While we have the PS5 to be excited for, Sony recently made a decision to downsize with one of their first-party PlayStation studios. Despite Sony's previous comments about VR being at the forefront of next-gen's focus, the company has shuttered the doors on one Virtual Reality studio: their Manchester UK location.
As for the reason behind the shutdown, Sony cites the need to improve overall efficiency as the reasoning. In a recent report by GameIndustry.biz, Sony revealed that they felt that the entire studio "has been made redundant" and because of that and the aim for organizational efficiency, the studio no longer has a place with the next generation on the horizon.
The PlayStation Manchester studio first began its journey into VR back in 2015 and since then has worked closely with Sony to enrich their VR presence. While Microsoft continues to acquire new studios after a fair share of losses on their end through the years, the Manchester closure marks the third closure for Sony over the past 10 years.
While this won't negatively impact the PlayStation 5 launch, it does mark an interesting turn for the company. With missing out on major showcases beyond just that of E3, to being unusually hush-hush about what's going on behind the scenes and all of the radical changes in leadership, it's clear that Sony is faced with a need to evolve and they are doing just that.
It will be interesting to see how the VR space continues to evolve in the coming year and exactly where that priority remains for the PlayStation team. For those affected by the closure, we wish for nothing but the best and a smooth transition into what's next.