The PSVR 2 is a next-generation VR headset from Sony that'll work exclusively with the PS5. Formally revealed last year, we've been slowly getting a better look at what to expect ever since.
PSVR 2 follows in the footsteps of the original PlayStation VR headset, which launched back in 2016 for the PS4. PlayStation VR 2 is expected to join the PS5 towards the end of 2022. However, supply chain issues might well push this anticipated launch back to 2023.
2022 has already revealed plenty of new things about the PSVR 2. One post on the PlayStation Blog (opens in new tab) revealed the official headset name -- spoiler alert: it's the PlayStation VR2 -- alongside the official name of its new VR controller, PlayStation VR2 Sense.
This continued at the CES 2022 tech expo, while a further PlayStation Blog post revealed the headset's design (details below). Sure, it's similar to the original headset, but new features will make it much more comfortable to wear for long periods.
Sony claims the PSVR 2 will take VR gaming to "a whole new level" and that this headset features drastically improved specifications. Supposedly, these will allow "a greater sense of presence" so players can "escape into game worlds like never before".
Using the headset's new technology combined with the PlayStation VR2 Sense controller's haptic feedback and adaptive triggers offers "a heightened range of sensations unlike any other," Sony says. Certainly sounds promising, to say the least.
We’ve rounded up everything we know so far about the new VR headset from Sony below. That includes what the VR headset looks like, the new games we’re looking forward to playing, a summary of the PSVR 2's specs that we know so far, and what features we can expect.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The next generation of PlayStation VR
- When is it out? TBC. Potentially 2022 or later
- How much will it cost? TBC - probably around the PSVR's $499 launch price.
PSVR 2: hardware
Sony’s second PSVR headset promises a huge leap forward over the original PlayStation VR. Not only will the PSVR 2 take advantage of the PS5's more powerful hardware, it has a significantly higher resolution display for each eye as well. Faster refresh rates, a wider field of view, and improved tracking and input have also been confirmed.
PSVR 2 specs rumors previously indicated that the headset will include an OLED display that boasts a total resolution of 4000 X 2040 pixels - that’s 2000 X 2040 per eye and just slightly more than the Oculus Quest 2. Also rumored were a 110-degree field of view and foveated rendering (a technique that uses gaze tracking to render only certain parts of the image), and sensory features in the headset itself.
Sony has since confirmed that the PSVR 2 does indeed offers 4K HDR, a 110-degree field of view, foveated rendering, and frame rates of 90/120Hz. PSVR 2 also includes inside-out tracking, which means it'll track you and your controller through integrated cameras embedded in the headset. Your movements and the direction you look will be reflected in-game, without the need for an external camera.
The new sensory features of PSVR 2 combine eye tracking, headset feedback, 3D Audio, and the PSVR 2 Sense controller to create a deeper feeling of immersion. A single built-in motor in the headset will add an additional tactile element, which can replicate the player's pulse during tense moments, or the rush of objects passing by a player's head.
Eye tracking will be a particularly pleasing addition for VR enthusiasts, which lets PSVR 2 track the motion of your eyes. Simply look in a specific direction and the headset will create an additional input for your game character. This results in a more intuitive and natural experience.
However, this could lead to delays and a high price tag. Previous reports stated that Sony hasn't finalized a deal with Tobii AB, the manufacturer of the eye tracking camera Sony is using for PSVR 2. Tobii's cameras are powerful pieces of equipment and don't come cheaply. Its Eye Tracker 5 sells for about $230 / £230 alone, and the original PSVR cost $399 / £349 at launch without eye-tracking support.
Throw in the 4K HDR OLED display, 120Hz max refresh rate, plus improved controllers, and Sony's new headset could be pretty expensive. It's also worth noting that the PSVR 2 headset isn't wireless, but instead only requires one cable between the headset and the console to use.
PSVR 2: release date
We don’t know exactly when PSVR 2 will launch and there's been no official date from Sony just yet. However, Holiday 2022 seems like a likely bet (that's between November and December) and this backs up rumors detailed in a report from Bloomberg.
Given that Sony had struggled to output enough PS5 consoles to meet demand, we may even see the PSVR 2 launch beyond 2022 to keep production pipelines focused on the console. That would give Sony more time to expand the potential PSVR 2 player base (as the new headset will be exclusive to Sony’s latest console) and get the PS5 in more people’s hands.
However, there's reason to believe it could arrive in 2023 instead. Back in April, an analyst claims the PSVR 2 could soon enter mass production with the goal of an early 2023 launch. Speaking in a Twitter thread, TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggested that PSVR 2 will enter mass production later this year.
A PlayStation Blog post (opens in new tab) has suggested that PSVR 2 will launch in 2023 instead. Speaking about The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners Chapter 2, a game coming to both PSVR and PSVR 2, this stated: “The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners – Chapter 2: Retribution is currently set to come to PSVR in late 2022 and PS VR2 in 2023.” If PSVR 2 was launching this year, you'd expect to see it at the same time.
PSVR 2: price
Right now, we don’t know how much the PSVR 2 will cost. However, we can look at other VR headsets to get an idea of what we could expect to pay for this new hardware.
Firstly, we have the current PlayStation VR starter bundle that retails for $200 / £259 / AU$420. This is slightly cheaper than the price of the hugely popular Oculus Quest 2, which typically sells for £299 / $299 / AU$479. That said, the PSVR Starter bundle has gone through several price reductions and is several years old. Originally, a full PSVR bundle retailed for $499 (£399, about AU$650).
The price tag could make sense if Sony uses premium tech. For comparison, a “premium” VR headset currently on the market is the HTC Vive Pro, which retails for $800, £800, or around AU$1,045.
We imagine Sony will aim for a price somewhere between the original and current price for the PSVR bundle. However, its hands may be tied based on the cost of the components. As mentioned above, the original headset didn't feature eye tracking and the necessary components needed for this aren't cheap.
PSVR 2: controllers
The upcoming PSVR 2 controllers will be getting a significant performance and design upgrade. We also now know Sony's next-gen VR peripheral is called the PlayStation VR2 Sense controller.
These new controllers drop the classic PS Move controller design from the original PSVR. Instead, these favor a more typical approach seen in modern VR controllers, like Oculus Quest 2's Touch controllers.
The PSVR 2 controllers will feature baton-like handles with a plastic orb around them. They also make use of the same adaptive trigger features found in the current DualSense PS5 pads. This will allow for differing tensions on any given in-game action.
They’ll also feature haptic feedback and finger touch detection, letting a game know where your digits are resting without having to press a button. Speaking on PlayStation Blog, Hideaki Nishino, head of platform planning and management at PlayStation, said these features mean you’ll be able “to make more natural gestures with your hands during gameplay.”
PSVR 2: specs
Sony revealed the full specs of the PSVR 2 at CES 2022. Here's a breakdown of Sony's PSVR 2 specs:
|PSVR 2 specs|
|Panel resolution||2000 x 2040 per eye|
|Panel refresh rate||90Hz, 120Hz|
|Field of View||Approx. 110 degrees|
|Sensors||Motion Sensor: Six-axis motion sensing system (three-axis gyroscope, three-axis accelerometer))|
|Cameras||4 cameras for headset and controller tracking, IR camera for eye tracking per eye|
|Feedback||Vibration on headset|
|Communication with PS5||USB Type-C|
|Audio||Input: Built-in microphone, Output: Stereo headphone jack|
Sony has added a vent to the PSVR 2 to make playing in the headset a more comfortable experience.
"One of the areas I wanted to focus on first was the idea of creating a vent in the headset to let air out, similar to the vents on the PS5 console that allows airflow," senior art director Yujin Morisawa wrote in a blog post. "Our engineers came up with this idea as a good way to allow ventilation and avoid having the lens fog up while players are immersed in their VR games".
The PSVR 2 is also slightly lighter, thanks to a slimmer design. Both those features should make it more comfortable to play in VR for longer.
PSVR 2: games
We're still a long way off from this headset releasing, so it's not entirely surprising that currently, we've only seen a handful of confirmed PSVR 2 games. When Sony officially revealed PlayStation VR2's name back in January, we got a brief look at Horizon Call of the Mountain (opens in new tab) from Guerrilla and Firesprite, but no other games.
Since then, we've gotten a much better look at what to expect. Sony has confirmed PSVR 2 has over 20 games at launch, offering a mix of first-party and third-party games. Meanwhile, June 2022's State of Play conference revealed several new titles, including some big hitters from third-party developers.
You can find the full list of what's been confirmed below:
- Among Us VR
- Horizon Call of the Mountain
- Jurassic Park game from Coatsink
- No Man's Sky
- Resident Evil 4 Remake
- Resident Evil Village
- Samurai Slaughter House
- Sim Kayak VR: Mirage
- The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners – Chapter 2: Retribution
- Unannounced game from First Contact Entertainment
- Unannounced game from nDreams
PSVR 2: news and rumors
State of Play reveals four new PSVR 2 games
Sony's State of Play conference delivered for VR fans, showcasing four new PSVR 2 games. Alongside our first look at Horizon Call of the Mountain gameplay, the following confirmed games are: Resident Evil 4 remake, Resident Evil Village, No Man's Sky, and The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners – Chapter 2: Retribution. Basically, we hope you like zombies.
Epic reveal Unreal Engine 5 projects for PSVR 2
During its 'The State of Unreal (opens in new tab)' 2022 event, Epic Games revealed that several games are utilising Unreal Engine 5 for Sony's upcoming headset. While we don't know which games that includes, noted VR developers like nDreams were spotted among studios supporting this new engine.
PSVR 2 could start mass production soon
Sony’s next-gen virtual reality headset which is tipped to release this year could enter mass production in China soon. Hardware analyst Brad Lynch spotted that a well respected Chinese supply chain analyst shared the news that manufacturer Goertek will be in charge of producing the PSVR 2 headsets, and that mass production could start soon.
PSVR 2 could be backwards compatible
A new leak from ResetEra (opens in new tab) has suggested that the PSVR 2 headset will have access to a large launch library thanks to backwards compatibility - letting users play every current PSVR game on the new hardware.
We have to take every claim with a pinch of salt but honestly, we'd have been surprised if the PSVR 2 wasn't backwards compatible. Otherwise, players would be locked out of some of the best VR games and would have barely anything to play when the system launches.
Is Sony making inroads to social VR?
Part chatroom, part Sims-like design app, PlayStation Home was closed in 2015. But the trademark hints at its return and, given the rise of social VR spaces, we wouldn’t be surprised if this is going to play a big part in Sony’s move into social gaming and virtual reality in the future.
PSVR 2 could take a step back from VR-only titles
According to a report from YouTube channel PSVR Without Parole (opens in new tab), PSVR 2 games could shift from VR-exclusive experiences. Instead, Sony might focus on "hybrid" titles that can be played with or without a PSVR 2 headset.
The report explains that PSVR 2 compatible titles could have two versions: the more traditional TV-based experience as well as a version that works in VR. This would mean players won't have to download two versions of the game, and can essentially choose which version suits them best.
Motion Sickness Reduction Patent
A patent filed in 2019 and published on WIPO in 2020 points to efforts from Sony to reduce motion sickness in what could be a PSVR 2. The patent describes “a VR sickness reduction system, a head-mounted display, a VR sickness reduction method, and a program with which it is possible to further reduce VR sickness.”
Finding that much motion sickness in VR is caused by “a difference between the movement of the viewpoint and the user’s feeling in a situation where a moving image showing the appearance from the viewpoint is displayed on the display”, the patent posits a potential solution which appears to involve vibrations or oscillations.
The patent reads “An HMD (12) is provided with a display unit (38), which is disposed in front of the eyes of a user when the user wears the HMD (12). A shaking unit (42) can shake the head of the user wearing the HMD (12).
An entertainment device (14) causes the display unit (38) to display a moving image representing a view as seen from a viewpoint. The entertainment device (14) controls the shaking of the shaking unit (42) in accordance with the acceleration condition of the viewpoint for the moving image displayed by the display unit (38).”
The overall aim, it would seem, is to better unite what the player is seeing in the PSVR headset with what they’re feeling outside of it. Patents are never any guarantee of a final product, but this could be an insight into problems Sony is looking to overcome in any future iterations of the PSVR headset.
Good news for glasses wearers?
These Sony developed prescription glasses would be custom-designed for the wearer and gaze would be able to be detected by the VR headset via an encoded sensor. In other words, glasses-wearers could use VR much easier. We don't expect these glasses to come cheap, but the implementation of eye gaze software does mean we might see it arrive in the PSVR 2.