Today Bethesda revealed the release dates for their 3 big VR projects still slated to arrive this year. Fallout 4 VR, originally given the ambiguous release date of "October", is now going to arrive on December 12th of this year. Certainly, we didn't know exactly when in October the game was "supposed" to arrive, but even if it was on the final day of the month, we are looking at a 42 day delay for VR's savior. If Fallout 4 VR was scheduled to arrive on October 1st, it would be a 72 day delay for the Great American VR hope... In other news, two other minor VR games got dated as well. (ok, maybe not minor, but I'm all Fallout... all the time!) Doom VFR is coming December 1st (for both PSVR and Vive) and Skyrim VR is coming November 17th for the PlayStation VR platform.
So, before we get into Skyrim and Doom, let's get back to Fallout real quick. Again, this delay is anywhere from 42 to 72 days, depending on when it was originally scheduled to arrive, and only Bethesda knows the real number. Is this delay a big deal? Not really. However, normally, December release dates are a sign of trouble, or even of another potential delay. Most of the biggest games try to release prior to Thanksgiving, but most of that is because of the physical game market. With each passing year, the physical game market carries less and less importance in many of these companies bottom lines, so we might start to see bigger December arrivals, but it's still not necessarily a vote of confidence. I don't think it's because there is any significant issue with the game, but I do believe that the game is probably coming in very hot. 42 to 72 extra days of bug testing can potentially be a lifesaver when a game is coming in at the very last minute. It just sucks from a consumer standpoint. I was literally counting the days down for Fallout 4 VR. I was so happy when it got under the 90 day mark. I knew it was less than 3 months away. So much for that. The wait continues... oh well, eventually we'll get our grubby hands on it.
What about Doom and Skyrim? It's not like these are two insignificant properties. Don't worry, we're excited as can be about both of these games.
Bethesda recently released a new video talking about the making of Doom VFR. Three of the key members of the team are interviewed, and new footage of the game is shown. (scroll down for the vid) If anything, hype for that game is at an all time high. Now, we know that December 1st is the date. The only thing really holding back my enthusiasm for Doom is that the developers keep talking about the 4 hour playtime. Typically, developers are always going to use the longest possible play time, so 4 hours in dev speak, could easily translate to about 2 1/2 hours in reality. So, if there is any one thing holding back the hype level, it's the fact that the game is likely to be short but sweet. One thing the recent video does illustrate however, is that graphically, Doom VFR seems to be really going for the jugular. If Robo Recall, Arizona Sunshine and Lone Echo are the pinnacle of VR visuals, well Doom VFR is gunning for that title for sure (Arktika.1 might have something to say about that as well...)
Last but not least of course is Skyrim coming to the PlayStation VR. Luckily, this game is coming November 17th, which is a prime time release slot for some of the biggest games of the year.
This game will surely have a physical copy available, and who knows if Sony might have something special planned for Skyrim? (perhaps a special Xmas bundle?) November 17th, puts it right with the other biggest releases of the year. It's not going to battle Call of Duty or Battlefront 2 for the limelight, but Skyrim VR is certainly a huge game for the VR industry as a whole. This will be the first glimpse at a truly open world game being converted to VR. A Bethesda open world game no less... This is a huge unveiling, to see if this actually works, and how well does it actually work? Admittedly, the PSVR isn't the highest end VR platform available, so you have to wonder how much of Skyrim VR will be held back because of technological hurdles?
You'd almost hope that Bethesda would have dedicated two teams for the PSVR version. One dedicated to the vanilla PS4 VR version, and one dedicated to PS4 Pro VR. Sadly, such an endeavor would have cost a fortune, but Sony would have been wise to kick in some major $$$ to have made it happen. Instead, it was likely one team, that had to use the base PS4 as the lowest common denominator. I'm sure they'll try to take advantage of the PS4 Pro to some degree, but will it be enough for Skyrim VR to truly impress? On November 17th, we'll get our first taste of Bethesda VR, and hopefully find out the answer to many of these burning questions...