The Game Awards 2016's VR category only includes games on PSVR

The annual event's brand-new 'Best VR Game' category conspicuously lacks games available on any headset except Sony's.


Look over the nominees for the 2016 Game Awards show, an annual event hosted on December 1 by creator and producer Geoff Keighley, and you might notice a glaring peculiarity: the event's brand-new "Best VR Game" category only includes games available on Sony's PlayStation VR platform.

Nominees include Batman VR, EVE: Valkyrie, Job Simulator, Rez Infinite, and Thumper. While several of those titles are available on other platforms, no exclusives to VR headsets other than Sony's made the cut.

Upload VR published a report to point out the glaring omissions of platforms like HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Samsung Gear VR—all of which were available months (even years, in Gear VR's case) ahead of PSVR's October 2016 release.

The Game Awards 2016's Rules & Voting guidelines doesn't contain any rule that would prevent games on other VR platforms from being considered.

Odder still, The Game Awards will be broadcast in VR for the first time thanks to a partnership with NextVR, but a Gear VR headset is required to watch. Anyone who wants to watch the spectacle from multiple perspectives can do so via the NextVR app available for Gear VR headsets—a platform absent from the show's VR category.

"The Game Awards is all about celebrating the state of video game art," Keighley wrote in a press release sent to UploadVR. "In just a few short weeks we will recognize the most outstanding games of 2016 in unexpected ways, and preview the most anticipated games of 2017 and beyond with the longest, most in-depth world premieres we’ve ever attempted—including surprises and new game announcements."

By this time, long-time viewers of Keighley's yearly awards show, which started on Spike TV, know to look forward to big announcements and surprise trailers. But as UploadVR points out, it's difficult to celebrate "the state of video game art" by leaving out three headsets that have contributed so much to the still-nascent field of VR tech and art.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at and @davidlcraddock.

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