‘Astro Bot’ Developer: Don’t Hold Out Hope for VR Port

ASTO BOT Rescue Mission (2018) is one of most popular PSVR exclusives to date, however Sony-owned developers Team Asobi are releasing its widely hyped PS5 follow-up Astro Bot without the addition of VR support. Don’t hold out hope for a VR port either, as the studio has now confirmed it’s simply not in the cards.

Talking to Digital Trends, Team Asobi studio head Nicolas Doucet confirmed the upcoming Astro Bot can’t (and won’t) ever be a VR game due to its unique development for TVs.

“We’re focusing 100% on PS5,” Doucet told Digital Trends. “Rescue Mission was great fun to make. Every medium has its strong points. In the case of a third-person game, whether you work on TV or VR is radically different. This idea that we could add a VR mode is not applicable to this kind of game. It’s applicable to some first-person games like racing, but not for this kind of game. So our choice was to go 100% for TV to really have as many people as possible playing this game.”

Speaking to Push SquareDoucet fleshes the decision on why it wasn’t developed with a hybrid TV/VR mindset:

“Certain games can afford to be hybrid, like first-person games, because there’s a closer similarity. But in our case, the design philosophy for both are very, very different. So, you know, it was a decision to expand on the world of Astro’s Playroom and bring Astro to the big stage. So from the beginning, that was really our focus.”

Granted, Astro Bot’s origins were first rooted in flatscreen from the beginning, with the character’s development stretching back to 2013 when PlayStation’s now defunct SIE JAPAN Studio released the bundled mini-game demo THE PLAYROOM for PS4, which was created to show off the console’s then-newly released PlayStation Camera.

Later showing up in 2016 on the original PSVR, Japan Studio released The Playroom VRanother bundled set of mini-games, this time tasked with showing off the headset’s capabilities.

This would eventually spur Japan Studio, where Doucet was Creative Director and Producer of Astro Bot, to release the full-fledged Astro Bot Rescue Mission in 2018. It’s been widely celebrated as one of, if not the best VR games to come to PSVR. In fact, we liked Astro Bot Rescue Mission so much, we scored the VR native platformer our first [10/10] in our full review.

Then, in 2020, just prior to Japan Studio’s closure, the studio released Astro’s Playroom, which served as a tech demo to PS5’s DualSense controller. Team Asobi would live on, headed by Doucet, while Japan Studio would be shuttered by PlayStation in 2021.

Notably, Astro Bot Rescue Mission has never received a PSVR 2 port, highlighting yet further the headset’s lack of backwards compatibility with original PSVR games.

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Maybe this “one for flatscreens, one for VR” pattern will continue on, but we’re not holding our breaths for now, as the studio is no doubt full steam ahead on hyping the upcoming PS5 exclusive, which we now know for sure will never come to VR headsets.

The post ‘Astro Bot’ Developer: Don’t Hold Out Hope for VR Port appeared first on Road to VR.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.roadtovr.com/astro-bot-no-psvr-2-port-coming/