When Richard Marks was in 10th grade, his father opened a video game store that was ahead of its time. It was the early ’80s; used game sales weren’t common, and the store — Video Exchange — ran on the gimmick that customers could trade in their games.
The store didn’t last long. But for the young Marks, who held the title of chief demo officer, working there was like living in an arcade. Surrounded by open boxes, he played everything and recommended the best games to customers.
Today, Marks is one of the public faces behind PlayStation VR, Sony’s entry into the increasingly crowded virtual reality market. He’s one of hundreds of people who have worked on the headset over the past five years, shaping it from a hacked-together amalgamation of off-the-shelf parts into a futuristic-looking headset appearing in fashion magazines.
After a long development road, the headset is now scheduled for release later this year, and Sony recently invited Polygon to its PlayStation headquarters in both the U.S. and Japan to meet with Marks and other key figures, to learn more about how Sony’s VR project came to be.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.