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Sony to devs: If you drop below 60 fps in VR we will not certify your game

"You cannot drop below 60 fps. Period. Ever."

Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

During the PlayStation VR presentation yesterday at the Game Developers Conference senior staff engineer Chris Norden laid down the law with developers. If games fail to meet Sony's stringent framerate requirements they will not be certified on the system.

"I know I'm going to get flagged for this," Norden said to a packed crowd of hundreds of eager faces, "but there’s no excuse for not hitting framerate. ... You cannot drop below 60 fps. Period. Ever. I can’t stress that enough.

"If you submit a game to us and you drop down to 30 or 35 or 51 we’re probably going to reject it," he added, a little more equivocally.

But along with the stick, he offered up a carrot — the PlayStation VR consultation. Norden said that Sony is ready and very willing to preview games before they're submitted for certification. Their team of engineers won't beta test the game, he said, but they will look for specific red flags and work to help devs get their games approved.

"We’re going to play your game and look for technical correctness," Norden said. "We’re going to provide you a report [that calls out] possible nausea triggers, find places where you're dropping framerate and where you’ve got stutters in your tracking.

"We’re going to feed that back to you very early in your cycle so that you can adjust your design iteration if you need to, get your technical guys working with our engineers to help you optimize, and just clean up the game and make it as smooth a VR experience as possible. We’re not going to require this, but we’re strongly recommending that everybody submitting a PlayStation VR title take advantage of this."

Norden went on to say that his team has, collectively, hundreds of years of experience in VR. His team touched practically every single PSVR game brought to GDC and improved the quality of "almost every single demo ... across the board."

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