Sony Unveils PS VR2 and New VR Controller, Horizon Franchise’s New Game

At Consumer Electronics Show 2022, Sony took to the stage to unveil the next generation of virtual reality gaming on the PlayStation 5.

“PlayStation VR2 takes VR gaming to a whole new level, enabling a greater sense of presence and allowing players to escape into game worlds like never before,” Senior Vice President of Platform Experience Hideaki Nishino wrote in a blog post on the PlayStation website. “With the headset on and controllers in hand, players will feel a heightened range of sensations unlike any other – thanks to the creativity of the game worlds being built by our world class developers, and the latest technology incorporated into the hardware.”

We got a look at the specs for PS VR2 and the Sense controller.

  • Display method​: OLED
  • Panel resolution:​ 2000 x 2040 per eye
  • Panel refresh rate:​ 90Hz, 120Hz
  • Lens separation:​ Adjustable
  • Field of View:​ Approx. 110 degrees
  • Sensors:​
    • Motion Sensor — Six-axis motion sensing system (three-axis gyroscope, three-axis accelerometer)​
    • Attachment: Sensor — IR Proximity sensor
  • Cameras​: 4 cameras for headset and controller tracking​IR camera for eye tracking per eye
  • Feedback​: Vibration on headset
  • Communication​ with PS5: USB Type-C
  • Audio​
    • Input: Built-in microphone
    • ​Output: Stereo headphone jack

PS VR2 will feature a single-cord setup, enhanced tracking, new sensory features and high-fidelity visuals.

Here is Nishino’s breakdown on the enhancements:

  • Visual Fidelity: For a high-fidelity visual experience, PS VR2 offers 4K HDR, 110-degree field of view, and foveated rendering. With an OLED display, players can expect a display resolution of 2000×2040 per eye and smooth frame rates of 90/120Hz.
  • Headset-based Controller Tracking: With inside-out tracking, PS VR2 tracks you and your controller through integrated cameras embedded in the VR headset. Your movements and the direction you look at are reflected in-game without the need for an external camera.
  • New Sensory Features: PS VR2 Sense Technology combines eye tracking, headset feedback, 3D Audio, and the innovative PS VR2 Sense controller to create an incredibly deep feeling of immersion. Headset feedback is a new sensory feature that amplifies the sensations of in-game actions from the player. It’s created by a single built-in motor with vibrations that add an intelligent tactile element, bringing players closer to the gameplay experience. For example, gamers can 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. Additionally, PS5’s Tempest 3D AudioTech makes sounds in the player’s surroundings come alive, adding to this new level of immersion.
  • Eye Tracking: With eye tracking, PS VR2 detects the motion of your eyes, so a simple look in a specific direction can create an additional input for the game character. This allows players to interact more intuitively in new and lifelike ways, allowing for a heightened emotional response and enhanced expression that provide a new level of realism in gaming.

Nishino wrote the PS VR2 Sense controllers will “enable players to feel and interact with games in a much more visceral way. PS VR2 will also have a simple setup process — with a single cable connected directly to PS5, you can immediately jump into the VR experience.”

PS VR2 Sense controller
PS VR2 Sense controller

The Sense controller builds upon the DualSense controller technology, Nishino said, including enhancements like adaptive triggers, haptic feedback, finger touch detection, tracking, and action buttons/analog sticks.

Here is Nishino’s breakdown of the enhancements:

Adaptive triggers: 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.

  • Haptic feedback: The new controller will have haptic feedback optimized for its form factor, making every sensation in the game world more impactful, textured and nuanced. 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.
  • Finger touch detection: The controller can detect your fingers without any pressing in the areas where you place your thumb, index, or middle fingers. This enables you to make more natural gestures with your hands during gameplay.
  • Tracking: The VR controller is tracked by the new VR headset through a tracking ring across the bottom of the controller.
  • Action buttons / analog sticks: 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.

Specs:

  • Buttons​
    • [Right]​ — PS button, Options button, Action buttons (Circle / Cross), R1 button, R2 button, Right Stick / R3 button
    • ​[Left]​ — PS button, Create button, Action buttons (Triangle / Square), L1 button, L2 button, Left Stick / L3 button
  • Sensing/ Tracking:
    • Motion Sensor: Six-axis motion sensing system (three-axis gyroscope + three-axis accelerometer)
    • Capacitive Sensor: Finger Touch DetectionIR LED: Position Tracking
  • Feedback ​
    • Trigger Effect on R2/L2 button
    • Haptic Feedback by single actuator per unit
  • Port: USB Type-C Port
  • Communication:​ Bluetooth Ver5.1​
  • Battery​ Type: Built-in Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery​

In addition to the hardware shown at CES, Sony also revealed a major first party franchise’s foray into VR: Horizon Call of the Mountain from Guerrilla and Firesprite.

“This original game is being built specifically for PS VR2 and will open the doors for players to go deeper into the world of Horizon,” Nishino said.

 

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Managing editor over video games here at Cinelinx. Let me lose myself in Animal Crossing and Stardew Valley for days, thanks. KakeBytes is my podcast adventure through gaming history.