Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) is neck-deep in virtual reality with its PlayStation VR device, but what about other subsidiaries of the larger Sony Corp?
It appears that one of the company’s other major divisions, Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group, is also making a move towards the tech. The company has appointed Jake Zim – previously Senior VP of Digital Marketing – as the Senior VP of Virtual Reality at Sony Pictures Entertainment. According to the announcement, Zim will be responsible for building a “slate of narrative VR content” for the group, and will work with EVP for Strategic Corporate Initiatives, Kuni Suzuki.
Zim had already been working in VR in his previous role, collaborating with The Void to create the Ghostbusters: Dimensions experience designed to promote the new movie. In the past, Sony has also produced a VR experience based on The Walk, a 2015 movie distributed by another one of its subsidiaries, TriStar Pictures.
Obviously, this suggests big things for the future of Sony Pictures and VR that will hopefully extend beyond the promotional experiences that we’re already used to seeing for the latest blockbusters. While these types of short videos are fun, we’re getting to the point where we want to see much more original and meaningful content from larger studios. Google is helping to facilitate this with the news that it has partnered with IMAX to build VR cameras for Hollywood.
Another big question is what impact this could have on PlayStation VR, SIE’s upcoming headset for the PlayStation 4. The device has primarily been aimed towards gamers so far, but if the two divisions properly collaborate then PS VR users could also have access to some significant 360 degree movie content. That would help bring the kit in line with its rivals that offer a wider range of experiences, like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
Sony holds the keys to several rights and franchises that could now take a leap into VR movies, the most notable being Men in Black and Spider-Man. The company is already collaborating with Marvel Studios for the latter franchise, which itself has expressed interest in using VR in significant ways for its upcoming Avengers movies.
The firm was also involved in the Resident Evil film series, the director of which recently confirmed that he is interested in the tech too. Perhaps a Resident Evil VR film is on the cards?