PSVR 2 could fix one of VR's biggest, most uncomfortable problems

PSVR 2 front of headset
(Image credit: Future)

As incredible as playing many of the best VR games can be, many share a common issue in suffering from in-headset glare on the lenses, which can occur at any time in VR depending on the brightness settings and scene displayed on the screens behind the lenses. This can cause distress to the eye. However, a recently discovered Sony patent shows that PSVR 2 could include a way to eliminate god rays (or crepuscular rays) entirely.

As reported by RoadtoVR, the patent for the upcoming PS5 headset actually dates back to May, 2020, and is titled "Fresnel lens and manufacturing method for Fresnel lens." While the patent does get into the finer details of the benefits of a Fresnel lens over a more traditional setup, the important part is in how Sony plans to implement such a lens into PSVR 2.

The patent states that Sony's Fresnel lenses "can suppress a flare which is generated in an image visually recognized through the Fresnel lens so as to extend toward a center of a lens." In layman's terms, this would focus light beams at a different angle, thus preventing crepuscular rays from being beamed directly into the player's eye.

Dimming the lights

To get a bit more into how Sony's bespoke Fresnel lens would achieve this, the lenses are built with a "light absorbing portion," as noted in the patent. And while the patent offers multiple examples of where this light absorbing portion could be located within the lens, the idea is to have that element soak in intense light instead of dispersing it across the entire lens.

It's important to note that, while the patent does sound like a remarkably promising technical achievement in the VR space, it is still just that – a patent. Patents, for better or worse, are never guaranteed to be implemented into the final product, instead representing ownership of an idea more than anything. Still, we would hope that Sony plans to at least test the technology for use with PSVR 2, if it hasn't done so already.

One of the biggest barriers to entry for VR is that it can make the user's eyes strain considerably, even after short term use. Much of that can be contributed to intense crepuscular rays that, as mentioned, can make for uncomfortable play sessions when high brightness settings meet brightly lit environments in-game.

Rhys Wood
Hardware Editor

Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.