Won’t somebody please think of the children? Don’t panic, Helen lovejoy – that’s exactly what Sony’s doing with PlayStation VR.
PS4 users on the firmware 3.50 beta program have started spotting references to the upcoming virtual reality headset in the health and safety notices section of the patch notes – so turns out people actually do read those.
The messages say PlayStation VR shouldn’t be used by anyone under 12 – a sensible move seeing how younger kid’s eyes are still developing and probably shouldn’t be wedged a few inches from a screen.
There’s also an issue with focusing distance and the space between the lenses, which may not be small enough for children to see the screens clearly.
It might be bad news for any kids hoping to give VR a try, but it could be worse; both HTC and Oculus have a higher age limit.
HTC doesn’t actually state a specific age, but says categorically that Vive shouldn’t be used by young children. Older children can use it if they’re watched by an adult, but you have to keep an eye out for "negative effects" – although HTC doesn’t exactly explain what those are.
Oculus puts its age limit at 13, a year higher than Sony. That applies to the Rift and Samsung’s Gear VR, although this is partly because 13 was the age gate for Facebook – the company that bought Oculus in 2014.
The company has talked about plans for a kids version of Oculus, but for now it’s strictly older teens only. That could give PlayStation a small edge, at least with parents looking to keep their kids happy.
With the Games Developers Conference and Sony’s VR-focused press conference just a week or two away, we can expect plenty more details about PlayStation VR soon – hopefully including a price and release date.
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