Details of PlayStation VR 2 have emerged from from a private developer conference, per reports from Upload VR and PSVR without Parole. The headset promises a native resolution that’s almost four times that of the original PSVR, an HDR OLED display, and fresh information about the brand new VR controllers.
PlayStation VR 2 – technically, it’s going by the codename ‘next-gen VR’ or ‘NGVR’ – will have a resolution of 4000×2040 pixel, with 2000×2040 for each eye. This resolution is somewhere between the Valve Index (1600×1440 per eye), and the HTC Vive Pro 2 (2448×2448 per eye), and most comparable to the HP Reverb G2 (2160×2160 per eye). The original PSVR shipped with a 1920×1080 panel for 960×1080 per eye.
The field of view has also been expanded to 110 degrees – 10 degrees more than the original PSVR – and an HDR OLED display will aim for a more vivid and dynamic image. This will then be combined with eye-tracking for foveated rendering, allowing the PS5 to render more detail where it detects you are looking. and Sony are reportedly a new technique called flexible scaling resolution to improve game performance.
As has been revealed previously with its early announcement, PSVR 2 will exclusively be compatible with the PlayStation 5, using a single USB-C cable to attach to the front of the console, instead of the mess of cables and breakout boxes required for the original PSVR. The headset will also use inside-out tracking, instead of requiring an external tracking camera.
The fact that it’s solely reliant on PlayStation 5 means that developers can be much more ambitious than on the PS4-connected PSVR. Sony has reportedly told developers that they want to focus on AAA games for the headset, and especially on hybrid games that can be played on both a TV screen or in VR. We’ve seen this approach already with the likes of Resident Evil 7, Hitman 3 and No Man’s Sky, but it has so far been the exception rather than the rule.
Developers will then have to juggle the interactivity of the world between flatscreen and VR play. Sony has already revealed the new form of the PSVR 2 controller, which incorporates the haptic feedback and adaptive triggers of the DualSense. Expanding on previously revealed details, the controllers will use capacitive touch sensors for the thumb, index and middle finger to not only know if the player is touching the controller, but also how far from the controller their digits are. This tech was patented back in early 2020.
One area that isn’t particularly clear is game compatibility. Sony did not discuss backward compatibility with old games, which is possible on SteamVR and Oculus, but might struggle when original PSVR games run via PS4 backward compatibility on PS5. Instead, we might see games remastered and re-released for PSVR 2.
Sony has previously stated that PSVR 2 will not ship in 2021, but PSVR Without Parole says that launch details will be confirmed early next year, indicating that we could see PSVR 2 release in late 2022.