Half-Life: Alyx is widely regarded as one of the best VR games ever made, so wouldn't it be fantastic if it became available on the PSVR 2? In this article, we'll be taking a look at the situation surrounding this game, and whether or not we might be able to play Half-Life: Alyx on PSVR 2.
There's a lot to cover, so let's dive right in.
What's the big deal?
Virtual Reality as a concept has been around for decades. It's fair to say things have moved on a touch since those days. But even so, it is still something of a niche market. The PS4 for example, has sold over 114 million units by the tail end of 2020. Compare that to sales of the PSVR, which by the end of 2019 had sole just over 5 million units. Which is by no means a small number, but as a percentage of console sales is less than 5%. There is clearly interest in VR gaming, but as yet, it hasn't caught on as developers might have hoped.
Content Content Content
Arguably the single biggest reason for this is the lack of truly great content on PSVR. For a lot of players, there is a question around whether the available games justify them shelling out hundreds more on a headset. This in addition to the hundreds they have already paid for the console. At the moment, the answer would appear to be 'no', far more often than 'yes'.
And this is where a game like Half-Life: Alyx would step in. It is regarded as a truly great game, and would potentially be enough to lure people into the world of VR for the first time. It might just create the tipping point to make VR a truly mainstream gaming proposition.
The relationship between Sony and Valve
There are a few complicating factors that might make it harder to envisage Half-Life: Alex coming to PSVR 2. For a start, Valve clearly want to be a leader in the VR space in their own right, as they released the Valve Index as their own version of a VR headset. So would they really want to hand over their crown jewels to a potential rival?
In addition, it has been stated before that Sony's software architecture makes it more difficult for developers. The work involved in making this game compatible with the PS5 and PSVR 2 could be too much. Consider the fact that Valve hasn't released a game on a console since Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in 2012, and we can start to see some potential issues.
On the other hand...
There are though, some causes for hope. Back in 2020, when the game was first released, one of the designers confirmed that while the game was only being released on PC to begin with, they haven't "ruled anything out". In addition to this, there has been a slight thawing of the gaming Cold War in recent times. Last year, Sony finally released Horizon Zero Dawn on PC, through Valve's Steam platform. Could this have been the start of a new agreement between the two companies to start sharing AAA titles? And if so, you can be almost certain that Half-Life: Alyx would have been a part of the conversation. While the PS4 may not have been powerful enough to run the game adequately, the hope is that the significantly more powerful PS5 would be able to cope with the demands of the game.
Will We See Half-Life: Alyx on PSVR 2?
So after all that, will this amazing game actually be available on PSVR 2? The answer at this point: we don't know. But there are some signs for cautious optimism. Given there is still a long way to go before the PSVR 2 is finally released, there is plenty of time for Valve to use the Sony developer toolkit and create a compatible version in time for launch day. It would certainly get our attention.
Rumours are swirling that PSVR 2 is going to arrive potentially as soon as late-2022. A top-rated title to launch alongside it would be a big statement of Sony's intent towards VR gaming.