Sony had VR Gaming on the Brain when Designing the PS4

Sony had VR Gaming on the Brain when Designing the PS4

Sony PS4 Controller Lightbar 310x

Sony was thinking about virtual reality long before the release of the PlayStation 4.

Project Morpheus took us all a bit by surprise -- not its existence, mind you, but how far along the hardware is.

But recent comments by Sony reveal that VR has been on the PlayStation maker's brain for much longer than any of us may have thought.

While chatting with TechRadar, SCEE Senior Designer Jed Ashforth said the lightbar on the PS4 controller was specifically included at the request of the VR engineering team.

"The tracking light... it was our department that said we need that on," said Ashforth. "It was for tracking for VR...and when all these things were coming out six months ago and everyone was going 'it's reflecting in my TV,' we were going 'oh no' because we couldn't tell anyone what it was for."

Sure, the lightbar works with the PS4's camera in a non-VR environment, but the grand VR scheme for Sony is starting to take shape now.

Then again, I still think the lightbar was designed to keep the monsters under your bed away while you game in the dark, but that's just me.

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Only thing I cant get is ... how?
The PS4 is struggling to maintain 1080 60fps on one screen. How do you expect it to do same for 2 screens?
Only thing I can see working is that games automatically set from the current equivalent PS4 settings (Medium-High) to lower ones, though that will raise developer costs slightly.

Charcharo:
Only thing I cant get is ... how?
The PS4 is struggling to maintain 1080 60fps on one screen. How do you expect it to do same for 2 screens?
Only thing I can see working is that games automatically set from the current equivalent PS4 settings (Medium-High) to lower ones, though that will raise developer costs slightly.

if the Wii U can get MK8 to play a full 1080p 60fps with 2 player split screen, the Sony can figure something out on the more powerful PS4, even if they have to sacrifice graphical detail.

Keiichi Morisato:

Charcharo:
Only thing I cant get is ... how?
The PS4 is struggling to maintain 1080 60fps on one screen. How do you expect it to do same for 2 screens?
Only thing I can see working is that games automatically set from the current equivalent PS4 settings (Medium-High) to lower ones, though that will raise developer costs slightly.

if the Wii U can get MK8 to play a full 1080p 60fps with 2 player split screen, the Sony can figure something out on the more powerful PS4, even if they have to sacrifice graphical detail.

Thing is... Mario Kart 8 is not really a graphical powerhouse. Compared even to some 7 year old games it does no compare.
I am NOT saying its ugly (art Style), nor that it is bad(gameplay, structure). But comparing it to PC exclusives (STALKER), graphically advanced Multiplatform games (Last Light, BF4, Crysis 3), PS4 graphically advanced games (Killzone Shadowfall) it just does not even come close to how taxing it would be on hardware.

WarThunder with this. Yes, yes please!

My DS4 lightbar is turned off since I use it with my PC.
Also it's probably because I'm stupid, but I'm not sure what purpose tracking the controller is gonna serve for VR.

Charcharo:

Keiichi Morisato:

Charcharo:
Only thing I cant get is ... how?
The PS4 is struggling to maintain 1080 60fps on one screen. How do you expect it to do same for 2 screens?
Only thing I can see working is that games automatically set from the current equivalent PS4 settings (Medium-High) to lower ones, though that will raise developer costs slightly.

if the Wii U can get MK8 to play a full 1080p 60fps with 2 player split screen, the Sony can figure something out on the more powerful PS4, even if they have to sacrifice graphical detail.

Thing is... Mario Kart 8 is not really a graphical powerhouse. Compared even to some 7 year old games it does no compare.
I am NOT saying its ugly (art Style), nor that it is bad(gameplay, structure). But comparing it to PC exclusives (STALKER), graphically advanced Multiplatform games (Last Light, BF4, Crysis 3), PS4 graphically advanced games (Killzone Shadowfall) it just does not even come close to how taxing it would be on hardware.

like i said at the end of my post, if they sacrifice some graphical detail and probably they would lower the draw distance. the reason for the MK8 comparison, was because of the whole 1080p 60 fps even on 2 player split screen, so if they can do something Sony can, at least Sony's first party can, and indies who are developing specifically for the Morpheus.

Keiichi Morisato:

Charcharo:

Keiichi Morisato:
if the Wii U can get MK8 to play a full 1080p 60fps with 2 player split screen, the Sony can figure something out on the more powerful PS4, even if they have to sacrifice graphical detail.

Thing is... Mario Kart 8 is not really a graphical powerhouse. Compared even to some 7 year old games it does no compare.
I am NOT saying its ugly (art Style), nor that it is bad(gameplay, structure). But comparing it to PC exclusives (STALKER), graphically advanced Multiplatform games (Last Light, BF4, Crysis 3), PS4 graphically advanced games (Killzone Shadowfall) it just does not even come close to how taxing it would be on hardware.

like i said at the end of my post, if they sacrifice some graphical detail and probably they would lower the draw distance. the reason for the MK8 comparison, was because of the whole 1080p 60 fps even on 2 player split screen, so if they can do something Sony can, at least Sony's first party can, and indies who are developing specifically for the Morpheus.

That is what I suggested as well. Though really, even 1st party Sony games will have to siginificantly reduce their settings in order to run. They are barely any better optimized then good 3rd party titles.

Honestly, I don't see the big deal about reducing the graphical settings a little bit.

Ugh, I still want the option to turn off the damn light. All it lets me do is dim it. I don't care if it's for a feature I may never use in the distant feature. IF I buy and plug in a VR headset from Sony, then it can turn it on. But as is, I really don't like being forced to have that shining light on all the time.

Keiichi Morisato:

Charcharo:
Only thing I cant get is ... how?
The PS4 is struggling to maintain 1080 60fps on one screen. How do you expect it to do same for 2 screens?
Only thing I can see working is that games automatically set from the current equivalent PS4 settings (Medium-High) to lower ones, though that will raise developer costs slightly.

if the Wii U can get MK8 to play a full 1080p 60fps with 2 player split screen, the Sony can figure something out on the more powerful PS4, even if they have to sacrifice graphical detail.

The WiiU games aren't graphically demanding at all. The 360 and PS3 would likely be able to play them at 1080 60FPS if made to. Not bad games mind you, just ones that aren't graphically demanding.

To Keiichi, if it's just the same output that goes to the TV then it wouldn't require any additional processing. Additionally, have you ever asked how PS4's handle split screen processing? One would ask why you'd need to output to the TV when you're already wearing the screen?

It's more the processing of the environment itself that takes the work. Having two entities (players) in the already processed environment isn't the same as generating two distinct environments. I assume that games created to work with the VR headset would have to account for these factors.

Also, is the ps4 struggling to generate 1080 60FPS or does it seem to be more tethered to specific games? Some games developers will be better at programming for the ps4 than others and we have already seen impressive games hit the mark. It may be the XBO you're thinking about. But it's not capable of hitting 1080 60FPS on most AAA games, let alone struggling to maintain it.

Remember though, the Rift found out that resolution and FPS wasn't necessarily as important as other techs. Like dealing with image persistence and other tricks. It is erroneous to think that ultra high definitions and FPS are all it takes. You can actually have a lower FPS as long as you use the other techs that make it a more cohesive experience for the brain. Just displaying it the same old way is actually one thing that makes you sick.

Really, this is all I drew from the article...

*VR becomes popular*

Sony: WAIT! We were on top of that before everyone else! We designed this arbitrary feature specifically for VR.

Unless I see actual VR from that, I'll remain skeptical.

Lightknight:
Ugh, I still want the option to turn off the damn light. All it lets me do is dim it. I don't care if it's for a feature I may never use in the distant feature. IF I buy and plug in a VR headset from Sony, then it can turn it on. But as is, I really don't like being forced to have that shining light on all the time.

If you don't mind cleaning off residue if you play a game needing it or the tacky(sorry, pun not intended) look to it, you could try covering it with some electrical tape. A roll costs like 95 cents. I had to wrap some around a knob on my aftermarket car stereo since it's got a useless blue LED ring around it that shines an almighty halo that causes glare on my windows at night, There's no way to turn it off without tearing apart the radio to cut the circuit the light is on.

Remember though, the Rift found out that resolution and FPS wasn't necessarily as important as other techs. Like dealing with image persistence and other tricks. It is erroneous to think that ultra high definitions and FPS are all it takes. You can actually have a lower FPS as long as you use the other techs that make it a more cohesive experience for the brain. Just displaying it the same old way is actually one thing that makes you sick.

This.^ I don't think 1080p screens held 2 inches from your eyes are necessary. Having techniques making sure you don't feel like puking from ten minutes of VR is. 3D cinema still gives many people headaches and makes a select few really nauseous. VR companies are gonna have to perfect countermeasures to that problem before trying to max out the system's graphics capabilities.

Charcharo:
Only thing I cant get is ... how?
The PS4 is struggling to maintain 1080 60fps on one screen. How do you expect it to do same for 2 screens?
Only thing I can see working is that games automatically set from the current equivalent PS4 settings (Medium-High) to lower ones, though that will raise developer costs slightly.

On what basis are you saying it can't handle 1080p well? Most games released on it are 1080p.

Lightknight:
Ugh, I still want the option to turn off the damn light. All it lets me do is dim it.

I'm pretty sure a recent update came out that let you turn down it's brightness, haven't tried it myself because it doesn't affect my experience personally.

*EDIT* and I didn't read that properly, don't mind me I'll go back to the corner eating paste. :P

RicoADF:

Charcharo:
Only thing I cant get is ... how?
The PS4 is struggling to maintain 1080 60fps on one screen. How do you expect it to do same for 2 screens?
Only thing I can see working is that games automatically set from the current equivalent PS4 settings (Medium-High) to lower ones, though that will raise developer costs slightly.

On what basis are you saying it can't handle 1080p well? Most games released on it are 1080p.

The fact that it does get 1080p 60 fps on current games, but it does not have an easy time.

Charcharo:

The fact that it does get 1080p 60 fps on current games, but it does not have an easy time.

The only console to have issues is the XBO from what I've read, sofar haven't heard any claim about the PS4 having issues with 1080p at 60fps and I'd find it hard to believe it would have issues doing so (unless the game devs are using shit code/optimisation).

Actually I think this is completely awesome. If you think about it, lets say you are playing a driving game using VR. The controller is your steering wheel which thanks to the motion control (hopefully enhanced by this feature) works pretty well, but now you can also look left and right, while still going forward it adds an extra level of realism that would completely change the nature of your relationship with that virtual world. Remember in Counter Strike the way you had to stare at the bomb while your planted playing Terrorists? well imagine if while working with your hands you could look around and see if you are about to get shot at while continuing what you were doing.

I get that the light is annoying, although it doesn't annoy me in particular, but to me this is pretty cool.

RicoADF:

Charcharo:

The fact that it does get 1080p 60 fps on current games, but it does not have an easy time.

The only console to have issues is the XBO from what I've read, sofar haven't heard any claim about the PS4 having issues with 1080p at 60fps and I'd find it hard to believe it would have issues doing so (unless the game devs are using shit code/optimisation).

It does 1080p 60 fps on most new games. ANy more and it wont be able to (lets say 90fps... out of question; 1440p, out of question).
In other words, devs are doing their best and are at 1080p 60fps. They would barely/would have a hard time doing more then that.
And games should become slightly more demanding.
And 2 screens 1080p 60fps same settings is impossible (for an example for Killzone; which already has problems with the resolution)

Hairless Mammoth:

Lightknight:
Ugh, I still want the option to turn off the damn light. All it lets me do is dim it. I don't care if it's for a feature I may never use in the distant feature. IF I buy and plug in a VR headset from Sony, then it can turn it on. But as is, I really don't like being forced to have that shining light on all the time.

If you don't mind cleaning off residue if you play a game needing it or the tacky(sorry, pun not intended) look to it, you could try covering it with some electrical tape. A roll costs like 95 cents. I had to wrap some around a knob on my aftermarket car stereo since it's got a useless blue LED ring around it that shines an almighty halo that causes glare on my windows at night, There's no way to turn it off without tearing apart the radio to cut the circuit the light is on.

I just want the option to turn it off from Sony. I don't want to tape it or modify the controller in any way. If they can modify it to let me dim it then they can add the option to dim it more or turn it off. Screw them for not even giving me the option for, "reasons". As long as I don't have a PS eye then it will never matter. And like I said, PS can just give any PS Eye-using game the ability to turn it back on while running. That they force me to have it glaring away because of a distant tech I may never own or want from them is presumptuous of them to say the least and something I am annoyed with every time I turn it on. Not enough to do stuff to the controller, but enough to roll my eyes at Sony for it. Everything else about the controller is truly the best controller I've ever had.

Maybe if the controller was $30 or less I wouldn't care as much. But it cost me $200 to get the regular 4 contollers AND right now there aren't even any decent 4-player games. Everything that's out right now is 2-player at most. I used to have COD parties at my house with more than 4 players where the bottom scorers passed the the controllers to the next players. But not only do we all have to have a shining light pointed at us but we can't even use all of our controllers. Compare that to the PS3 where I had 7 people playing Bomberman at one time.

Remember though, the Rift found out that resolution and FPS wasn't necessarily as important as other techs. Like dealing with image persistence and other tricks. It is erroneous to think that ultra high definitions and FPS are all it takes. You can actually have a lower FPS as long as you use the other techs that make it a more cohesive experience for the brain. Just displaying it the same old way is actually one thing that makes you sick.

This.^ I don't think 1080p screens held 2 inches from your eyes are necessary. Having techniques making sure you don't feel like puking from ten minutes of VR is. 3D cinema still gives many people headaches and makes a select few really nauseous. VR companies are gonna have to perfect countermeasures to that problem before trying to max out the system's graphics capabilities.

Exactly. What's interesting is that the Oculus team even figured out that leaving small pixels blank actually allowed the mind to fill in the blanks and also helped make things feel realistic. That was totally contrary to what we thought would be required. The Rift is actually 1080 per eye which is interesting in itself.

MrHide-Patten:

Lightknight:
Ugh, I still want the option to turn off the damn light. All it lets me do is dim it.

I'm pretty sure a recent update came out that let you turn down it's brightness, haven't tried it myself because it doesn't affect my experience personally.

*EDIT* and I didn't read that properly, don't mind me I'll go back to the corner eating paste. :P

I take it your edit is noticing that I said it let's me dim it which I assume is the update you were referring to. Let me expound on the feature, it is an extremely mild difference from the full-on bright version. I don't even have the ps Eye, it's bull crap that it can't be barely visible or even off.

Charcharo:

RicoADF:

Charcharo:

The fact that it does get 1080p 60 fps on current games, but it does not have an easy time.

The only console to have issues is the XBO from what I've read, sofar haven't heard any claim about the PS4 having issues with 1080p at 60fps and I'd find it hard to believe it would have issues doing so (unless the game devs are using shit code/optimisation).

It does 1080p 60 fps on most new games. ANy more and it wont be able to (lets say 90fps... out of question; 1440p, out of question).
In other words, devs are doing their best and are at 1080p 60fps. They would barely/would have a hard time doing more then that.
And games should become slightly more demanding.
And 2 screens 1080p 60fps same settings is impossible (for an example for Killzone; which already has problems with the resolution)

First off, I'd like to point out that these are the first generation games being put out on the consoles. Even though they're x86 architecture there's still a lot we need to figure out in the transition from the 7th to 8th generation. A lot of software optimizations are going to have to be developed to take advantage of the new resources and these optimizations will benefit pc gaming as well. Additionally, whatever ways the console's software and hardware makes them unique will also have to be better understood and worked along with. It won't be as drastic in later years as it once will but that's mostly because we'll have it figured out a lot sooner in this generation rather than the potential difference being any less.

Eh, I'd like pushes towards higher resolutions to slow down. My 1080 TV is perfect for the distance I'm sitting away from my TV. I wouldn't be able to even start to getting the benefit of 1440 without sitting several feet closer and I'm comfortable with where I am. Now that we're at 1080 as a standard I'm never thinking "well, it could be better". Framerate really doesn't matter to me as long as it gets to 60 fps. I mean, I'm sure 120 fps would be a little more interesting but not as necessary as the jump from 15 to 30 or from 30 to 60. There are fairly quick diminishing returns on doubling framerate. Frankly, I'd much rather those processing resources be spend elsewhere. Like on physics or other engine based work. I don't think the pushes in resolution should be forced into games just to accomodate the few people that sit 5 feet away from their giant 1440+ TV or the people who have 100" screens that are also 1440+ resolutions.

I mean, I admit that if my screen was 120" it would be completely noticeable where I'm sitting. But the average TV is still around 37". Mine is just over 50" and I don't really want larger but I certainly don't expect games to be specifically designed for 50" or larger 1440+ resolution TVs when the average is so much lower. But at less than 40" you'd have to be sitting closer than 5' for 1440 to even start being noticeable. At 50" you have to be around 6' away from the TV and the recommended viewing distance for that is 6.4' for a 50" and jumps to over 7' by 55". So you'd just barely be on the cusp of 1440 even making a difference if at all. A few inches back and the differences aren't even noticeable.

So why the heck would we put all these resources into resolution/fps for console games like the PS4?

http://www.rtings.com/info/television-size-to-distance-relationship

The interesting thing is that the ps4 should be a powerhouse in the texture department thanks to the GDDR5 RAM which could actually make a drastic difference texture-wise. However, bump mapping and good old high geometry modeling make that less important than it once would have been.

As far as I can tell, higher resolutions are currently only beneficial on average for PC monitors in which the distance from the screen is usually a couple feet.

Lightknight:

Hairless Mammoth:

Lightknight:
Ugh, I still want the option to turn off the damn light. All it lets me do is dim it. I don't care if it's for a feature I may never use in the distant feature. IF I buy and plug in a VR headset from Sony, then it can turn it on. But as is, I really don't like being forced to have that shining light on all the time.

If you don't mind cleaning off residue if you play a game needing it or the tacky(sorry, pun not intended) look to it, you could try covering it with some electrical tape. A roll costs like 95 cents. I had to wrap some around a knob on my aftermarket car stereo since it's got a useless blue LED ring around it that shines an almighty halo that causes glare on my windows at night, There's no way to turn it off without tearing apart the radio to cut the circuit the light is on.

I just want the option to turn it off from Sony. I don't want to tape it or modify the controller in any way. If they can modify it to let me dim it then they can add th

Remember though, the Rift found out that resolution and FPS wasn't necessarily as important as other techs. Like dealing with image persistence and other tricks. It is erroneous to think that ultra high definitions and FPS are all it takes. You can actually have a lower FPS as long as you use the other techs that make it a more cohesive experience for the brain. Just displaying it the same old way is actually one thing that makes you sick.

This.^ I don't think 1080p screens held 2 inches from your eyes are necessary. Having techniques making sure you don't feel like puking from ten minutes of VR is. 3D cinema still gives many people headaches and makes a select few really nauseous. VR companies are gonna have to perfect countermeasures to that problem before trying to max out the system's graphics capabilities.

Exactly. What's interesting is that the Oculus team even figured out that leaving small pixels blank actually allowed the mind to fill in the blanks and also helped make things feel realistic. That was totally contrary to what we thought would be required. The Rift is actually 1080 per eye which is interesting in itself.

MrHide-Patten:

Lightknight:
Ugh, I still want the option to turn off the damn light. All it lets me do is dim it.

I'm pretty sure a recent update came out that let you turn down it's brightness, haven't tried it myself because it doesn't affect my experience personally.

*EDIT* and I didn't read that properly, don't mind me I'll go back to the corner eating paste. :P

I take it your edit is noticing that I said it let's me dim it which I assume is the update you were referring to. Let me expound on the feature, it is an extremely mild difference from the full-on bright version. I don't even have the ps Eye, it's bull crap that it can't be barely visible or even off.

Charcharo:

RicoADF:

The only console to have issues is the XBO from what I've read, sofar haven't heard any claim about the PS4 having issues with 1080p at 60fps and I'd find it hard to believe it would have issues doing so (unless the game devs are using shit code/optimisation).

And games should become slightly more demanding.
And 2 screens 1080p 60fps same settings is impossible (for an example for Killzone; which already has problems with the resolution)

As far as I can tell, higher resolutions are currently only beneficial on average for PC monitors in which the distance from the screen is usually a couple feet.

They may be "1st gen" games but lets not forget they are on a well known architecture, using already known GPUs (7790 and 7850). Last gen, where there was more of a difference, the difference in equivalent power was around 20% in favor for consoles. This gen it should be smaller. Logically, it simply should.
Though even if they make miracles I still do not see anything but lowering settings working for 2 1080 60 fps screens. Killzone Shadofall makes me doubt such a miracle.

As for the PS4's RAM... I do not know. I mean it probably is better with textures, though I have never seen even AWESOME texture intense games to require more then 1.5 GB of RAM from GPU (Metro Last Light, Crysis 3 and BF4).

no, they havent. it is very clear when you look at their hardware. it simply isnt powerful enough to run any games they want to run in VR. they cna donwscale graphics a lot of course, but that is known to destroy the virtual reality feel too.

RicoADF:

Charcharo:
Only thing I cant get is ... how?
The PS4 is struggling to maintain 1080 60fps on one screen. How do you expect it to do same for 2 screens?
Only thing I can see working is that games automatically set from the current equivalent PS4 settings (Medium-High) to lower ones, though that will raise developer costs slightly.

On what basis are you saying it can't handle 1080p well? Most games released on it are 1080p.

SOME games repeased on it are 1080p with severe FPS drops or even being locked at 30 FPS. this means that if you were to do that in VR you would be vomiting all over constantly. and for VR you need to output 2 screens of that.

RicoADF:
The only console to have issues is the XBO from what I've read, sofar haven't heard any claim about the PS4 having issues with 1080p at 60fps and I'd find it hard to believe it would have issues doing so (unless the game devs are using shit code/optimisation).

well then maybe you should read up on them more before making claims. and you dont need to make shit code for it to run bad. the hardware is SLOW.

Lightknight:
Now that we're at 1080 as a standard I'm never thinking "well, it could be better". Framerate really doesn't matter to me as long as it gets to 60 fps. I mean, I'm sure 120 fps would be a little more interesting but not as necessary as the jump from 15 to 30 or from 30 to 60. There are fairly quick diminishing returns on doubling framerate. Frankly, I'd much rather those processing resources be spend elsewhere. Like on physics or other engine based work. I don't think the pushes in resolution should be forced into games just to accomodate the few people that sit 5 feet away from their giant 1440+ TV or the people who have 100" screens that are also 1440+ resolutions.

ironic how much we regressed. i remmeber when in the 90s, early 2000s 1200p was standard for monitors.....

i too would like to see more processing done on physics and AI, but its not going to happen. thats because we already noticed that graphics sell, while AI sells only to nicnhe audience.

1440 would look horrible on 100", that would need 4k at minimum actually. not that many people even go 40" nowadays yet. im fine with my 27" 1080p, but i would love to have a second monitor so i could keep for example internet browser on the side without needing to alttab and i dont want to make my game window smaller. currently using my old laptop as "Second screen".

 

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