With the life cycles of PS4 and PS4 Pro officially coming to an end, and Sony confirming a release date for the PS5, we cannot help wondering what Sony has in store as a successor to PlayStation VR. Could it be PSVR 2?
Sony technically launched a second PSVR headset in 2017: the CUH-ZVR2 with additional HDR support, integrated headphones and a smaller connection cable. But, the true PSVR 2.0 will present a much greater leap in specifications that will take advantage of next-generation hardware to increase its resolution, pixel quality and refresh rate.
The main question is, will the PlayStation VR 2 simply improve? the images of its predecessor, or will it add features like 6DoF tracking or even go wireless to compete with Oculus Rift and HTC Vive ?
We have the latest rumors and insider industry information about how the PlayStation VR 2 could look, its likely release date, its possible compatibility with previous versions and much more.
[Update: PlayStation VR 2 could bring wireless virtual reality to your PS5 – and more. Read on to find out more.]
Cut to the point
- What is it? The next version of PlayStation VR
- When does it come out? Potentially late 2020 or 2021 to coincide with the launch of PS5
- How much will it cost? TBC – probably around the PSVR Release price of $ 499
Release date of PSVR 2
It is almost certain that PSVR 2 will work exclusively with PlayStation 5, but now we know that we will not see the Sony console of next generation until the end of 2020. That means we will definitely not see PSVR 2 until the end of 2020 and (more likely) at least 2021.
If Sony primarily allocates its workforce to the production of PS5, then PSVR 2 could launch much later than the release date of the console, maybe they see a year or more PlayStation VR launched three years after the PS4, after all.
News and rumors of PSVR 2
Could PSVR 2 be wireless?
LetsGoDigital has discovered a patent for next-generation virtual reality hardware that suggests that PlayStation VR 2 will be wireless, with built-in cameras and a transparent mode.
Sony Interactive Entertainment filed a patent earlier this year, which was approved on October 3, 2019, before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office titled & # 39; Data Processing & # 39; .
This patent details a virtual reality helmet with three built-in cameras, two in the front and one in the back, along with motion detection technology. If that is not enough, it seems that the PSVR 2 headset could also be wireless (connected via Bluetooth) and have a built-in power supply, a microphone and its own video / audio signal source. In other words, no more plugging in the headphones for sound, since the speakers will be integrated.
This is a big change with respect to the current PSVR headphones that are wired, and it lacks a built-in speaker and microphone, although the actual appearance of the potential PSVR 2 headphones does not look very far from its predecessor.
The potential PSVR 2 headset could also be much better at tracking movement, according to the patent, with numerous LEDs placed around The back of the headset.
While the headphones themselves may be wireless, a separate camera (such as the PlayStation Camera) may need to be used to track these LEDs and track player movement.
We could also see that the PlayStation Move controller gets an update, including its own built-in camera.
The next step is the possible incorporation of the transparency mode. This would allow the headset the ability to show a certain amount of transparency when necessary, allowing the user to see the real-life environment. The purpose of this? To allow AR applications.
And finally, once again we have seen the mention of a holographic mode that would allow users to play 3D games on PlayStation VR.
PS5 release date
Sony has confirmed that the PS5 will be launched at the end of 2020, which means we will not see the PSVR 2 at least until then.
Internal filtered email
According to a "filtered internal email" by Sony (and published in NeoGaf), the PS5 will be presented at a launch event of "PlayStation Meeting 2020" on February 12, 2020. This meeting, according to the rumor, aims to show "the future of Sony PlayStation to everyone."
In addition, the email states that "new investments have also been made in the virtual reality sector of the company", with "numerous tests on the new PSVR 2 prototype". The email also states that "senior management of the marketing team began planning official consultations on the official marketing presentation of the new PSVR 2 device before the beginning of fiscal year 2021," suggesting that PSVR 2 will not be launched until late 2020 or 2021.  It is worth taking this rumor with a large pinch of salt since it has not been verified that it is an official internal email.
In response to a request for comment, a Sony spokesman said: "We do not comment on rumors and speculation."
Siliconera detected two documents related to Sony's virtual reality headsets that could indicate the type of experiences the company is planning for the future. The couple was filed in 2017 and 2018 respectively, suggesting that (if Sony pursued them) they could soon bear fruit.
The first refers to live events. The Sony patent describes a scenario in which a user attends a real-world location, such as a sports stadium, with the headphones "anchoring them" to a physical location in place. "
They would be surrounded by real-world assistants. , which would allow them to see the event as if they were really there. Sounds similar to other live virtual reality applications, such as Next VR, Melody VR or Oculus Venues.
Friends like NPC
A second patent Describe how to convert friends from your PSN games list into spectators of your games while you play, so instead of generic NPC crowds in the stands of a FIFA match or on the track of a Gran Turismo race, your friends could choose to have an avatar representation of themselves appear in your game.
These avatars could be true to life, or any type of stylized representation they choose to send. Real mpo in virtual reality or show your support through a "preprogrammed" clip.
The fact that Sony has already applied for these patents suggests that PSVR 2 might be closer than we thought. .
Could you track the movement of the eyes and the movement of the head?
A new patent suggests that PSVR2 tracks eye movement and head movement.
What will that do for virtual reality? According to the Sony Interactive Entertainment patent, it will improve immersion by refining what each eye sees, also known as "parallax images," for enhanced stereoscopic depth. Sony is also developing technology to keep those images relative when it turns / tilts its head.
But there are other possibilities for virtual reality eye tracking, including alternative control methods and / or interface options, which would be a great accessibility option for disabled players.
PlayStation VR 2 could boost the future of Gran Turismo
In a round interview with GT Planet, Gran The creator of the Tourism series, Kazunori Yamauchi, revealed that, when it comes to harnessing the power of next-generation consoles, the Polyphony Digital approach focuses primarily on virtual reality.
"The first thing that will be affected by more power is virtual reality," Yamauchi told GT Planet. "I do not think there is anything else that requires so much processing power. I really like virtual reality; I am one of those who believes in possibilities, and is very suitable for a driving game."
As Gran Turismo is a series exclusive to PlayStation, it is likely that the future of the racing franchise will be powered by PlayStation VR and its likely successor: PlayStation VR 2.
While Sony has not officially confirmed that PSVR 2 is in development, Yamauchi's comments suggest that the company will opt for virtual reality when it comes to the next PS5.  "Virtual reality is something that really depends on the evolution of the power of the GPU, and the hardware for it, even display devices" Yamauchi continued. "It is something in which you can never have enough computing power; there will always be that hardware limit, and that limit will never be high enough for us! Obviously, that will gradually improve over time and we will make sure to follow it. ”
The current PSVR headphones will work with the PS5  The first details on the PS5 landed in early 2019, with the confirmation that their current PlayStation VR headphones will work with the next-generation console.
In statements to Wired, Mark Cerny (principal architect of the Sony system working on the next console) confirmed that all existing versions of PlayStation VR will be compatible with the latest generation console.
If there will be a new PlayStation VR 2 in The release is currently unclear. Cerny said: "I will not go into details about our virtual reality strategy today."
While he did not say that Sony will not upgrade its virtual reality headsets at the launch of the next-generation console, he was quick to clarify that it is worth buying an existing PSVR if he does not already have it.
He also said: "Virtual reality is very important to us and the current PSVR headphones are compatible with the new console."
PlayStation 4 games are also set to be compatible with earlier versions of PlayStation 5, so we can hope you can change your existing PSVR catalog to the next console.
Good news for those who wear glasses?
According to the published patent (discovered by Upload VR), Sony is working on "prescription glasses with eye tracking and electro-optical signaling to an HMD."
These prescription glasses developed by Sony would be custom designed for the user and VR headsets could detect the look through a coded sensor. In other words, glasses users could use virtual reality much easier. We do not expect these glasses to be cheap, but the implementation of fixed-looking software means that we can probably expect it to reach PSVR 2 …
Price of PSVR 2
The current PlayStation VR starter package is sold at retail for $ 200 / £ 259 / AU $ 420, but this affordable cost came after several price drops.
The original price of a complete package, $ 499 (£ 399, approximately AU $ 650), could give us a good idea of what Sony will charge for PSVR 2 headphones.
Of course, this new headset will have a potentially expensive technology to increase the potential of the PS5.
Japan Display (JDI), a LCD manufacturer co-directed by Sony, recently presented its 3.2-inch, 1,001 pixel per inch (ppi) displays with a resolution of 2160 x 2432. PSVR currently uses 386 ppi and resolution of 1920 x 1080 for its 5.7 inch screen.
Adding a better display quality, as well as doubling the screen count, could increase the price.
Currently, the only "next-generation" VR headset on the market is the HTC Vive Pro that sells for $ 800, £ 800 or about AU $ 1,045. Depending on the PSVR 2 hardware, Sony may choose to include it as a premium device.
But, that would probably go against its brand of offering affordable entry to virtual reality. We hope that Sony will avoid putting a price on everyone, except the richest, of virtual reality.
We also discovered a patent for enhanced motion control wands with finger tracking and haptic feedback.
Higher-cost PSVR 2 packages may include these drivers for virtual reality experiences that a DualShock controller cannot provide.
Why be an exclusive PlayStation 5?
PlayStation 4 owners (especially Pro owners) may be a bit upset when they discover they can't make PSVR 2 work on their consoles.
But, it might be Sony's only option to make your second headset really feel the latest generation.
We tested PSVR on the PS4 and compared the graphic quality with the Pro. In the "Pro Mode", we saw minor improvements in textures, granularity and delay reduction. However, ultimately, the difference did not feel so transcendental.
While the PS4 Pro certainly has a great impact, it may not have the ability to support VR with the higher resolution and pixel density that Sony's new JDI screens allow.
The PSVR 2 could demand a processing power that the latest generation consoles simply cannot match.
The PlayStation 5 will use the newer AMD Ryzen CPU and updated Radeon graphics, an update of the AMD Jaguar CPU of the PS4 and Pro. Sony may have trouble making its new headphones compatible with Two separate graphic systems.
All hardware, design and updated accessories
The most concrete information we have about what PSVR 2 might be able to come from is the JDI announcement of its 3.2-inch screen with 1,001ppi and resolution 2160 x 2432
JDI states that this screen will reduce latency to 2.2 msec (compared to> 18 msec today), will allow 120Hz (same as PSVR 1) and will require less processing power to achieve better image quality, which Could unlock a smaller and lighter design image for the headset.
The updated AMD Ryzen chip that Sony is implementing on the PS5 could certainly achieve the processing power needed to support these screens.
Sony, who uses JDI screens for their smartphones, will probably depend on these improved screens for their new headphones. Given that we already found that the PSVR 1's design is comfortable for long periods of play, this could make your heir even more pleasant to use.
Of course, if the PlayStation VR 2 works with dual displays, this will make the graphic demand of the headphones much more difficult to achieve. For example, if Sony wanted 4K VR, then the PS5 should be able to transmit 8K, which it will be.
We suspect that the PSVR 2 could be wireless, considering that Sony prioritized reducing the size and weight of the cable that connects the headphones to the console in its update PSVR 1 it is clear that the company sees It is so disturbing , even annoying. Removing it completely is the next logical step.
By doing so, Sony will also make it easier to support room tracking for PSVR 2. Oculus and HTC have supported 6DoF tracking for experiences for a couple of years, and it's one de The main areas in which PSVR does not reach its competence.
The PlayStation Camera tracks head and controller movements while you are sitting, but cannot track if you move, and our reviewers discovered that you frequently lost the controller's trail even without moving.
Adding support for room tracking will only help Sony increase the size of its game library, as it will support more experiences that depend on wandering around a room.
Of course, this could mean that the new PSVR 2 package will include a pair of room sensors to increase camera tracking.
However, Sony could take the route Lenovo did with the headset Mirage Solo that adds WorldSense tracking technology inside the headset. Reducing the number of peripherals could make the experience less expensive to configure.
We also suspect that Sony has plans to duplicate Move controllers. A patent shows that you want to compete with the Oculus Touch and Live controller by adding enhanced tracking functionality to your Move wands.
Sony's most promising idea is its "reaction force generator", which would have portions of the Move wand expand or contract based on what the user is "holding" in the game.
This technology could make experiences feel more immersive than before, without having to give up controllers completely (see: Oculus haptic gloves ).
In addition, according to another published patent (discovered by Upload VR), Sony is working on "prescription glasses with eye tracking and electro-optical signaling to an HMD."
These prescription glasses developed by Sony would be custom designed for the user and VR headsets could detect the look through a coded sensor. In other words, glasses users could use virtual reality much easier. We don't expect these glasses to be cheap, but the implementation of fixed-looking software means that we can probably expect it to reach PSVR 2.
PSVR 2: just what does the virtual reality industry need?
I already mentioned, PlayStation VR has not met Sony's sales expectations, but its sales are not negligible compared to the competition of high-end VR headsets, but Sony expected the VR market to grow.
Instead, Sony probably fears that virtual reality will remain too niche to obtain the benefits the company once expected. Kodera said Sony would have a "more realistic perspective" on what kind of future sales can expect.
Kodera's statement implies that Sony remains committed to the production of more virtual reality devices. Unfortunately, the lukewarm virtual reality market could mean that Sony invests less time and money in future virtual reality experiences.
But, ideally, the PlayStation VR 2 and other state-of-the-art headphones with better specifications and fewer cables could revitalize the market and keep Sony fully on board with virtual reality.