President of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida has told Polygon that it's proving to be trickier to get major publishers to buy into the company's vision for VR with the recently announced Project Morpheus headset than it is to get independent developers involved.
I am very excited to work with indie developers because we've been communicating with third party publishers, and the typical conversations go, you know the developers in the third party publishers, they are really excited, but they say, 'Oh well, I have to get approval from the business side.'
It's very hard for big companies to approve something that no one knows if there's a market for it. But the indie guys are like, 'I like it, I'll do it.' And there are many indie games being created in the marketplace because of that.
The indie teams typically want to create something not directly competitive with big companies because they know they don't have the resource to do it. So they try to come up with a new angle or approach, a new experience so that their game can stand out.
And that approach is perfect for making VR, because that's what we need. We don't want people to think: 'How can I port this game to VR?' We want people to think: 'What unique thing can we do with this tech?' So I'm very, very excited to give lots of units to indie PS4 developers.
While Yoshida's comments aren't all that surprising, it does make Sony's push of VR all the more interesting - and perhaps the Facebook takeover of Oculus will inspire some of the major players to take a risk and get involved right from the start. Failing that, though, we're happy to see the indies take a stab at defining how exactly this whole VR thing is going to work in the future, and there's a real opportunity for smaller developers to make a name for themselves while potentially helping to redefine gaming as a whole for future generations.
Next up: the holo-deck!