Sony’s UK Job Listings Indicate Company’s Dedication to PlayStation VR

Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) is highly dedicated to PlayStation 4 – namely due to it being profitable – but is that the same for PlayStation VR? Look around online and you’ll obviously find virtual reality (VR) naysayers reporting that the company has lost interest in the head-mounted display (HMD), as it does have a chequered past regarding peripherals. Well according to just UK-based job listings alone this summation is quite off the mark.
Firstly, lets pull some numbers. Out of the big three headsets, Oculus Rift,  HTC Vive and PlayStation VR, sales figures are in the region of 243,000, 420,000 and 915,000 respectively – although the first two are SuperData Research estimates as no official figures have been released. Even so that’s still a massive headway considering the PlayStation VR only launched in October, six months after the other two. Just on that alone you’d be confused as to why SIE would be loosing interest in promoting the headset.

There have been stock issues worldwide which will have caused a slow down in sales – but that’s SIE’s own fault – an issue that now looks to be rectified with a recent company statement saying: “PlayStation VR has been in high demand since launch, and we have heard from many of you that it has been a bit tricky to find on store shelves. We’ve been working to meet demand and are happy to report that PS VR is back in stock at many retailers in the US and Canada.”
So that’s good in the short term but what about PlayStation VR’s future? Well VRFocus‘ regular The VR Job Hub – which went out earlier today – had several listings for VR related jobs for Sony London Studio. London Studio was the developer behind The London Heist, and back in September announced a swath of redundancies after completing the project. Now, not only is the studio hiring for an unnamed VR title, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe’s (SCEE’s) R&D department has seven positions available and a newly formed Manchester-based studio has three vacancies.

R&D Engineer – London, Soho – SCEE R&D
VR Character Artist – London, Soho – SCEE R&D
R&D Engineer – London, Soho – SCEE R&D
Senior VR Artist (generalist) – London, Soho – SCEE R&D
Senior Gameplay Engineer – London, Soho – SCEE R&D
Software Engineer – London, Soho – SCEE R&D
R&D Engineer – London, Soho – SCEE R&D
Senior Environment Artist – London Studio
Senior Producer – London Studio
Senior Level Designer – London Studio
QA Tester – London Studio
Experienced Technical Artist – Manchester Studio
Experienced Level Designer – Manchester Studio
Senior Generalist Programmer – Manchester Studio

So while the studio positions indicate two possible first-party experiences are in the works, the SCEE R&D jobs give an idea to further improvements for the PlayStation VR system as a whole. Under the ‘responsibilities’ section on a couple of the engineer vacancies for example, the posting stipulates: “Rapid investigation, prototyping and implementation of new systems, along with any required testing,” and if the applicant has: “Experience of console development, preferably on PlayStation 4,” that would be advantageous.

It would be easy to jump to conclusions that these R&D vacancies point to possible development of a new headset, but its more likely to aid in the ecosystem as a whole. What they do prove however is that Sony is still very much focused on the PlayStation VR platform and hopefully next month’s E3 event in Los Angeles will include plenty of VR news from the company.
VRFocus will be at E3 2017 so stay tuned for the latest PlayStation VR announcements.

Source: Sony’s UK Job Listings Indicate Company’s Dedication to PlayStation VR