Sony’s PSVR 2 headset certainly sounds promising based on its impressive technical specifications, but PlayStation creator Ken Kutaragi has dismissed the Japanese company’s second foray into virtual reality – and he doesn’t like the sound of the metaverse either.
In an interview with Bloomberg (opens in new tab), 71-year-old Kutaragi said that the biggest issue with virtual reality headsets, like Sony's PSVR 2, is the fact the devices stop you from being in the real world.
“Headsets would isolate you from the real world, and I can’t agree with that,” Kutaragi said. “Headsets are simply annoying.”
For similar reasons, Kutaragi isn’t a fan of the metaverse and likened the idea of interacting as a virtual avatar to being the same as posting anonymously on the internet.
“Being in the real world is very important, but the metaverse is about making quasi-real in the virtual world, and I can’t see the point of doing it,” Kutaragi told Bloomberg News. “You would rather be a polished avatar instead of your real self? That’s essentially no different from anonymous messageboard sites."
Analysis: is Kutaragi simply out of touch?
There’s certainly an argument to be made that VR is a rather solitary and restrictive experience. Wearing a VR headset does indeed isolate you from the real world, and isn’t exactly a device that will appeal to those who have family, pets, or who can’t comfortably block out their surroundings for long periods of time.
The metaverse is also rather unappealing for the same reasons. While the potential for remote working and more social-driven experiences is certainly there, we’ve already seen companies experimenting with making day-to-day activities like shopping into a virtual experience, and they honestly look worse than their real-life counterparts.
This is how Walmart envisions Shopping in the #Metaverse.Thoughts? 💭 pic.twitter.com/5l7KhoBse7January 3, 2022
Ken Kutaragi is known for having rather outspoken opinions on technology, particularly when he was the CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment. Kutaragi once labeled the Xbox 360 as "just an Xbox 1.5", and that it was "only going after PlayStation 2".
We still don’t have an official release date for PSVR 2 or a price point, but Sony is planning to ship its next-gen virtual reality headset before the end of 2022, supply issues permitting.
With the PS5 still incredibly hard to find, and scalpers continuing to take advantage of stock issues, Sony will need to ensure that its console is more readily available before it tries to encourage people to buy what is expected to be a costly add-on.
- PSVR 2 vs Oculus Quest 2: how do the headsets compare?