Sony has kicked off the next phase of their PlayStation 5 by announcing the next-generation Sony PSVR 2 headset, coming next year.
While Sony's newest console has dominated the market since its launch in late 2020, there remained conflicting messages about how the first PSVR device would work with the next-gen console.
Backwards compatibility is there, albeit it's quite fiddly - perhaps because of Sony's new focus on the PSVR 2.
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Here's everything we know about PSVR 2, and what to expect from Sony's upcoming VR headset.
PSVR 2 Features
In its blog post, Sony has specified that the PSVR 2 is only for PlayStation 5. Featuring a single-cord setup this time, with a seemingly higher-resolution display, it looks to already alleviate the disadvantages some had with the previous model.
They also stated that: "One of the innovations we’re excited about is our new VR controller, which will incorporate some of the key features found in the DualSense wireless controller, along with a focus on great ergonomics."
This confirms that a new take on the 'PlayStation Move' controllers, which were a requirement of many VR games on the PlayStation 4, is now being designed solely for 'PSVR 2'.
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PSVR 2 Controllers
On the 18th March, Sony revealed the controllers for the PSVR2. These look completely different to the PS Move controllers that came before it.
In its blogpost detailing the features, Sony spoke on how there are adaptive triggers, haptic feedback, and action buttons to better track the hands of the player.
The company also touts finger detection, commenting: “The controller can detect your fingers without any pressing in the areas where you place your thumb, index, or middle fingers. This enables you to make more natural gestures with your hands during gameplay.”
Developers are about to receive the devkits of the upcoming controllers, so they can make the most out of PSVR2 games using these controllers.
Because of its spherical design, we suspect that the PlayStation 5 and the camera will be able to accurately track the hands when playing a VR game. One can only imagine how a BioShock VR game could better work, or even an enhanced version of Half-Life: Alyx.
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PSVR 2 Release Date
Sony has clarified that development for the PSVR 2 is still in its early stages, meaning that a release this year is simply not happening.
In the blog post, Sony said: "There’s still a lot of development underway for our new VR system, so it won’t be launching in 2021. But we wanted to provide this early update to our fans, as the development community has started to work on creating new worlds for you to explore in virtual reality."
This looks to set expectations early for anyone who may have been waiting to pay for a new headset this year. Or for anyone considering purchasing the first-generation PS VR model. We may see more details in the coming months, such as at E3 and the Tokyo Games Show later this year.
PSVR 2 Price
When the original PlayStation VR headset first launched in 2016, it cost $399/£349. However, it was actually slightly more expensive. It required a $59 external PlayStation camera to use, which was not included in this price point, but could be bought as part of a more expensive bundle. Sony quickly realised this could put consumers off, and created a $399 bundle to include the camera.
The original PSVR headset can now be found for significantly cheaper than its original price. But we'd suspect the PSVR 2 will remain around the $400-$500 price point.
With Oculus putting its focus into the cheaper Quest line of headsets, Sony will be cautious of making its PSVR 2 headset too expensive in comparison. An extra $100/$150 or so on the Quest 2's price could be justified if Sony emphasises the unique features of its VR product, for example.
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Update: Sony PSVR 2 Revealed at CES 2022
2022 has certainly started with a bang, as Sony announced the PSVR 2 at CES in Las Vegas. They've even given it its official name: PlayStation VR2. The VR controller is called the PlayStation VR2 Sense controller. While the names may not win awards for imagination, there is plenty of detail about the headset itself.
The main specifications you need to know about are as follows:
- OLED display
- 2000 x 2040 resolution per eye
- 110 degree field of view
- Refresh rate of 90Hz and 120Hz
- Six-axis motion sensing system. This consists of a three-axis gyroscope, and a three-axis accelerometer.
- 4 cameras for headset and controller tracking
The controllers will have built-in rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, trigger effect and haptic feedback. They will also have the same six-axis motion sensing system as the headset, and a capacitive sensor. And to try to make the setup as simple as possible, it will only need a single cable to connect with the PS5.
In their latest blog post, Sony finally gave us our first proper look at the PSVR 2 headset. Said to be "inspired by the look of the PS5 family of products" Sony's stated goal is to create a headset that makes you "immersed in your game world, to the point where you almost forget you are using a headset or controller".
They have confirmed an adjustable headband and scope, as well as adding a lens adjustment dial to help match the lens distance between their eyes. They've made the design slimmer and lighter, as well as adding vents to improve airflow and reduce lens fogging.
Other Key Features
Sony is at pains to highlight the key features of the headset beyond the raw specifications. In their blog post, they mention the 4K HDR visuals the headset will offer. Tracking is done via the cameras, which are embedded in the headset. They've also mentioned the new headset feedback that the PSVR 2 will offer. This consists of an in-built motor with vibrations to, "add an intelligent tactile element". For instance:
gamers can feel a character’s elevated pulse during tense moments, the rush of objects passing close to the character’s head, or the thrust of a vehicle as the character speeds forward.
The DualSense controller on the PS5 has already been lauded for its haptic feedback, so we are anticipating great things in this regard.
Finally, Sony also confirmed the first original game for PSVR 2: Horizon Call of the Mountain by Guerilla. There's clearly lots to look forward to. But there were a couple of things sorely lacking from the announcement. We are yet to learn a release date for PSVR 2, or a price. We'll keep you updated, as soon as we learn more.