Update: August 5, 2021 (3:50 AM ET): We’ve updated the PSVR 2 hub below with leaked details, specs, and features garnered from a private Sony developer conference.
Original article: The Sony PS5 was released during the holiday season of 2020, but it’s exciting to read the rumors about the potential for a PSVR 2 as well. Sony seriously stepped up their game with their hardware decisions in the PlayStation 5. So hopefully, this also means the PSVR 2 will see a significant upgrade from the original headset. Here’s everything we know about the rumored PSVR 2 at this point.
What is the PSVR 2?
The PSVR 2, currently referred to by Sony as the “next-generation VR system,” is a virtual reality headset believed to be the follow-up to the original PSVR released in 2016. If you haven’t heard already, Sony released their next-gen console, the PS5, in Holiday 2020. Of course, it’s still all but impossible to track down a copy of the console without a bit of luck. This new headset will work with Sony’s PS5.
The specs for this next-gen console are the best we’ve ever seen in a PlayStation console, which should mean VR performance is vastly improved, as well. Sony confirmed that the PSVR 2 “enhances everything from resolution and field of view to tracking and input” compared to the current PSVR for the PS4.
New PSVR controllers
In March 2021, Sony gave us an initial glimpse of the PSVR 2’s “orb” controllers. These feature improved ergonomics with more natural finger-tracking technology, haptic feedback, and DualSense-like adaptive triggers. This combination should result in more natural control of characters in games.
Analog sticks also feature on the new controllers, something that the PSVR controllers dearly lacked. The original PSVR controllers don’t have any way to control virtual movement, limiting what games can do on the platform. The PSVR 2’s new controller design seemingly addresses these issues.
What will the PSVR 2 possibly be able to do?
Although it’s still too early to make any definitive statements, a few PSVR 2 rumors and patents floating around suggest more features. Here’s a quick roundup of what we’ve heard so far.
Improved graphics and smarter rendering
A specs dump stemming from an internal developer conference in August revealed many details relating to the PSVR 2’s graphical capabilities. For starters, the headset will reportedly pack an OLED display with a resolution of 2,000 x 2,040 per eye. HDR support and a 110-degree field of view also feature.
Rendering smarts are set to include flexible scaling resolution and foveated rendering, both tasked with redistributing computing power based on a user’s viewing direction and eye position. This will reportedly result in better overall performance.
Reduction in motion sickness
If you’ve ever used a PSVR or another similar VR headset, you might have experienced motion sickness. It’s a jarring experience sometimes to bridge the gap between the virtual experience and your physical world.
Sony filed for a Motion Sickness Reduction patent in 2019 to improve the VR experience for players. The main goal of this patent seems to be to more seamlessly connect what the player sees in the game and feels in real life. While patents are never an official guarantee that a feature will be added, I hope this one will be. Reducing motion sickness would allow players to have a more immersive and enjoyable experience that could last longer than traditional VR experiences.
A recent specs leak stemming from a private developer conference suggests a “rotary motor” will be used in the headset for haptic feedback. This is believed to further reduce motion sickness in-game.
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Another patent suggests that finger sensors might play a role in the new PSVR 2. This patent is different than the one mentioned above. Instead, it covers finger-tracking sensors that would be able to determine which user is playing as well as the distance between controllers.
If you can picture a Wii controller, it looks very similar but has slightly different features. Like the Wii controller, the controller will have a safety strap for your wrist and be a vertical controller that easily fits in your hand. There will be a trigger button on the top and finger sensors on the back. So when you grip the controller, your fingers will naturally cover the sensors.
The picture below looks like the PSVR 2 could potentially be wireless, running off of a built-in power supply with its own microphone and video/audio source. If Sony can pull this off, this would be revolutionary. No more annoying wires to get in your way when you’re playing sounds like the ultimate VR dream. You wouldn’t have to plug in headphones or VGA cables; everything would come packed into the VR headset.
However, in a February 23 statement, PlayStation senior vice president Hideaki Nishino confirmed that the PSVR 2 would connect to the PS5 with a single cord to simplify setup. This should improve ease of use and maintain the same high-quality visual experience you expect, but it seems to throw some doubt on a wireless option.
eSports streaming improvements
The eSports Streaming patent is another nifty-looking idea. The patent describes the potential for players to view eSports remotely and even be inserted as a VR spectator at a live event. So even if you can’t physically be present at an eSports event, you can still feel like you are.
Because many people can’t travel to see all the eSports events they might want to in person, this will be a great option. This way, you won’t miss out on any of the fun, and you’ll feel like you’re there, rooting for your favorites.
Improvements in movement tracking
Yet another patent suggests more cool features for the possible PSVR 2. This patent showed improvements in tracking eye movement and head motion. With the information from this patent, it seems as though the VR headset would be more able to control what each eye specifically sees. Then, if you tilt or move your head, those images will stay tracked.
How much will the PSVR 2 cost?
The broad speculation of how much the PSVR 2 might cost ranges from $499.99 to about $799.99. The original PSVR launched at $499.99 but has since dropped significantly in price. You can now purchase a PSVR starter bundle for about $200, but it took a few years to settle to that price.
I could see the PSVR 2 launching at a higher price than the original PSVR launched at. The hardware and technology that goes into it will be significantly better than its predecessor. This improved technology paired with the fantastic upgrades to PlayStation’s next-gen console – namely, their choice of a super-fast SSD – will likely make the PSVR 2 run exceptionally well. This could very well warrant a higher price tag.
When will the PSVR 2 be released?
The PSVR 2 hasn’t officially been announced by Sony yet, so we probably won’t see it hit the shelves for a while. Sony is likely putting all of its attention right now toward the PS5’s release in just a few months. Sony made considerable improvements in the hardware it chose for the PS5; I can only hope it put this much effort into taking what was great about the PSVR and improving the experience with the PSVR 2.
Unfortunately, we won’t see a PlayStation VR 2 any time soon. In a recent interview with The Washington Post, PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan revealed that updated PSVR hardware was at least a few years out. Still, he reaffirmed that Sony and PlayStation “believe in VR,” so fans can expect continued support in the future. SVP Nishino echoed that belief in his February 23 statement, saying the PSVR 2 “won’t be launching in 2021.”
More recently, suggestions pointed to Sony revealing more about the PSVR 2 at the beginning of 2022.
Will the original PSVR work with the PS5?
Yes, Sony has confirmed that the PS5 will launch with backward compatibility for the original PSVR headset and Move controllers. This means you can confidently buy a discounted PSVR set now since it could be years before PSVR 2 is released, let alone a library of games that support it.
What games can you play with the PSVR 2?
There’s no word from Sony whether the PSVR 2 will run PSVR titles. Considering the PS5’s backwards compatibility, the thought right now is that you should hopefully play any PSVR game with the PSVR 2 and the PS5.
Because the PSVR 2 has not been officially announced, no confirmed games are slated for release on the PSVR 2. The games that are rumored to be in the works for PSVR 2 possibly include a new Gran Turismo, Resident Evil 8, and perhaps a new gem from Rockstar. Of course, these are not confirmed by anyone yet, but these are the most likely contenders right now.
The leaked developer info from August 2021 also suggests that Sony could encourage a hybrid games model, encouraging developers to include traditional gaming elements and VR elements in a title. Gamers would choose which version of the game they wish to download and play. If Sony pushes through with this concept, it could massively improve the popularity of VR games.
As we find out more about the PSVR 2, we’ll be sure to update this article. Hopefully, after Sony can solidify the PS5 supply, we’ll start to hear more about the PSVR 2.
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