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Sony reverses statement, says not all PlayStation VR games will support gamepad

Sony reverses statement, says not all PlayStation VR games will support gamepad

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Update 1:30PM ET: Sony has issued a modified version of a statement it made earlier this week, saying that all PlayStation VR games would support its PlayStation 4 gamepad. Its new statement is below:

"Nearly all PlayStation VR titles will support DualShock 4 controllers, and several games will deliver an enhanced experience that further immerses gamers with the use of peripherals such as Move or the recently announced Aim controller. There will be a limited number of titles that require Move controllers."

Many PlayStation VR titles already use the gamepad, so the fact that it's leaning heavily on it isn't a huge surprise. But this new explanation means that games where motion controls are integral to the experience — like Job Simulator — won't be required to figure out a gamepad-based version. We still don't know all the games that will support both Move and normal controllers, but at least we're safely back to the status quo.

The original article is below:

Sony may be putting a lot of weight behind virtual reality, but it’s hedging its bets on motion controls. In a statement to Eurogamer earlier this week, the company said that all PlayStation VR games will support a traditional gamepad, in addition to any other controllers.

"All PlayStation VR titles will support DualShock 4 controllers. However some game experiences will be enhanced with the use of peripherals such as Move or the recently announced Aim controller," says the statement, which came in response to some game box mockups that suggested players would need Move controllers for certain titles.

This may help explain why Sony’s basic PlayStation VR bundle doesn’t come with Move controllers, a decision that seemed slightly confusing when it was announced. Likewise, PlayStation VR already seems based around gamepads in a way that other headsets don’t, especially because it’s building VR support into a number of flatscreen games like Resident Evil 7 and Detroit: Become Human.

But we have frankly no idea how this would work well with some of the projects. Job Simulator, for example, is a game that’s entirely about using your hands to throw objects around. Farpoint is a light gun-style shooter that, from what we’ve seen so far, would seem utterly generic with a gamepad. And that’s not counting any Rift- or Vive-based motion control games that developers might be considering bringing to PlayStation VR in the future. It’s not that you technically couldn’t swap the motion controls for analog sticks in many cases, it just wouldn’t be very much fun — like playing Dance Central by hitting buttons instead of actually dancing.

Offering a gamepad option could make PlayStation VR more accessible to people with limited mobility or just enough money for the $399 headset. And we’ve seen at least one case where controller support seemed counterintuitive, but worked well: Crytek’s rock climbing game The Climb, which will support Oculus’ Touch controllers later this year but currently uses a combination of head tracking and an Xbox gamepad. Still, this adds another layer of complexity for anyone developing a full-body VR game — something that’s hard enough already.

Update 8:55AM ET: Alex Schwartz of Owlchemy Labs, the studio behind Job Simulator, has cast some doubt on the idea that Sony is going all-gamepad for PlayStation VR. "Job Simulator requires two Move controllers to play on PSVR. Job Simulator is one of Sony's top demos on PSVR and they show our title everywhere," he told The Verge. "We are confident that Job Simulator will be one of the top launch titles for PSVR."