While the supply is still struggling to meet demand for Sony's next generation console, the PlayStation 5 fans are already asking when we may see a new iteration of the tech giant’s virtual reality headset. In a new blog post, Sony shared a few new details on what to expect in terms of upgrades from the previous model while also clarifying when we may see it hit shelves.
Sony released their first virtual reality headset in October 2016 called the PlayStation VR (PSVR) for $399. The headset was designed to support the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro with Sony later releasing an attachment for the headset to support the newly released PlayStation 5. The platform saw a number of titles released such as Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, Iron Man VR, and Astro Bot: Rescue Mission. However, since the release of the new console, Sony has been quiet in regards to a potential PSVR 2 with them only mentioning that we would not see one in 2021. That was until February 23, when they released a blog post that gave the first few details on what we can expect from the hardware.
In the post, Senior Vice President of Platform Planning & Management, Hideaki Nishino, mentions a few new changes in terms of performance, promising an enhancement on all fronts. This includes aspects such as resolution, field of view, tracking and input as well. One change that will sit well with fans of the previous model is that the new headset will connect to the PlayStation 5 using only a single cord. Nishino says this is to help simplify the setup process as the previous version required six cables between the console and the headset. Finally, the controllers will be getting new versions as well. Nishino tells us that the new virtual reality controllers will incorporate some of the features seen in the already released DualSense while also focusing on great ergonomics. Previously, the original PSVR was using PlayStation Move controllers which was originally released back in 2010. When talking about their vision for virtual reality on PlayStation 5, Nishino said, “That’s just one of the examples of future-proof technology we’re developing to match our vision for a whole new generation of VR games and experiences.” Finally, Nishino confirmed once again that the headset still has a lot of development ahead and that it will not release in 2021.
There are still many questions that fans have about how the headset will work in relation to the PlayStation 5, most notably, how it will compete with other options on the market. At the time of release, the PSVR became one of the best selling virtual reality headsets of all time selling around 5 million units. Their main competition was the Oculus Rift at $599 and the HTC Vive at $799. These three were the first AAA gaming virtual reality headsets. Aside from price, the main differences between the three were that the Rift and Vive supported 360 degree tracking, and the PSVR only supported 180 degrees. However, the PSVR only needed a PlayStation 4/Pro and PlayStation 5 in order to work while the Rift and Vive needed a high-end PC. Fast forward to today, consumers can buy a good quality headset like the Oculus Quest 2 for as low as $299 without needing any PC or console to use it.
For now, Sony has given fans a small glimpse into what the future looks like for virtual reality on PlayStation. It will be interesting to see how Sony is able to compete against other options that are on the market, but we will learn more once they provide more information to us in the future.