Sony has confirmed today that it is indeed developing a next-generation VR headset for its PlayStation 5 console. In a post on the Official PlayStation Blog, Hideaki Nishino, Senior Vice President of Platform Planning & Management promised that “players will feel an even greater sense of presence and become even more immersed in their game worlds once they put on the new headset”.
Having learned many lessons from its success with the PS VR headset for PS4, the company plans to improve upon every aspect of the current technology, from resolution and field-of-view to tracking and input. While Nishino-san offered next to no technical details on any of these improvements, an encouraging tidbit that he was able to share was that the new VR headset will connect to PS5 via a single cable, which will likely offer players more freedom of movement. More importantly, a single cable connection would theoretically facilitate a faster and hassle-free setup compared to the current PS VR model, where the numerous cables and time required to set everything up is a common complaint among PS VR owners.
Nishino also revealed that the new headset will interface with a new, dedicated VR controller that leverages some of the innovations currently featured in the PS5’s DualSense controller, “along with a focus on great ergonomics”. The final piece of information Nishino was kind enough to drop was that the new VR system is still deep in development, and that players should not expect it to launch in 2021, but in the meantime there will still be plenty of new content for current PS VR owners to look forward to regardless of whether they are playing on PS4 or PS5, making special mention of upcoming titles After the Fall, Sniper Elite VR and Humanity.
While the above news has more or less dashed all hopes of the new VR headset going completely wireless, there is still much to be excited about and speculate on here. Will the new VR controller (which Nishino-san has curiously referred to in the singular) actually be a split pair of controllers, like the Oculus Touch, with the ability to detect a player’s finger gestures, or just a modified DualSense? Will the streamlined setup for the new VR headset still utilize a processor unit for sharing the headset wearer’s in-game POV for others to view, just like with the current PS VR, and will it allow passthrough for up to 4K this time? And will the next generation of PS VR still require a camera, like the current PS VR requires the PS4’s PlayStation Camera to function? Hopefully we won’t be waiting until 2022 for answers to these questions, as the launch of Sony’s next-generation VR headset already seems like a “virtual” eternity away.