Updated: Jun 24
Rumors of the PlayStation VR 2 have been floating around for years, ever since the PlayStation 5 was initially announced. Those rumors have always been largely unsubstantiated, so PlayStation fans will be happy to know that Sony has finally announced the PSVR2 at CES 2022. Along with new controllers, the PlayStation VR2 will feature increased refresh rate, resolution, and FOV over the original.
The PS VR2 will include a variety of new features, some of which are popular features in high-end consumer PC VR headsets. The first of these is eye tracking, which Sony says will be used as an additional input in certain games. This enables new and intuitive interactions, and enhances the “emotional response” of the player.
Headset-based controller tracking is another feature included in the PS VR2 that has previously been seen in other headsets. The original PS VR included a camera which needed to be set up in a location that could see the headset and controllers, complicating the overall VR setup. This should hopefully cut down on user complaints about the amount of wires and peripherals needed to play PS VR. In the same vein, the PS VR2 will connect to the console with just one USB-C cable, which eliminates the annoying processor box that made setup such a headache with the original PS VR.
Alongside the PS VR2, Sony has announced their proprietary controllers, the PlayStation VR2 Sense controller. This controller is being made using the haptic feedback and adaptive trigger technology found in the PS5 DualSense controller. This technology makes it likely that the VR2 Sense controllers will be the best VR controllers on the market, offering more utility and immersion than any other controller.
Similarly to the controllers, the headset itself will include haptic feedback. Sony says this feature is powered by a single motor built into the headset, and will enable players to feel things which are not possible with just the haptic feedback from the controllers. Sony says that players can expect to 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.”
The specs of the PS VR2 are considerably improved over its predecessor, but don’t quite make it a top-of-the-line headset compared to some PC VR rigs.
The resolution is doubled over the original headset. Sony has called it 4K HDR, but the reality is that the resolution for each eye is 2000 x 2040. The FOV is also slightly improved, going from 100 degrees to 110.
The headset includes six cameras, four of which are external, the other two are internal, presumably for the eye tracking functionality. A microphone is also included on the headset. Surprisingly, the headset has no speakers whatsoever, just a 3.5mm headphone jack. Sony does have wireless 3D audio headphones, but wearing headphones and a headset at the same time is often a hassle. Hopefully the 3D audio works well enough with speakers to not need a headset, but for now this seems like an oversight.
While not explicitly stated by Sony, the PS5 being backwards compatible with PS4 games makes it extremely likely that the PS VR2 will be compatible with original PS VR games, allowing exceptional exclusives like Fracked, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, and Wipeout Omega Collection to be playable on the new headset.
Sony also announced a new game exclusive to the PS VR2, a new entry in the Horizon series, Horizon Call of the Mountain. While the actual preview of the game was brief, it shows that Sony is willing to dedicate a lot of resources to give the PS VR2 ample first party support.
The specs on the PS VR2 show significant improvements over not only its predecessor, but over other high-end consumer headsets like the Valve Index. Hopefully the cost will stay manageable, as it’s hard to believe that Sony would release a headset at a significantly higher cost than the PS5. The price point, along with the release date, have not yet been announced.