There were many virtual reality demos and devices being shown at E3, but the era of virtual reality isn't quite here. We asked Sony's Shuhei Yoshida when mainstream adoption of the technology could begin.
"Very, very soon," he replied. "When we launch, when Oculus launches, when HTC launches."
He then discussed how much the VR community interacts and shares notes.
"We know each other very well," Yoshida said. "Brendan [Iribe, the CEO of Oculus] used to work at Gaikai. Palmer [Luckey, the founder of Oculus], before he started the Kickstarter, we knew him. So we share the same understanding that when a company like ours makes efforts, commercial efforts, as a well-funded company with commercial backing, and they are now as well with Facebook backing."
Which creates a sort of odd situation; every one of these companies wants virtual reality to take off, so there is a vested interest to make sure the biggest companies involved, even if they're somewhat in competition, is giving players a good experience.
"We have to make sure that system is super good, because the worse thing, and Palmer always said that the worst thing that could happen to VR is that some big company comes up with some mid-quality system and muddy the water. He was actually talking about us. He was talking to us," Yoshida said.
We've actually had a number of conversations about Sony's VR solutions with Oculus, and Oculus has said similar things to Polygon; the danger isn't in a big company competing with Oculus, the danger is in a company doing so poorly and souring people on the idea of virtual reality as a technology.
"When we were talking at GDC we always invite each other to demos and exchange opinions," Yoshida said. "And we were laughing, because [Luckey] was very happy to try this years Morpheus. I was like, 'oh yeah we passed the Palmer test. We almost passed the John Carmack test and the Mike Abrash test.'
"They are looking like 'hmm, you can reduce a little bit more latency.' But that was March, so our teams are still making improvements. So we are working well together from a global standpoint to advance VR and bring VR to consumers," Yoshida continued.
So things are coming along, but we're not quite there yet. "So when you ask, is it now? It's soon to be now," Yoshida said. "And next year, at E3, I'll say 'it's now.'"