When two similar products are developed and set for release almost in unison, the expectation is that those two products will be in direct competition with each other. In this regard you'd expect Sony's Project Morpheus and the Oculus Rift to be bitter rivals in what could be an brutal struggle for VR supremacy. But according to Sony's Shuhei Yoshida, Sony and Oculus are far from enemies: they are two companies helping one another towards a similar goal.
"When I look at VR, it’s still very early," explained Yoshida, in an interview with VentureBeat. "It’s not even starting in a real way.
"We are still really trying to define or discover what works and what’s required for the hardware tech... So in trying these things, we are kind of helping each other."
Yoshida's argument is that, in engineering such a new, innovative piece of tech, every progression either company makes will benefit the other in the long run ("[I]n engineering, once someone does it, it’s common knowledge"). The reality is that competition in such a burgeoning area of technology is healthy and will result in both companies creating better consumer products.
"So in trying these things," he said, "we are kind of helping each other... Even though we don’t work with each other directly, we’re helping each other as far as announcing something or showing a proof of concept or publishing some documents or something like that."
Another area, explains Yoshida, is in proof of concept and — in general — just creating a buzz around virtual reality. The fact that Sony is working on virtual reality helps solidify the fact that the technology is viable, that it is worth developing for.
"By having two players catering to both PC and PS4, developers feel it’s a bit less risky to make this investment," claimed Yoshida. "Even though indie guys are very passionate people who might do this just for the sake of it, showing them the two different platforms where they’ll eventually be able to release their game — that reduces their risk in development. That’s another area where we help each other instead of competing with each other."
It's an interesting healthy perspective and, ultimately, there has to be room for two players in this market. Can't wait to see how both products shape up when they hit the market.
Head to VentureBeat to read the whole interview. It's a fascinating read that broaches multiple different topics regarding virtual reality.