We finally got an in-depth look at the Hogwarts Legacy at PlayStation’s latest State of Play event. Although the average Harry Potter fan will have found plenty of things to be excited about, I’m personally keen to see something that may not even be in the development pipeline yet. And that’s PSVR 2 support.
PSVR 2 is already widely expected to be among the best VR headsets on the market. The second iteration of PlayStation VR is set to include some drastic improvements, including the upgraded Sense VR2 controllers and newer features such as eye-tracking, 4K displays for each eye, and even a little ventilation port that keeps you cool mid-game.
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Hogwarts in VR would be Sirius-ly good
From what we’ve seen during the latest State of Play event, players will have plenty of chances to explore the vast grounds of Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry and beyond. In fact, the prospect of roaming the richly-detailed world of Harry Potter has even caught the eye of those who aren’t even fans of the franchise.
The upcoming open-world RPG is set to release on all platforms, including Xbox Series X, PC, and even the Nintendo Switch. However, this could also be a great opportunity for PlayStation to plump up its offering and give PS5 owners a more unique perspective into the wizarding world.
Interacting with the environment in VR would undoubtedly bring an entirely new level to the gameplay. From brewing potions to flying around Hogwarts on a Hippogriff and caring for fantastic beasts in your very own menagerie, the possibilities would be endless.
And don’t even get me started on Quidditch. While there was an unofficial fan-made game called Seeker VR that gave Oculus Quest 2 owners a small taste of what it would be like to play Quidditch, having the opportunity to zoom around on a broomstick in a triple-A game like Hogwarts Legacy would be a great selling point in itself.
Swish and flick
Naturally, spell-casting will be a huge part of the Harry Potter RPG. Considering the large emphasis that the game seems to place on magical combat, the prospect of waving a VR2 Sense controller around like a wand is incredibly exciting (admittedly at the risk of breaking a living room window).
According to Harry Potter lore, each spell requires a specific type of wand movement to execute successfully. With a flurry of charms, curses, counter-spells that your player character will be able to learn throughout their journey, implementing this type of interactivity into the game’s dueling mechanics would make my childhood dreams come true. Some older games like the PC version of 2009’s Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince did something similar by tying spellcasting to mouse movements, and I personally found it to be one of the most memorable gameplay mechanics to date.
Although the possibility of VR support is fairly questionable, to begin with, wand movements may not be so far off the mark. Considering Hogwarts Legacy is also set to be released for Nintendo Switch, the developers could potentially be eyeing a chance to use the Joy-Con controllers as a wand too.
How realistic is VR support?
PSVR 2 support for Hogwarts Legacy sounds spellbinding on paper, but it’s difficult to gauge just how realistic it would be for developers to bring it to fruition.
First of all, the potential price for the PSVR 2 headset could play a major role in how far and wide it spreads. According to Forbes, the original PlayStation VR headset sold over five million units since it launched in 2016. But if the newest iteration is too expensive and prices out most consumers, it might prove difficult for PlayStation to convince Avalanche Software to dedicate the resources needed to implement VR support for what would be a very small player base. There’s also the ongoing problem of actually getting PS5 consoles into consumers’ hands.
Being a natively third-person game, it could also be a bit tricky for Hogwarts Legacy to implement its gameplay into VR without having to make separate, bespoke modes. While it’s certainly been done before with big-name titles like Skyrim, this takes a significant amount of time and effort that most developers may not be ready to commit to. But should they ever decide to, I’ll have no other choice than to shout “Accio wallet!”.