Every few years, a revolution occurs, as Sony and Microsoft release their next-generation consoles.
In spite of everything else that’s happened, 2020 is still set to be one of those years, with the PS5 and Xbox Series X debuting in the Fall.
While this might seem a somewhat unlikely place to talk about these games machines, their significance goes beyond merely zapping aliens.
This year’s PS5 will be the first truly “VR native” console. Neither of the current generation – and we’re not talking about PC gaming rigs, Nintendo or Nvidia Shield here- had their VR/AR titles up and running on launch day last time. This time, they’re being built for VR/AR/MR/XR from the ground-up.
Before we go any further let’s just clarify the difference:
- Virtual Reality (VR) – Virtual Reality is a completely computer generated environment
- Augmented Reality (AR) – The real world, with VR overlaid
- Mixed Reality (MR) – The real world, with virtual objects augmenting it
- Cross Reality (X Reality, or XR) – a generic abbreviation for the other three types.
So, the PS5 is supporting these technologies out of the start gate, but Xbox Series X has opted against it, citing the tiny market share for the current crop of headsets as the main reason, suggesting that the amount of work required to configure the console for both standard and VR play isn’t financially viable yet, and would surely bring up the base price of the console for the benefit of a minority.
That said, Microsoft remains committed to VR (Windows Holographic was a starting gun on the VR revolution, after all) and has said that, at the right time, it’ll be a “no-brainer” to add support.
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So let’s turn out attention back to the PS5. Regular readers will know that WatchVR added a portal for Playstation users to access VR porn recently, the latest of a growing number to do so, and its this kind of indirect access that will be at the heart of adult content on the PS5 too.
Although the company hasn’t indicated any of its own titles will be VR ready, it has confirmed that the console itself will be compatible with the PSVR headset. There may be a second, more advanced version of PSVR, but it won’t be ready at the same time as the console.
That headset may include features including HDR, eye-tracking and (whisper it) no cables, but for now, you’ll have to do with the current generation of PSVR headset.
We also know that the PS5 will be backwards compatible with PS4 content, so you won’t have to wait for apps to take advantage of the improved hardware.
And improved it certainly is. One of the reasons why Sony only releases a new console every few years is because it wants longevity – and that means squeezing the absolute bleeding edge out of components.
As well as an AMD Ryzen Zen 2 octocore processor, there’s a dedicated AMD Radeon RDNA 2-based graphics engine, complete with Ray Tracing Acceleration, capable of churning out content at 10.3 Teraflops.
There’ll also be 8K support at 120Hz – all of which might be technobabble to you, but sufficed to say, the Adult sector is one of the first to take on new technology and there’s a lot of this super-duper high-res content already around.
The one thing that the PS5 won’t be able to control is your internet speed. The cutting-edge hardware will allow content to render brilliantly in VR, but if your internet speed isn’t up to it, then you’ll be best looking for downloadable content, rather than streaming it on the fly.
This will, of course, change during the lifetime of the console as Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH) and 5G offer near-zero latency, superfast connections. But at launch, you’ll need to manage those expectations. It’s not the console, it’s the infrastructure.
But perhaps the most interesting development is in audio. We’ve already looked at the rise of audio porn, and with the PS5’s ‘3D Tempest’ technology, the sound from your headset should be more realistic and a lot closer to actually being there.
Finally, a new stereo camera on the PS5 itself will help with motion tracking, which should improve the realism and plausibility of your immersive moments.
Again, it’s important to say that you aren’t going to be able to just go to the Sony VR Store, find a porn scene and start watching – the family-friendly walled garden Sony offers will remain. But with a little bit of side-loading, the PS5 is looking to be the destination for Adult VR content we’ve all been waiting for.
At time of writing (July 2020) there’s no release date for the PS5, and as such, no preorders, but we’ll update this article as soon as we know more.
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