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VR experiences are best when they're brief, says Sony boss

VR experiences are best when they're brief, says Sony boss

July 1, 2016 | By Alex Wawro

July 1, 2016 | By Alex Wawro
More: VR, Design

"I've been very vocal that I tend to believe this generation of VR lends itself more to short-form content, than perhaps it does to long-form experiences. I don't see that as a deficit or a negative."

- Sony's Andrew House speaking to investors.

Sony held a corporate strategy meeting with investors in Tokyo this week, and during the proceedings Sony chief Andrew House cautioned attendees to look at the current state of VR technology as a medium best suited to short, simple and exciting experiences.

"I tend to liken the VR experience more to something like a theme park ride, in that it's short, but it's very intense and it's very enjoyable," House said in response to a question about people potentially feeling nauseous after playing VR games for a prolonged period. 

"The big positive I do see for VR [games] is that unlike conventional game experiences - which tend to be similar to blockbusters in terms of production values and complex game mechanics- they can offer simple mechanics and experiences that are still very, very enjoyable because they can give users something they've never done before," added House. "That, I think, is where its true potential lies."

That's well in line with what many VR game developers have told Gamasutra over the past few years, and it's also an intriguing position to take given that a number of upcoming PlayStation VR games were advertised at E3 this year in a way that portrayed them as being playable in VR for long periods of time.

Capcom's Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, for example, is slated to be fully playable from start to finish in VR when it ships next year -- and many E3 attendees reported feeling of nausea after playing a brief standalone demo of the game in VR.

Of course, part of that may have to do with the way the VR demo was designed to permit players to move by pushing analog sticks on a gamepad while simultaneously moving the camera with their head, a combo that Gamasutra editor-in-chief Kris Graft later pointed out is almost guaranteed to make people sick.

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