If you were wondering what was coming next for Sony’s PlayStation VR, there is one unexpected new featured you might not have known was coming.
Sony’s PS4 Virtual Reality headset has won plaudits, not for its technical prowess but for its price point and games collection.
Astro Bot Rescue Mission has been praised as a real step forward for Virtual Reality games by critics.
But is there something missing from the current PlayStation VR setup?
Yep, you guessed it; fans need to be able to smell the virtual world too, right?
PlayStation VR news this week includes a new add-on that hopes to do just that.
An odour-delivering virtual reality mask has been in the works for some time and appears to be getting closer to launch.
Tech company Feelreal has now entered the pre-release stage for their new device, which offers the chance of adding scene to your VR adventure.
According to the website, the new scent generator boasts a replaceable cartridge, containing 9 individual aroma capsules.
Players can choose and combine any of the 255 scents available in the store and can install and change them depending on the type of VR experience they’re watching.
Supported PS4 PlayStation VR titles include Skyrim and Beat Saber among others while the site says it’s easy to add support in the future.
The new Feelreal design connects to any VR headset via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi and doesn’t require any wires.
That means you can use it with your PlayStation VR, Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Rift, Oculus Go and HTC Vive.
And fans who are looking to create their own experience can do so via a video editor, with Feelreal confirming:
“It’s easy to create your own Feelreal-enhanced tracks for videos, experiences and games with our handy editor. Experienced modders can even modify the scent cartridges themselves, combining and creating their own unique experiences.
“Share your tracks with the whole world and download what the mod community has come up with.
“Easy-to-install magnetic mounts will keep it firmly attached when you’re using it. Feelreal is available in white, grey, and black colours to match your VR headset.”
Feelreal can be used with movies and 360 videos, as well as video games and the company’s own unique “Dream” experiences available via an app.
The idea of adding smell to your VR experience may sound like a gimmick, but there are sound reasons for doing something like this.
Immersion is a massive part of the virtual reality experience and can help reduce the risk of motion sickness.
So if it is possible to add a new element that helps to trick your brain, it will certainly be welcomed by developers.
Development teams behind VR tech have spent a lot of time trying to make things feel authentic and reduce the issue of scene-breaking elements.
Walking into a table creates feedback, popping balloons creates surface effects and releases confetti.
And now smell could be the next thing looked at as a tool for this area of virtual reality development.