Astro’s Playroom developer is working on another game for PS5 – and possibly PSVR 2

Astro's Playroom
(Image credit: Team Asobi / PlayStation)

Astro's Playroom developer Team Asobi has hinted at plans for its “most ambitious game yet” after launching a brand new website dedicated to its current and future projects.

The newly-coined PlayStation studio, which absorbed PlayStation Studios Japan earlier this year, is known for developing Astro's Playroom on PS5, as well as 2018’s Astro Bot: Rescue Mission for PSVR.  

As part of an ‘about us’ section of the site, the Tokyo-based Team Asobi has confirmed it is “currently hard at work on [its] most ambitious game yet” – and a slew of recent job openings at the developer potentially shed some light on what that game might entail. 

For instance, a game designer vacancy posted to the site’s ‘jobs’ page suggests Team Asobi is on the hunt for an individual who can "make a variety of levels for a 3D action game, each providing great tempo and creative situations."

Other listings detail a search for an environmental artist capable of putting "an emphasis on realistic texturing techniques applied to a playful art style,” alongside an opening for an animator who can "animate a wide range of cartoony and mechanical characters, props and vehicles used in game.”

It seems a safe bet, then, to assume the developer is once again working on a cutesy platformer, likely fronted by its now-iconic Astro Bot character.

As for what hardware the game is being designed for, its almost certainly on its way to PS5. But there's also a chance it could be another VR-based platformer – in the vein of Astro Bot: Rescue Mission – arriving in time for the launch of the PSVR 2 headset.

The latter has been confirmed by Sony as being in development for the PS5, and with an expected release date of 2022, it could therefore coincide with Team Asobi’s next game. 

Analysis: Another watershed VR experience? 

Of course, it’s possible that Team Asobi’s in-development title won’t utilize VR at all, instead becoming another mega-popular PS5-exclusive platformer that focuses on the functionality of the DualSense controller. 

But given Astro Bot: Rescue Mission’s impact on Sony’s first VR effort, it makes sense for the developer to helm an equally-groundbreaking title for the PSVR 2.

Essentially, Astro Bot: Rescue Mission took a generic mascot character and had players running, jumping and collecting coins over the course of increasingly challenging and complex levels. 

That doesn’t sound like anything revelatory, but the game’s implementation of still-new VR hardware – which had us scanning, leaning and peering around its virtual environment – proved why there was, and still is, so much excitement around the burgeoning technology. 

What’s more, there’s a sense that Team Asobi missed a trick with Astro’s Playroom on PS5 by omitting compatibility with PSVR. As excellent as it is, this platforming game world seemed the perfect opportunity to once again flex the muscles of Sony’s VR hardware.

Whether or not the PSVR 2 arrives in tandem with the developer’s next game remains to be seen – but it would be a shame to see Team Asobi pass on VR for a second time.

Via IGN 

Axel Metz
Phones Editor

Axel is TechRadar's UK-based Phones Editor, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest AI breakthroughs as part of the site's Mobile Computing vertical. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion.  Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.