer at Enhance, the publisher of Tetris Effect: Connected and Rez Infinite, shared that he is even glad about the lack of backwards compatibility of VR2 to a certain degree. According to him, the need to port the studio's titles to VR2 gave the developers the opportunity to go back and create a version of the games that take advantage of the new hardware.
The developers, however, note that there are major difficulties in adapting their games for the PS VR2.
Design director of the Moss series Josh Stiksma, for instance, shared that the team wants to bring players with them to the new hardware but noted that this involves significant technical changes, with one of the biggest challenges being the transition from a single DualShock controller to two hand-tracking controllers, which require changes in the input system of the game.
The publishing director of Polyarc, the developer of Moss and Moss: Book II, Lincoln Davis also shared that the team "had to go back and really dig deep into the game design itself " to optimize the game for new hardware, including making changes to haptic feedback, graphics, the field of view, eye-tracking, and controller setup to make the game more immersive.
You can learn more by reading the original interview with the developers here. Also, don't forget to join our 80 Level Talent platform, our Reddit page, and our Telegram channel, follow us on Instagram and Twitter, where we share breakdowns, the latest news, awesome artworks, and more.