Update: January 5, 2022 (1 AM ET): We’ve updated the PSVR 2 hub with info from Sony’s CES 2022 press event about the newly named PlayStation VR2.
Original article: The Sony PS5 was released during the holiday season of 2020, In February 2021, the company confirmed it was also working on the new version of its PlayStation virtual reality headset and controllers made for the PS5. In January 2022, during its CES 2022 press event, Sony confirmed that the official name for the headset will be the PlayStation VR2.
So what do we know about the PlayStation VR2? Stay tuned as we go over all we currently know about the headset, the controllers, the games, the release date, price, and more.
What is the PlayStation VR2
The PlayStation VR2 will be a virtual reality headset and the follow-up to the original PSVR made for the PS4 that was released in 2016. If you haven’t heard already, Sony released their next-gen console, the PS5, in late 2020. Of course, it’s still all but impossible to track down a unit 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, the PlayStation VR2 Sense
The official name for the PlayStation VR2’s controllers will be the PlayStation VR2 Sense. In March 2021, Sony gave us an initial glimpse of these “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.
At CES 2022, Sony revealed more info on the controllers. The right controller will have the PS button, the Options button, the Circle and Cross buttons, the R1 and R2 buttons, and the Right Stick/R3 button. The left-hand controller will also have the PS button, along with the Create button, the Triangle and Square buttons, the L1 and L2 buttons, and the Left Stick/L3 button. It will support Bluetooth 5.1 wireless connectivity.
What will the PSVR 2 possibly be able to do?
A few PSVR 2 rumors and patents floating around have suggested some features. Some of them have since been confirmed by Sony at CES 2022. Here’s a quick roundup of what we’ve heard so far along with Sony’s confirmations.
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 pack an OLED display with a resolution of 2,000 x 2,040 per eye along with HDR and a 110-degree field. All of this was confirmed by Sony at CES 2022, along with refresh rates of 90Hz and 120Hz.
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. Sony has also confirmed that there will be integrated cameras in the PlayStation VR2’s headset so that a player’s movement can be used in a game without the need for any external camera.
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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At CES 2022, Sony stated the PlayStation VR2 will include headset feedback that will indeed include a built-in motor. The motor will create vibrations when needed in a VR2 game for a more immersive experience. Sony offered some examples of how this will work, saying that gamers will be able to “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.”
Sony also stated that the PlayStation VR2 will use the PS5’s Tempest 3D AudioTech to make the audio in a game also feel more immersive. The headset will also be set up for eye tracking, so players can “interact more intuitively in new and lifelike ways,” according to Sony.
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 video cables; everything would come packed into the VR headset.
However, in a February 23, 2021 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 fully 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.
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 at 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 probably will not hit the shelves for a while. It’s possible that we may have to wait until the fall of 2022, at the very least for the headset to officially launch.
Will the original PSVR work with the PS5?
Yes, Sony has confirmed that the PS5 has backward compatibility with the original PSVR headset and Move controllers. This means you can confidently buy a discounted PSVR set now since it could be a while 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 original 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.
So far, only one game has been confirmed by Sony for the PlayStation VR2. It’s called Horizon Call of the Mountain, and it’s set in the same future Earth that was first introduced by developer Guerrilla Games in Horizon: Zero Dawn for the PS4 and will continue in February with Horizon: Forbidden West. In a PlayStation blog post, it was revealed that Horizon Call of the Mountain is being developed by Firesprite, and will center on a new character in the franchise, but we will also encounter some familiar characters as well. We also saw a few seconds of gameplay in a trailer.
As we find out more about the PSVR 2, we’ll be sure to update this article. Hopefully, after Sony can address the PS5 supply, we’ll start to hear more about the PSVR 2.
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