next-gen

PS5 VR release date, controllers, and features for the new headset

"It will connect to PS5 with a single cord."

Hideaki Nishino, Sony Senior Vice President

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The PS VR follow-up we've all been waiting for is finally coming. Sony announced that it's working on a next-gen successor to its PS VR headset, which will work with the PlayStation 5. That's great news for players who have been enjoying games like Hitman 3 in PS VR who hunger for a more powerful device that's less cumbersome to set up.

While Sony hasn't shared exact details or pictures of the device, the company did reveal plenty of details about what players can expect — including what the controllers look like. Judging by the early information, the new device already sounds like a major improvement over the serviceable, but limited PS VR. Here's everything you need to know about the next-generation of Sony VR.

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When is the PS5 VR release date?

PS VR is about to get a huge upgrade.Sony

PS5 VR isn't coming anytime soon. Sony didn't provide an exact timetable on when we might expect it, but it did confirm that it won't launch in 2021. A February 23, 2021 announcement blog post iterates that Sony is giving players an "early update" on the device, so it's not clear how deep into development it is right now.

We do know that development kits are about to go out to developers, which is promising. For now, players shouldn't expect the headset to drop until 2022 at the earliest.

How much will PS5 VR cost?

It's too early to say, considering that the headset is still in its early stages of development. That said, it's likely that Sony will keep the price low. The selling point of the original PS VR was it's low price point compared to other headsets, so it only makes sense that Sony would take a similar approach.

Pricing will have to be competitive too, considering that the Oculus Quest 2 costs the same amount as a PS VR now. And that's the price for a standalone VR device with higher resolution and controllers included in the package. If Sony is going to remain relevant in the space, it'll need to stay about on par with that price range or risk losing early PS VR adopters to Oculus.

What are the new PS5 VR controllers?

The new Sony PS VR 2 controllers.Sony

Despite the headset being so far away, Sony has already revealed the headset’s new controllers. Rather than sticking with the Wiimote-style design of the PlayStation Move, Sony opted for something that more closely resembles the Oculus Touch. The black plastic controllers adopt a round design that surrounds the controls themselves. Like a normal PlayStation controller, these feature four primary face buttons, two joysticks, and four triggers split between the two devices.

What’s special about the new controllers is that they take borrow features from the PS5’s DualSense. That means players will get to experience both haptic feedback and adaptive triggers in VR games.

Other features include finger touch detection. Sony describes the technology in its announcement post.

“The controller can detect your fingers without any pressing in the areas where you place your thumb, index, or middle fingers. This enables you to make more natural gestures with your hands during gameplay,” says Sony.

How does tracking work on PS5 VR?

Tracking on a current PS VR is a little cumbersome. Players have to set up a camera, which follows the lights on your PS Move controllers to determine motions. That’s changing for the new unit.

Sony says that the new controllers handle tracking via a ring across the bottom of the controller. That means players can say goodbye to the big clown nose of the PS Move. Sony mentions that controller tracking happens “by the new VR headset,” so it seems as though a camera won’t be needed at all.

What games are coming to PS5 VR?

Again, it's impossible to know at the moment, but one would imagine (or hope) that a new device would be backward compatible with current PS VR games. All we do know is that launch games will be coming. In an interview with GQ, Sony Interactive president Jim Ryan committed to launching the new device with the proper software.

"We’re not saying anything specific today about any developer support, whether it’s our own studios or any of our publishing partners," Ryan said, "but obviously we will launch our new VR system with appropriate software support."

A detail shot of the new, Dualsense-inspired Sony VR controllers.Sony

What's different about PS5 VR?

Sony says that it learned a lot of lessons with its first attempt at VR and that the new headset will iterate on the original in some important ways. In fact, it's referring to the new headset as a "new VR format" entirely. The biggest news for fans is that the new PS VR will use a single cord setup instead of the convoluted, multi-cable box that the PS VR currently uses.

Other than that, Sony Senior Vice President Hideaki Nishino says that the headset will improve on the original in several areas. "We’re taking what we’ve learned since launching PS VR on PS4 to develop a next-gen VR system that enhances everything from resolution and field of view to tracking and input," says Nishino.

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