Sony has confirmed that a successor to PlayStation VR is coming to PS5 shortly, and will “enable the ultimate entertainment experience with dramatic leaps in performance and interactivity”.
In a post on the PlayStation Blog, Sony reaffirmed its commitment to virtual reality by announcing a new PSVR system, possibly called PSVR 2 that will improve on the original in every way. The new headset will support higher resolutions, a wider field of view and improved tracking and input.
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It won’t be wireless, though. The headset connects to the PS5 using a single cord, which is still a far more simplified setup than the current PSVR uses. The new PlayStation VR headset will also incorporate the DualSense wireless controller and recently unveiled what the dedicated new PSVR 2 controllers will look like. From what we can tell so far, they appear to be a huge improvement over the PS Move controllers from the original PSVR, with haptic feedback and finger touch detection.
The headset won’t be launching in 2021, as Sony admits “there’s still a lot of development underway for our new VR system”.
Sony did technically release a second PSVR headset back in 2017: the CUH-ZVR2 added an HDR pass-through, integrated headphones and a smaller connective cord. But the true PSVR 2.0 promises to provide a far greater jump in specs that will ultimately take advantage of the PS5’s more powerful hardware—upping its resolution, pixel quality and refresh rate.
Now that we know the PSVR 2 is coming, the most pressing questions we’ll want Sony to answer is how much will the PlayStation VR 2 cost, and what does the headset look like. It’ll also be interesting to see whether it will include features like inside-out tracking or other technology its competitors like the Oculus Quest 2 have.
Here’s everything we know about PlayStation VR 2.
Cut to the chase:
- What is it? The next version of PlayStation VR
- When is it out? Potentially 2022 or later
- How much will it cost? TBC – probably around the PSVR’s $499 launch price
PSVR 2 Release Date
We know that the PSVR 2 won’t release in 2021, as confirmed by Sony, and that it’s almost certain that PSVR 2 will work exclusively with the PlayStation 5. Sony already has a VR solution on PS4 after all, and the added horsepower of the PS5 will be key to making the most of the new hardware.
Sony’s confirmation that PSVR 2 is coming caught us off guard, particularly as Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan said that while PlayStation still believes in VR, we might not see a PSVR 2 headset for a couple of years. “Will it be this year? No. Will it be next year? No. But will it come at some stage? We believe that,” said Ryan.
If Sony mostly allocates its manpower to PS5 production (which seems likely given demand), then the PSVR 2 could launch much later than the console’s release date – perhaps even years later. PlayStation VR launched three years after the PS4, after all. But the relative success of PSVR means that Sony is likely to expedite the process this time around. Some of the most concrete news we have about the upcoming PSVR 2 is that its controllers will be getting a significant performance and design upgrade. In March 2021, PlayStation announced its new PSVR 2 controllers that’ll work with the PS5. From what we can tell so far, they appear to be a huge improvement over the PS Move controllers from the original PSVR.
PSVR 2 News and Rumors
i. What’s changed from the first PSVR?
Speaking to GQ, Sony’s Jim Ryan said PSVR will be a “completely new VR format for PS5” and that “dev kits are about to go out”. Ryan said Sony “believe in VR” but he said, “we’re not releasing any specs at this stage” but that “over this year” we should find out more.
ii. Sony hints at PSVR 2 on PS5
Sony has hinted that the PS5 may get its very own VR experience, separate from the PS4’s PSVR headset. It was in a recent interview with Japanese publication AV Watch (via Nibel on Twitter), that Sony Interactive Entertainment’s senior vice president of platform planning and management, Hideaki Nishino made the hints.
“I would like to expect the PS5 to have a VR experience that is appropriate for the PS5,” Nishino said. “I can’t comment any further, but I’m looking forward to it [laughs]”. This isn’t an official confirmation of the PSVR 2 but it’s certainly the most promising mention of future VR hardware for PlayStation we’ve heard in a while. Of course, any PSVR 2 may be a while away, based on previous comments made by the Sony Interactive CEO Jim Ryan who suggested it could still be a couple of years until we see another headset iteration from Sony.
iii. Haptic feedback on the horizon for PSVR 2?
A recent patent unearthed by LetsGoDigital suggests that haptic feedback could be a feature in a future PSVR headset. The patent filed back in 2016 and granted in November 2020, primarily explores ways in which VR or AR headsets could be made easier and more comfortable to wear. The patent suggests multiple sensors—whether they’re pressure, motion or stretch sensors—built into the headset which can send signals indicating whether or not it’s being worn properly. If the headset isn’t on right, the user might receive tips to fix it, with feedback displayed on-screen or by speech through built-in speakers.
The patent also mentions haptic feedback and LEDs which could be used as part of feeding back to the user how they’re wearing the headset. Haptic feedback in the PSVR 2 would tie it in neatly with the capabilities of the PS5’s new DualSense controller but as this is a patent there’s no guarantee anything described within it will ever make it into a product Sony might release. We now know that the PSVR 2 controllers for the PS5 will have huge improvements over the PS Move controllers the original PSVR was lumbered with, including haptic feedback and finger touch detection.
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