The next big VR gaming headset might not be the Quest Pro oror Apple’s . Instead, consider the PlayStation VR 2. Sony’s long-awaited follow-up to 2016’s PlayStation 4 headset is on track to arrive sometime this year, and the information Sony has leaked over time makes it look extremely impressive. For gamers, this might be the most important VR hardware release in a while.
The PSVR 2 isn’t a stand-alone, standalone headset like the Meta(aka Oculus Quest 2), which means you’ll need to connect it USB-C to a (and, of course, you own a PS5) to use it. We still don’t know the release date or the price. But we know a lot of other key details: specifications, how some of its software features will work and even confirmed gameplay.
PlayStation VR 2 looks, in many ways, like the headset we’ve wanted for PS5 all along. The new design features a color scheme that matches the PS5 and a headband-type visor that’s similar but smaller than Sony’s first PSVR. The eye-tracking capabilities of Sony’s high-resolution, vibrating, camera-equipped second-generation PlayStation headset seem to match the high-end specs anyone would dream of.
Earlier this year, Sony revealed a ton of details about itswhich is an update to PlayStation VR that Sony released for the PlayStation 4 back in 2016. Sony has been revealing more details about the headset in small drops: The specs were revealed in January in a detailed blog post , while reminiscent of the PS5 they were discovered last year.
Recently, Sony revealed new details about how VR game streaming and room detection with its walk-through cameras will work.
We also know about an exclusive game: Horizon Call of the Mountain, which is set in the same universe asand Horizon Forbidden West.
The VR headset promises unique vibration feedback and controllers with advanced haptics, along with110 degree field of view, and technology that focuses only on where the fovea of the eye wants to maximize resolution, getting more graphic performance with fewer pixels.
Sony PlayStation’s head of research and development, Dominic Mallinson, has suggested that eye tracking could possibly return to.
It seems to be one of the biggest changes to the game.
PSVR 2 can scan your room and stream your VR games live
The pass-through cameras on the headset will work like the cameras on the Quest 2 and other VR headsets, displaying the real world inside your headset. The headset will also “scramble” your physical space, scanning walls, floors and obstacles like chairs and tables to get a clear sense of the play space. It can create a boundary within which you can play.
The networking part is particularly interesting, as it’s something AR and mixed reality headsets do. This means that PSVR 2 could, in theory, also feature some mixed reality experiences like the Quest 2 already featured, although Sony hasn’t announced anything on that front yet.
One unique feature is the Live Stream mode, which will use the PS5 TV’s camera to record yourself overlaid with footage from your live game in a single stream. Live mixed reality tools appeared for Quest 2, but no game console had ever had this feature before.
There is a cinema mode plus a VR mode
Sony also describes two display modes for the headset: one, for VR, will display at 2,000×2,040 pixels per eye in HDR, at 90Hz or 120Hz. A 2D “cinematic mode,” similar to what the original PSVR can do, plays movies and 2D games at 1,920×1,080 resolution in HDR at 24Hz, 60Hz, or 120Hz.
Specs we know so far:
- OLED screens, with a resolution of 2,000×2,040 pixels per eye, 90Hz and 120Hz frames
- 110 degree field of view
- Eye tracking, and foveated rendering
- Adjustable lens separation
- Vibration in headphones
- 3D audio
- Built-in microphone and audio output for headphones
- Four outdoor surveillance cameras
- One USB-C connection
- Controllers with USB-C ports, Bluetooth 5.1, rechargeable batteries, 6DoF tracking, finger tracking with capacitive touch buttons and infrared, haptic and specialized haptic triggers like DualSense controllers
Headset design: Vibration, eye tracking, moving lenses
Even if Sony’s PSVR 2 headset looks bulky in photos, it could end up being a lot more comfortable than the Quest 2. An adjustable headband, similar to the original PSVR design, means it’ll tighten around your head like a visor instead of using an elastic band to squeeze face. Sony promises an adjustable lens distance for different eyes and faces, just like the original PSVR had. That type of fit worked really well for my glasses.
The headset supports headphones with a standard headphone jack and has a single cable that connects to the PS5 via USB-C, via a socket that appears to come out of one side of the headband. That’s a lot less wires than the crazy breakout box required for the original PSVR.
Embeddedit promises better graphics and may enable eye control and eye contact in VR games. Eye tracking is not yet common in consumer VR headsets, but the technology should make its way to other mainstream headsets, including and also.
The four tracking cameras in the headset will allow motion tracking in VR without using a camera strap connected to the TV. Tracking should work similarly to other VR headsets. It’s possible that the cameras could also enable a mixed-reality transition, merging VR with what the cameras see on the headset’s screen.
Games discovered so far
Sony’s own exclusive Horizon: Call of the Mountain remains the highlight of PSVR 2, but other games have been announced. No Man’s Sky is a confirmed PSVR 2 port (the game is already playable on PSVR). Also announced: The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners Chapter 2 Retribution and Resident Evil Village.
What we don’t know yet: a lot
While Sony seems to have thrown a ton of information our way, there are still a lot of unknowns about PSVR 2 that we hope to find out sooner rather than later:
Sony still hasn’t set a price for the PSVR 2, suggesting it won’t be cheap. The original PlayStation VR cost $400 just for the headset back in 2016. With the PSVR 2’s eye tracking, premium display and fancy controllers, this could end up costing at least as much as the PlayStation 5. But that’s all speculation.
Sony has said PSVR 2 is coming in 2022, but does that mean by the holidays or sooner? There’s no big rush, but it would be nice to know.
Sony has revealed one PSVR 2 game, but how great will the rest of the lineup be? Sony could dip into its exclusive library of games or get timed exclusives from indie developers. The first PSVR launched with a number of notable games, and PSVR 2 will need interesting games to sell the hardware.
Will it be compatible with all old PSVR games?
Chances are, according to reports, it will be compatible with existing PSVR games. That would make sense as PSVR games on PS4 already work on PS5 with first generation hardware. It will also help to give new headphones a starting library; Sony might also update more of these games with PS5 optimized graphics.
Any chance it could be wireless?
Sony has confirmed that the headset is connected with a USB-C cable, and you can see the connected cable in the above photo of the PSVR 2. Right now, the answer is no. It’s hard to imagine the 360-degree Beat Saber with a USB-C cable attached, but the PC VR headset also comes with a cable.