Some of virtual reality's big hits may be educational, says PlayStation engineer

VR game at Sony Play Station stand during Gamescom 2016 gaming trade fair
Sascha Schuermann | Getty Images

Virtual reality might turn out to be more about enriching trips through history than defeating zombie hordes, according to Richard Marks of Sony's PlayStation.

The first crop of apps for virtual reality are dominated by games, but consumers can look forward to a range of experiences hitting shelves as soon as next year, he said. Perhaps surprisingly, some of the biggest sellers could be educational, he added.

Marks, senior research engineer at PlayStation Magic Lab, said developers are targeting a broader audience beyond gamers with 360-degree video environments that allow users to explore world's they'd never be able to experience.

Among the projects in the works are experiences from NASA and apps that immerse users in bygone eras.

"People are working on ancient Egypt, letting you visit it. Things like that I think will be a big hit for VR in the future," he told CNBC's "Squawk Alley" on Wednesday.

Sony is the latest company entering the virtual reality space, with its PlayStation VR headset set to launch in October. Systems already on the shelves include Facebook-owned Oculus Rift and the Samsung Gear VR.