Simon Benson: The Mastermind Behind PlayStation VR’s Gaming Tech Revolution

by | Nov 2, 2023

Simon Benson, the immersive technology director at IN4 Group and the creative force behind PlayStation VR, has had a significant impact on the gaming industry with his pioneering ideas and determination. His journey, from an immersive simulation engineer to his groundbreaking work on PlayStation VR, showcases the power of passion and innovation.

Benson’s career took an exciting turn when he saw a development studio adapt his Eurofighter Typhoon simulator into software. This sparked his interest in the video game industry, leading him to join Evolution Studios and lead the development of the highly acclaimed PlayStation 3 launch title, MotorStorm. It was during this time that Benson laid the foundation for his groundbreaking work on PlayStation VR, as he pioneered stereoscopic 3D on the PS3.

The success of Oculus at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) motivated Benson to bring virtual reality to the masses. With a clear vision, he pitched and brought to life PlayStation VR, a game-changing technology that revolutionized the way players could immerse themselves in virtual worlds. PlayStation VR quickly became the highest-selling VR console globally, establishing itself as the preferred choice for gamers worldwide.

However, Benson’s accomplishments go beyond PlayStation VR. He recognizes that the gaming industry’s success relies not only on advanced hardware but also on supporting game tech startups. To address this need, Benson partnered with Mo Isap, the CEO of IN4 Group, to establish Gametech365, an immersive campus and community empowering aspiring game tech entrepreneurs.

Located in MediaCity, Gametech365 offers targeted support for indie developers and companies using game tech. With around 500 startups emerging in the game tech industry each year, the survival rate for these ventures is worryingly low. Many struggle to sustain long-term success, with about 90% of game tech startups remaining small-scale, consisting of only four individuals.

Gametech365 aims to change this by providing peer-to-peer support, facilitating connections, and nurturing a community that encourages collaboration and innovation. The ultimate goal is to equip game tech startups in the North of England and Scotland with the necessary resources and guidance to thrive in a highly competitive industry.

Technological advancements have alleviated challenges faced by game developers. Quality assurance, once a major concern, can now be outsourced, saving valuable time and resources. Memory limitations have also been significantly reduced, thanks to game engines and other tools that allow developers to focus on their strengths and create immersive experiences without starting from scratch.

Gametech365’s immersive campus provides aspiring entrepreneurs with the structure and processes needed to support their ventures. The community aims to be the central voice for the games sector in the North, a region known for producing world-leading franchises like Call of Duty: Vanguard, Mortal Kombat 11, and Tom Clancy’s The Division. By promoting collaboration and emphasizing the significance of passion and understanding limitations, Gametech365 empowers game tech startups and drives innovation in the region.

The United Kingdom has a rich gaming history, with industry giants like PlayStation, Nintendo, and Sega shaping the landscape. Today, the gaming industry surpasses the combined worth of movies, music, and TV, solidifying its position as a dominant force in entertainment. In this rapidly evolving landscape, Gametech365 serves as a support system for game tech startups in the North, providing guidance, resources, and connections to help them succeed.

Through their immersive campus and community, Gametech365 nurtures the next generation of game tech pioneers, ensuring that the North remains at the forefront of innovation in the gaming world. With Benson’s leadership and the dedication of the gaming community, the future of game tech startups looks brighter than ever.

In an industry where collaboration and support are crucial to success, Gametech365’s mission is clear: to empower game tech startups, foster innovation, and create a thriving ecosystem in the North of England and Scotland. With Simon Benson leading the way and the unwavering dedication of the gaming community, the game tech revolution is well underway.