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Sony started VR adoption with PS Move

Anton Mikhailov says indies are instrumental to VR

Sony has been courting the market for virtual reality for years, including introducing PlayStation Move controllers that are "VR wands in disguise," according to one of Project Morpheus' creators.

Sony Computer Entertainment America R&D engineer Anton Mikhailov told Edge that releasing the motion controllers was one of many not-so-subtle steps toward introducing VR from Sony over the last few years.

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"Effectively Move is a VR wand in disguise as a motion controller," Mikahilov said. "So we specced it and built it to be a VR controller, even though VR wasn't a commodity. As engineers, we just said it was the right thing to do... At the time, we didn't have a consumer-grade project that we could work on, but it was definitely designed with that vision in mind."

However, encouraging widespread adoption of VR isn't just a matter of disseminating the idea across Sony. Mikhailov noted that external companies will have to be convinced; third-party engineers are always excited to work on it, but executives are less sure.

Mikhailov said that's part of the reason Sony has made such a big push toward building a strong connection with independent developers.

"I think the excitement of being the pioneer in the field is going to draw a lot of people in. Maybe [fewer] of the bigger publishers, at least at first, but I think the indies will be excited. And we've been very indie-friendly at PlayStation lately. It's not by accident."

For more on Sony's virtual reality future, be sure to check out our hands-on Project Morpheus impressions from GDC.

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