PlayStation VR is arguably one of the most popular VR headsets on the moment, with a budget-friendly price-tag and a library of VR content tempting PS4 gamers, but it’s not perfect – especially compared to recently released headsets like the Oculus Rift S and Vive Cosmos. But with the PS5 due for release next year, could we see a new PlayStation VR headset alongside it? Rumours and patents suggest so.
Here’s everything there is to know about the PlayStation VR 2 right now, from announcement and release date speculation to pricing and even a few interesting patents that give us an idea of what to expect from Sony’s second-gen VR headset.
When will PSVR 2 be released?
Sony’s first-gen PlayStation VR headset was launched three years after the introduction of the PS4, but we don’t think that’ll be the case with the PS5. Sony has given fans a taste of VR on the PS4 with a collection of great platform-exclusive games, and with all the extra power on offer from the next-gen console, it’d be an odd omission.
Given that the PS5 is set to launch near the end of 2020, we could see PSVR 2 launch late-2020, or 2021 at the latest. It might not be available to buy alongside the PS5 at launch, as we imagine Sony will be focusing more on manufacturing enough units to meet the high demand of the next-gen console, but we don’t think it’ll be too far behind.
We might not have too long to find out, if a leaked internal email is to be believed. The email, first posted to NeoGaf, claims that the PS5 will be unveiled at a “PlayStation Meeting 2020” launch event on 12 February 2019. The meeting, according to the email, aims to “showcase the future of Sony PlayStation to the whole world”.
Does the future of PlayStation include PSVR? We think so, and another part of the leaked email suggests so too, stating that the “top management of the marketing team [have] started planning official consultations on the official marketing presentation of the new PSVR 2 device before the start of the fiscal year 2021”.
Of course, as with any leak, it should be taken with a pinch of salt as the email hasn’t been verified as being official.
We hope to find out more about the second-gen headset’s release during the official reveal of the PS5 in 2020. We’ll be sure to update this section if we hear anything before then, so check back frequently for the latest PSVR 2 release date news.
How much will PSVR 2 cost?
The first-gen PlayStation VR starter bundle costs around £259/$200 to buy right now, but it’s worth mentioning the affordable pricetag came after a handful of price drops. In fact, the full PlayStation VR kit was priced at £399/$499 at release back in 2016, and we think that’s more representative of the potential cost of the second-gen PlayStation VR headset.
The PlayStation VR 2 is rumoured to sport a lot of new and upgraded tech to improve the overall VR experience for PlayStation gamers (which we go into more detail about below), but of course, the use of high-end tech could bump up the overall price.
What we’re trying to say is that the price will vary depending on the tech on offer, and for that, we’ll have to wait until Sony officially reveals its next-gen VR headset.
PSVR 2 design and feature rumours
We’ve collated all the biggest design and feature rumours right here, giving you a great (unofficial) look at what the PlayStation VR 2 might offer.
PlayStation VR 2 could be wireless
The biggest potential upgrade of the second-gen PlayStation VR headset is wireless connectivity – if a patent discovered by LetsGoDigital is to be believed, anyway. The patent, which was approved on 3 October 2019 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, depicts a VR headset with built-in cameras and a “transparent mode”.
Per the patent, the PlayStation VR 2 headset may have three built-in cameras – two in the front and one in the back – alongside motion detection technology built into the headset itself. The patent also depicts a camera built into all-new Move controllers, but we’ll go more detail about that a little bit later.
Sony also details Bluetooth connectivity, a built-in power supply, video/audio signal source and a microphone in the patent, suggesting the company could be planning to ditch the wires altogether.
Image supplied via LetsGoDigital
The PSVR 2 headset may also sport numerous LEDs on the back of the headset to help improve movement tracking – one of the biggest issues with the current headset. The LEDs could be tracked via PlayStation Camera, much like the first-gen headset, despite the overall wireless nature of the headset.
Transparency mode was also detailed in the patent, allowing the headset to display a certain amount of transparency when required – like when getting close to a real-world object – utilising the forward-facing cameras of the headset. It’s a feature of most other major VR headsets, and would certainly be a welcome addition to the PlayStation VR 2.
It might be able to track your eyes
Wireless connectivity might not be the only upgrade when it comes to the PSVR 2; it could also track your eyes. Detailed in a patent that was published back in July 2019, the headset could detect the “posture of the HMD worn on the head” and “determine a user’s gaze direction” to refine what each eye sees and improve stereoscopic depth, also known as parallax imaging.
While the uses for the tech beyond improved image quality aren’t mentioned in the patent, it could be used to interact with games simply by looking – a great accessibility option for disabled gamers.
The PlayStation VR headset currently sports a 5.7in 1920 x 1080 (386ppi) display, which was acceptable in 2016 but not so much in 2019. As we move away from first-gen VR headsets, consumers are demanding higher-res displays to improve the overall look of VR content and make things like reading text in VR more comfortable, and it looks like the PSVR 2 won’t disappoint on that front.
Japan Display, otherwise known as JDI, is co-owned by Sony and produces the displays not only for the PSVR headset, but Sony smartphones too. The company has developed a next-gen 3.2in display boasting a 2160 x 2432 resolution and a whopping 1001ppi, which many speculate will be used in the next-gen PSVR headset.
Being smaller than the 5.7in display of the original, Sony may need to use two separate displays to power the VR experience, but with the extra power supposedly on offer from the PS5, it shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
Upgraded PlayStation Move controllers
As mentioned above, the next-gen PSVR headset will be joined by improved Move controllers. The current Move controllers do the job, allowing you to interact with virtual environments, but without 1:1 tracking, they simply can’t compete with the experience on offer from Vive, Cosmos or Oculus Touch controllers.
A patent that surfaced back in January 2018 gave us our first look at new Move controllers; while the overall design is similar, there are a handful of new additions including an analogue stick – helping with smooth locomotion in VR games – and plenty of buttons to help you interact with the virtual world.
Then, in October 2019, LetsGoDigital discovered a PlayStation VR 2 patent that also outlines a key new feature of the next-gen Move controllers; a camera. The addition of a camera could allow the Move controllers to carry on working even when out of view of the PlayStation Camera – something the controllers can’t do at present.
Considering the current Move controllers were first launched way back in 2009 for the PS3, we think an upgrade is well overdue.
Compatible with first-gen PSVR games
While not explicitly confirmed by Sony, the company has stated clearly that the PS5 will be backwards compatible with the entire PS4 library, so we expect that to apply to the PlayStation VR library too.