Last year, a YouTube channel called PSVR Without Parole — a strange and unusual court sentence — detailed a number of specs for Sony’s upcoming PS5 virtual reality headset. Now Sony has confirmed pretty much everything the channel revealed with its own announcement as CES 2022.
First of all, just as Sony suggested that the PS5 might not be called PlayStation 5 for a while before presumably realising that would be bloody stupid, the company has confirmed the headset will be called PlayStation VR2.
As the previous leak suggested, it’ll come with a 4K HDR OLED screen with a 110-degree viewing angle and a resolution of 2,000 x 2,040 per eye. For the avoidance of doubt, that’s a big upgrade on the original headset which had a 100-degree viewing angle and a resolution of 960 x 1,080 per eye.
Eye tracking will also be implemented, meaning you can not only theoretically control action with your eyes, but the hardware will also be capable of foveated rendering. That means detail can be lessened on objects you’re not directly looking at, enabling better graphics for areas you are actively paying attention to.
The headset itself will also feature its own sense of haptic feedback via a rumble motor embedded within. This sounds like a recipe for discomfort but, unsurprisingly, Sony paints it as a positive, with the headset capable of emulating sensations like “the rush of objects passing by.”
For me, the biggest drawback of the original PSVR headset was the fact that it relied on a single camera above your TV. That meant that if you turned your back on it, the game would lose tracking. That shouldn’t be a problem with PSVR 2, as Sony has adopted inside-out tracking where cameras are built into the headset itself, like on the Oculus Quest 2.
Unlike the Quest, however, the headset won’t be completely wireless — perhaps unsurprisingly, given the amount of data it’s going to be streaming. But Sony does say that setup is simplified with just a single cable connecting from PS5 to headset.
The original leak suggested Sony wanted to bring AAA experiences to PSVR 2, and while the big reveal didn’t go into huge detail about software, one release was announced. And it’s a biggy: a virtual reality spin off to Horizon Zero Dawn:
No word on release date or pricing yet, but we’d go with “soon” and “enormously expensive”. Hopefully we’ll find out more in the next six months.