Technology

E3: PlayStation VR has Star Wars and Resident Evil 7

Sony PlayStation VR Image copyright Sony
Image caption Sony said there were more than 50 titles in development for its virtual reality headset

Sony has unveiled a raft of new games that will be playable in virtual reality on the PS4.

New Star Wars and Resident Evil games were among those revealed at the E3 video games trade show in Los Angeles.

Virtual reality clips for Batman and Final Fantasy games were also shown off.

The titles will require gamers to use the PlayStation VR headset, which will cost $399 (£280) when it is released on October 13.

"It's not for the faint of heart in terms of the type of game experiences they're going for, it's really that hardcore ethos," games industry analyst Lewis Ward at IDC told the BBC.

Mr Ward had just tried a demo of sci-fi space shooter Farpoint in PS VR following the press conference.

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Media captionWATCH: PlayStation's chief explains why he plans to release an upgraded PS4

"It's very intense," he said. "I was sweating."

Mr Ward added that while the selection of titles was likely to attract gamers, the titles themselves might be a little overwhelming.

"The first wave of VR probably has to be careful with the amount of motion in games because of motion sickness," he explained.

In an interview with the Financial Times prior to E3, Sony confirmed that it was planning to release an upgraded PlayStation 4 called "Project Neo" that will be capable of outputting 4K graphics.

Besides the virtual reality titles, Sony also previewed several exclusives including long-awaited adventure game The Last Guardian, first announced in 2009.

The game's release date has been set as October 25, 2016.

However, highly anticipated space simulator No Man's Sky did not make an appearance.


Image copyright Sony
Image caption Star Wars Battlefront: X-Wing VR Mission is also presented from a first-person perspective

Analysis: Dave Lee, North America technology reporter

Sony's virtual reality offer may not end up being the best, but it will be a first: the first affordable, high-end VR headset for the masses.

Sony made a point of saying its PS4 is already powerful enough to run VR - a dig at Microsoft, which had earlier announced a new console to offer that, in late 2017.

The truth is that PS VR is just less sophisticated than the Oculus Rift and HTC's Vive.

Resident Evil was an apt title to show off.

Image copyright Sony
Image caption Resident Evil VII will be playable from beginning to end in virtual reality

Back in the days of the first PlayStation, the game used to have these tense, creaky door moments. They would take 20 seconds or so to open, building the fear... but also allowing the console time to load the room ahead. Smart!

In PS VR Resident Evil, your view is lit by torchlight, a narrow and eerie field of vision - therefore much less intensive to render. With restriction comes creativity, I guess.

Many of the other PS VR experiences were not quite full games. Single missions rather than whole titles.


Image copyright Sony
Image caption Horizon Zero Dawn is one of several new games at E3 with a female protagonist

Exclusives showcase

Sony's press conference featured a live orchestra, which played throughout the event, on occasion providing accompaniment to live demos of some of the games.

After an extended overture from the musicians, Sony Interactive Entertainment executive Shawn Layden made reference to the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida which this weekend left 49 club-goers dead.

"On behalf of the PlayStation community, I just want to say that our thoughts are with the victims and the families and the community of Orlando," he said.

Image copyright Sony
Image caption Warrior Kratos returns alongside a child in a Norse-mythology set God of War
Image copyright Sony
Image caption A new Spiderman video game by the developer Insomniac Games was teased

Mr Layden's remarks were followed first by a preview of an upcoming PS4 exclusive, God of War, featuring Kratos - a character from earlier games in the series.

Other exclusives showcased included Days Gone, a third-person zombie-filled title from the development team behind the Syphon Filter series.

And there was gameplay footage of Horizon: Zero Dawn, in which a female protagonist battles robotic dinosaur creatures in a lush natural landscape.

Superhero fans weren't left out either - a teaser trailer for a new Spiderman game was shown.

Image copyright Sony
Image caption Walking Dead star Norman Reedus stars in Hideo Kojima's new game Death Stranding

There was also a surprise appearance from critically acclaimed game designer Hideo Kojima.

"Hello everyone," he said, addressing the audience, "I'm back".

Mr Kojima unveiled a new game, Dead Stranding, with Walking Dead actor Norman Reedus in a lead role.

No gameplay footage was shown, however, and the title does not yet have a release date.

Image caption Sony's press conference got plenty of praise from game industry fans and journalists on Twitter

The line-up appeared to play well with game industry watchers.

"That was easily one of the best E3 press conferences I've seen", tweeted Rob Crossley, UK editor of games website Gamespot.

"What a show," added Daniel Dawkins, editor in chief of Games Radar.

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