Table of Contents
- Controllers – Fixing Movement Problems from The Past
- Price Speculation – Expected Price Although Not Confirmed Yet
- PSVR2 Games – List of Games Already Confirmed by Sony
- Under the Hood – Specs for Nerds, What’s The Power Behind The Mask?
- Cable Management – What to Expect with A Wired Connection
- Release Date Unconfirmed – When Can We Get Our Hands on PSVR2?
- Summary – PSVR2 In A Nutshell
The PSVR took the world by storm back in 2016. It allowed console users experience VR for the very first time. No longer needing to spend thousands of dollars on a gaming PC, Sony cleverly incorporated old tech with new tech and launched the PSVR for gamers to enjoy. They also supported the VR platform by offering some first party titles which are still some of the best VR games available to date. Not all are still exclusive to the platform, but titles like Moss, Resident Evil Biohazard, Blood & Truth, and Astrobot revolutionized the VR gaming industry and offered award-winning titles covering many genres to fit the players.
PSVR, though, was not without issues. Using the older tech like the move controllers and the PlayStation eye camera meant games needed to be front facing so that the sensors and camera could track your movements. No analog sticks made traversal in all games a logistical nightmare!
Game developers adopted locomotion and teleportation to skirt around this issue but having an analog stick to push your character forward is a no-brainer and is definitely taken for granted until you play a game where it’s taken away from you.
Later in PSVR’s lifecycle, Sony made up for this a little by releasing the aim controller. Primarily, it was a rifle to use by shooters, but it did have an analog stick built in for movement.
The headset itself offered one of the most comfortable baseball cap designs which have often been copied since. The distribution of weight was impressive and easy to slip on and off. The lenses and processing power are lacking by today’s standards though, and the Goggle effect combined with blurry visuals can lead to motion sickness. It’s clear that an update or new headset is needed if Sony wants to continue to compete in the VR marketspace … bring on PSVR2. Here’s everything we know and also some assumptions we can make about Sony’s upcoming VR headset. Let’s jump right into it.
Controllers – Fixing Movement Problems from The Past
Following the success of the touch controllers for Meta, Sony seems to have taken more than a few notes and done their homework. The tech and even the design seem to have borrowed from some of the best designs currently on the market. This is not an insult or a slight against Sony as it seems they simply want to provide the best possible immersive experience for their players. Their new controllers boast some of the following specifications:
Each VR controller (Left and Right) includes an adaptive trigger button that adds palpable tension when pressed, similar to what’s found in the DualSense controller. If you’ve played a PS5 game, you’ll be familiar with the tension in the L2 or R2 buttons when you press them, such as when you’re drawing your bow to fire an arrow. When you take that kind of mechanic and apply it to VR, the experience is amplified to the next level.
Following the success of the PS5 controller, the new VR controller will have haptic feedback optimized for its design, making each interaction and sensation in games feel more realistic and specific to what’s happening on screen. In Sony’s own words: ‘When you’re traversing through rocky desert or trading blows in melee combat, you’ll feel the difference, magnifying the extraordinary visual and audio experience that’s so central to VR.’ Judging by the technology they’ve pumped into the PS5 controller it’s safe to say we can expect great things from the haptic feedback here.
Finger Touch Detection
Similar to the Meta touch controllers, the thumb sticks have built-in sensors to pick up even the lightest touch of your thumb resting on top of them. The controller can detect your fingers without any pressing in the areas where you place your thumb, index, or middle fingers. This gives you the ability to make more gestures with your hands during gameplay. Again, this seems like a direct copy of the Meta touch controllers, but it’s a welcome addition.
The halo ring on each controller allows for accurate tracking between the controllers and the cameras built into the headset. This should allow for near one-to-one hand tracking and lead to better immersion during gameplay. No more loss of tracking when you turn your back away from the camera sticking to the top of your television!
Action Buttons/Analog Sticks
Quoted from Sony’s official press release earlier in 2022. ‘The Left controller contains one analog stick, the triangle, and square buttons, a “grip” button (L1), trigger button (L2) and Create button. The Right controller contains one analog stick, the cross and circle buttons, a “grip” button (R1), trigger button (R2), and Options button. The “grip” button can be used to pick up in-game objects, as one example.’ This sounds perfect as it’s taking the well-known form factor of the PS4/PS5 controller layout and splitting it into two.
One thing we’ve left off the controller spec bulletin points is the overall look and design. These controllers look beautiful. Sleek and black with improvements made to the ring or halo seen in older VR controllers. Everything is flatter and looks ergonomically correct. Hopefully, they feel and respond just as well as they look.
Price Speculation – Expected Price Although Not Confirmed Yet
A good starting point when trying to predict a realistic price for the PSVR2 is the look back at the first edition. When the PSVR launched back in 2016 with a hefty price tag of $499. It quickly dropped to $349 but still, that price tag packs a punch. As the VR market is now a little more crowded with more affordable options out there it’s unlikely the PSVR2 can realistically launch again at $499.
Technology, as a rule, should get smaller, better, faster, and cheaper as time goes on, but it’s still unclear how Sony feels about this. Logic would dictate that they can’t realistically release a peripheral that costs just as much as the console, but only time will tell. My best guess is that it will launch for $299 but that might be me being a little optimistic. With Meta unprecedently upping the price of the Quest 2 recently it seems anything is fair game in the VR world.
PSVR2 Games – List of Games Already Confirmed by Sony
Tech and affordability are important, but everything falls apart unless you have some killer games and more importantly some must-have exclusive to go nicely with your new piece of kit. This is where Sony has shined in the past and it looks like their next phase of VR will be no different. A Horizon Zero Dawn VR title was heavily promoted at Sony’s most recent Showcase and it doesn’t stop there. Below is a list of titles already confirmed for release on PSVR2 hardware. Check it out!
Resident Evil 8
Resident Evil 4 Remake
Horizon: Call of the Mountain
No Man’s Sky
The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners Chapter 2 – Retribution
Among Us VR
Samurai Slaughter House
A lot of these titles are brand new and very highly anticipated by most VR players. With the additions of the Resident Evil games, it’s clear that gamers can get full-blown games transformed by VR and no exactly what to expect.
The Walking Dead Chapter 2 is highly sought-after by many after playing the extremely impression first game and everyone else in the gaming world is holding their breath to see what Guerrilla Games can do with a Horizon game set in VR. Hunting mech dinosaurs in a dystopian future has never looked so cool! It’s not confirmed yet (bar Horizon) which games will be available on launch day and which games we’ll be waiting for, but it’s a great first step from Sony to show it’s taking its VR interest more seriously than before and we can only hope they continue releasing must-have VR titles for our pleasure.
Under the Hood – Specs for Nerds, What’s The Power Behind The Mask?
We’ve covered the new controllers in depth but the heart of any VR unit is the headset itself and the processing power behind it. Luckily Sony’s PS5 is no slouch in the processing department and can rival most current modern PCs in this regard. The new headset is also packing quite an impressive collection of goodies. Take a look:
Display Type: Fresnel OLED screens
Resolution: 4K HDR, 2000 x 2040 per eye
Field of View: 110 degrees
Refresh rate: 90 Hz, 120 Hz
FSR: Flexible scaling resolution concentrates rendering resources on the player’s area of focus
Eye tracking: Yes, new technology
Haptics in Headset: Yes, reacts during gameplay
Controllers: Adaptive triggers, capacitive touch sensors, halo for tracking
These are some pretty impressive stats, to say the least! To put them in some context to the no anorak wearing gamers among us … the Quest 2 is one of the most popular and impressive headsets on the market to date. The PSVR2 beats it on every level based on these stats.
The flexible scaling technology is also quite exciting as it uses less processing power for rendering which will give the unit more juice and allow more intricate details for our viewing pleasure. The haptic headset feedback is also completely new to us. Having the headset itself vibrate and react to events in-game might be a leap forward in immersion that we didn’t know we were missing. Exciting times certainly lay ahead for PSVR2 users.
Also what’s not mentioned in the stats is the 3D audio and eye tracking. 3D audio adds amazing levels of immersion in games and Sony’s own ps5 headset is one of the best on the market currently which will add a layer of immersion that’s simply unparalleled. The eye tracking tech is also quite new to the VR world but if utilized correctly, it can be used effectively on social platforms and also integrated into clever ways by game designers. It’s early days so too soon to say if eye tracking is a gimmick or a useful tool for VR. Time will tell.
Cable Management – What to Expect with A Wired Connection
Looking past the controller issue with the PSVR, there was one other glaring issue with the headset. The cable management was a complete nightmare. You had cables running from the headset into branching cables that ran to a small processor unit.
Then from there, cables ran to the front and the back of the PS4 which was just messy and impossible to make look neat in any way. Aside from the mess, it was also a tripping hazard, and the weight of cables running from the headset down your back or shoulders, well … just sucked! A tangle of cables running across your living room just isn’t acceptable.
Thankfully Sony has confirmed that the new PSVR2 will only have a single cable running from the headset to worry about. This is a huge relief. Having a wired connection is important so that the headset can benefit from the PS5’s processing power but ideally, a wireless connection would be better. The biggest selling point of the Quest 2 is the go anywhere, play where you like the freedom that having no cables offers. Add to that, leaps in wireless streaming, and you can get the best of both worlds. The quest can sync up with your PC and you can play higher-quality VR experiences through SteamVR.
I’m very hopeful that PSVR2 doesn’t remain tethered to the console as wireless streaming is definitely a viable option. However, nothing has been confirmed by Sony yet. Keep those fingers crossed folks!
Release Date Unconfirmed – When Can We Get Our Hands on PSVR2?
Sadly, we still have no confirmed release date from Sony. Many believe that Sony would like to release the PSVR2 in quarter four of 2022 as this will mean they won’t miss the consumer shopping spree that is Christmas and Thanksgiving! The silence though seems to speak volumes in a negative way though. The other side of the coin is that if Sony intended to and was on track to release by the end of 2022, then we’d know that by now!
Surely, if they were so close to launch, they’d give us a confirmed release date. The more pessimistic believe that the PSVR2 won’t launch until 2023. A credited analyst on Twitter by the name of Ming-Chi Kuo suggested that the PSVR2 will only enter mass production in late 2022 which will inevitably push the release date to either quarter one or quarter two of 2023.
Excitement for the PSVR2 is already high so a long wait would be a big disappointment to many however without a confirmed release date, we’re kept wanting and waiting! Roll on the next Sony State of Play with hopefully some concrete news to please us all!
Summary – PSVR2 In A Nutshell
So there we have it, folks! We’ve covered the headset and what’s under the hood. We’ve covered the amazing haptic controllers. We’ve covered possible pricing and release dates and we’ve even covered the games you can expect to see on PSVR2. The future still has many unknowns but one thing is certain, it’s a very exciting time for VR gamers!
Sony dominates the console market year after year and in the past has even given free VR titles to PlayStation Plus subscribers. If PSVR2 takes off in a big way, then hopefully this trend of making stellar first party VR titles and then given them away will continue. In any case, more entries into the VR space means more competition between developers which is only good news for one group of people – us!
More games, more tech, more experiments, and even more innovation all being applied to the VR space is an incredibly exciting concept for any virtual reality enthusiast. The original PSVR had sold over 5 million headsets by 2019 and is still selling today. Even the most hardcore PSVR fan will admit that although fun, it’s a very flawed piece of hardware. It’s the amazing games and accessibility that lead to the success of PSVR. When you think about the potential that PSVR2 has to offer, then 5 million seems like a small change. The chances of PSVR2 launching through the stratosphere and breaking some new records on the way is certainly likely and also exciting to think about.
Rest assured, we’ll be right here providing you with up-to-date information as it comes and in the meantime, we have plenty of news and reviews to keep you busy. If you’re interested in seeing what the best games currently available on PSVR are, then check out our guide here.