Sony announces new PSVR hardware for PlayStation 5

Enlarge / You probably want to put the PlayStation VR headset on your head, not on top of a new PlayStation 5, for an ideal use case. But, hey, you do it.

Sam machkovech

A new generation of PlayStation VR hardware, including a new controller designed specifically for virtual reality, will arrive on the PlayStation 5 sometime after this year, Sony announced today.

The short announcement is light on detail and does not include photos or prototypes of the new headset or controller. But it does mention that the next PlayStation VR will include a higher resolution and field of view than the 2016 original, which is stuck at a somewhat dated 1920×1080 resolution.

For context, last year’s $ 299 Oculus Quest 2 came in at a full 3664×1600 resolution, and that’s for a standalone, untethered headset with a lot less power than the PS5. Meanwhile, Valve’s top-end Index headphones have a field of view of 135 degrees, much wider than the ~ 100 degrees of the PSVR (although cheaper modern headphones generally have fields of view closer to 90 to 100 degrees ).

In addition to redesigned ergonomics, Sony says the upcoming PSVR controller “will incorporate some of the key features found in the DualSense wireless controller.” Those could include precise haptics, variable resistance triggers, and crisp built-in speakers that have already been used to great effect in some standard PS5 games.

That would represent a huge step up from the PlayStation Move controllers that many PSVR games currently use for hand tracking. Those were originally released in 2010, long before consumer VR was a concern, and are generally seen as a more accurate answer to the Nintendo Wii and Xbox Kinect hand controls for flat-screen games. A controller built specifically for virtual reality could improve fidelity or even eliminate the need for an external camera for tracking.

Current PlayStation VR owners can use the headsets and controllers with the PlayStation 5, but doing so requires a special adapter to connect the old PS4 camera (the PS5’s own “PlayStation HD camera” is not compatible with the PlayStation VR current). Ars’ own testing at the system launch also found that PSVR games in general had not seen a noticeable increase in fidelity on the PS5, as other backward-compatible games had.

Before today, Sony was unwilling to comment directly on the future of virtual reality hardware on the PS5. PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan told The Washington Post in October that “PlayStation believes in virtual reality. Sony believes in virtual reality, and we definitely believe that at some point in the future, virtual reality will represent a significant component of virtual reality. interactive entertainment. Will it be this year? ” No. Will it be next year? No. But will it come at some point? We believe that. “

Sony has sold more than 5 million PlayStation VR headsets since 2016, after surpassing 4.2 million sales at the beginning of 2019. That makes PSVR one of the best-selling VR headsets overall so far, albeit in recent years. months, Oculus outsold the old hardware ‘standalone Quest Headsets, according to estimates from analytics firm Superdata.

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