Playstation VR 2: Sony reveals tech specs and first VR game
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Nearly a year after announcing the Playstation VR 2, Sony is finally revealing the technical features of the next-gen VR system.
Not much was known until now about the new VR goggles, which Sony announced in February 2021 without giving its official name. At the time, Sony said that the device would offer a wider field of view, higher resolution, and more precise tracking, and would connect to the Playstation 5 with a single cable.
In March 2021, Sony showed off the new VR controllers, also without naming them. Since then, there have been several leaks, but no official information. Until now.
Playstation VR 2 and Sense controllers: these are the specs.
As part of CES 2022, Sony now revealed the names and technical features of the VR glasses and VR controllers. Sony calls the latter “Sense Controller”. Listed below are the technical specs. A classification follows in the next section.
Playstation VR 2
- Display: 4K HDR OLED
- Resolution: 2,000 x 2,040 pixels per eye
- Frame rate: 90Hz / 120Hz
- Lens distance: adjustable
- Field of view: approx. 110 degrees
- Spatial tracking: four cameras for spatial tracking of VR goggles and controller
- Eye-tracking: one infrared camera per eye
- Haptic feedback on the head through vibration
- Connection to PS5 via USB-C cable
- Audio: Integrated microphone and 3.5 mm jack for headphones
Playstation VR 2 Sense Controller
- [Right] PS button, Options button, Action buttons (circle/cross), R1 button, R2 button, Right analog stick/ R3 button
- [Left] PS button, Create button, Action buttons (triangle/square), L1 button, L2 button, Left analog stick/ L3 button
- Motion sensor: 3-DoF sensor (gyroscope + accelerometer)
- Capacitive sensor: Touch detection
- Infrared LEDs for spatial tracking
- Feedback: Trigger effect (R2/L2 button), for haptic feedback a single actuator per device
- Connection: USB-C
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.1
- Battery: Integrated and rechargeable lithium-ion battery
Back in March 2021, Sony confirmed that the new VR controllers will build on the haptics innovations of the PS5 DualSense controllers.
The VR system’s appearance, price, and exact release date are still unknown. It is expected to launch in 2022, but Sony didn’t confirm this so far.
PSVR 2 tech: features, strengths, and drawbacks.
Unlike the original, the PSVR 2 relies on integrated 3D tracking of the VR goggles and VR controllers. An external camera is no longer needed. The cable clutter of the PSVR 1 is also a thing of the past, though PSVR 2 is also wired and requires a single cable. This goes against the current trend in the VR industry.
The device relies on a high-contrast OLED display, which is even supposed to be HDR capable. The latter would be a first in the realm of commercial VR goggles. Another novelty is the haptic sensor in the device, which serves the immersion, but could also help to avoid motion sickness.
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“Headset feedback is a new sensory feature that enhances the sensations of in-game actions. It’s generated by a single built-in motor with vibrations that adds an intelligent tactile element, bringing players closer to the gaming experience,” Playstation chief Jim Ryan said during Sony’s press conference. “For example, players can feel the character’s increased pulse during tense moments, the rush of objects passing close to the character’s head, or the acceleration of a vehicle as the character drives forward.”
Also new and forward-thinking, at least for a VR goggle aimed at consumers, is eye-tracking and support for foveated rendering. With this rendering technique, the VR glasses determine which area of the image the eye is focusing on and compute only that area in full detail. This saves a lot of processing power that can go into higher resolution, better effects, or more dynamic objects. Eye-tracking could also make for more natural interactions and, in a social context, more realistic avatars. Ryan mentioned both use cases.
One disappointment is that the Playstation VR 2 does not appear to have built-in speakers. Gamers will consequently have to plug in their own headphones. This again is not an optimal solution.
Sony shows first PSVR2 game: Horizon Call of the Mountain
Sony also revealed the first VR game for Playstation VR 2: Horizon Call of the Mountain is a spin-off of the game series and is being developed by Guerilla and Firesprite. The latter studio has plenty of VR experience and was acquired by Sony in 2021.
Horizon Call of the Mountain is being developed from the ground up for PSVR 2 to show off the VR system’s strengths and should be out at launch. Let’s hope the VR game is more than just a tech demo or short VR experience.
A teaser trailer shows a brief snippet of the game, which is experienced from a first-person perspective in typical VR fashion and introduces a new main character. So VR players won’t be taking on the role of the titular heroine Aloy from the first Horizon game. However, you will meet the warrior and other familiar characters.