Humanity Death Watch

Sony VR headset is just pair of goggles, guy in jumpsuit who pokes you

Unemployed bookseller Jay Winger took a job with Sony as the human component in the company's new VR offering.

Unemployed bookseller Jay Winger took a job with Sony as the human component in the company’s new VR offering.

Sony Computer Entertainment of America CEO Shawn Layden has announced he will be stepping down amid allegations that the company’s entry into the burgeoning home VR market is little more than a standard pair of flight goggles and some dude in a Tron jumpsuit who pokes the user, creating the illusion of full-immersion gaming.

“After I unboxed it and booted it up, my initial reaction was, ‘Wow, this is a massive leap forward’,” says Dave Faraci of TechInsider.web, who received an early review copy of the controversial device. “I was just checking off the specs, and they seemed impressive. High frame rate, great resolution, and when the dude in the Tron suit poked me it was like I could feel his fingers on my body and smell his lip balm.”

Within hours, Dave posted a positive review of the headset to the TechInsider front-page, a review which he would later redact after rumblings of impropriety began to spread across the Twittersphere.

‘I think there’s a dude in here’

“It showed up at my front door and I was like, ‘Damn, son. This box heavy,’” recalls YouTube superstar DreamBeans, whose real name is Alfonzo Jannetty. “After I busted into it and dug around I was scratching my head like, ‘Uh, I think there’s a dude in here.’ So that’s what I tweeted.'”


Within minutes, Jannetty’s social media assault set off a firestorm at Sony, which would result in a plummeting stock price and a massive administrative overhaul. In a statement released to the press earlier today announcing his resignation, CEO Layden said he took “full responsibility” for the deception. “While I stand by PlayStation VR as a quality, groundbreaking piece of home entertainment, I should have been more up front with the consumer about how it was actually a guy in a Tron jumpsuit and some flight goggles. I see that now.”

In the wake of the controversy, Sony announced it is dropping the price of PlayStation VR from $299 to $250 and updating the packaging to reflect the true nature of the product. A warning will also be included to notify the consumer that by purchasing the headset they agree to take responsibility for a living human being who they’ll need to feed regularly and clean up after in order to keep their device functioning properly.

However, SCEA may not be out of the woods just yet. The company is facing new allegations that its PS4 video game console, which has sold more than 30 million units since its release in November of 2013, may secretly be a pop-up book that affixes to television screens using double-sided tape.

Photo credit: Jay Maynard, “Tron Guy” by Matt Giralamo, licensed under CC 2.0


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