PlayStation VR is the biggest virtual reality platform in gaming, but with Sony being a no-show at the important Electronic Entertainment Expo tradeshow this June, someone needs to step in to fill the void.
Enter UploadVR. GamesBeat’s syndication partner announced today the E3 VR Showcase, a prerecorded show that will reveal new games and trailers and chats and interviews with developers. Think of it as a Nintendo Direct but for VR. It will air at 9 a.m. Pacific on June 10 on YouTube. This joins PC Gamer’s PC Gaming Show as E3 presentations put on by the media, not the platform holders or game publishers.
The virtual reality market has cooled from the hype of consumer VR in 2016 and 2017, but it bounced back in 2018 thanks to PSVR, and Oculus Quest can fuel growth in 2019. But it could be getting a boost with this spring’s release of the Oculus Quest, a standalone headset. And Sony gave PSVR a vote of confidence by saying the next PlayStation console would be backward compatible with the PS4 virtual reality headset.
“Developers persist in this space despite an install base which didn’t meet the expectations of many investors. It’s really got to where it is today off the hard work of developers who, in many cases, sacrificed a lot to continue exploring this space. Financial support from Sony, Oculus, Valve and others is an obvious factor, but determination and innovation from creators plays a big part,” UploadVR senior editor Jamie Feltham said over email. “Superhot VR sold more than its original version because the idea worked even better in VR. Beat Saber got to where it was because it made people feel like a bad-ass dancing Jedi, something they can’t do anywhere else. There are more stories to tell, which our showcase wants to cover.”
Feltham notes how one of VR’s best games of the year never even made it into any Sony presentation, E3 or otherwise. UploadVR wants to give these developers a spotlight — and hopefully, an E3 audience. Especially since Sony isn’t there this year.
“I think our opportunity here is more to do with VR developers not seeing their incredible work amplified,” he said. “Sony has done a great job at past E3s, but it can’t cover the entire industry; one of my favorite games of 2019, The Fisherman’s Tale, never made it into any Sony showcase, for example. But it’s true that with Sony now absent from the lineup, there’s more of a need than ever to shine a light on VR at E3.”