The world of VR has grown exponentially in the last few years, and Sony has been at the forefront of it from a games perspective, launching the original PlayStation VR headset back in 2016. Now that the PlayStation 5 is out and on sale, Sony has indeed confirmed that its next-gen virtual reality device is on the way. Here at T3, we've gathered all the PSVR 2 leaks, rumours, price details, games and other specs in one place for your reading pleasure.
Like its predecessor, the PSVR 2 is going to be a device that's very specifically targeted. You can pick any one of the best gaming headsets to use with your PS5 box (as long as it supports the console of course), but the PSVR 2 is going to be on another level entirely.
There's still plenty we don't know about the PSVR 2, but a few pieces of the puzzle have been slotted into place already – and it's likely to be a lot more powerful when it makes its debut, potentially in 2022. While we're waiting for the official launch, let's catch up on all the latest news and rumours.
PSVR 2: release date and price
Sony has now officially confirmed that the PSVR 2 is on the way – though it's not going to be arriving in 2021. The earliest you're going to be able to get your hands on a new headset is 2022, but it might even be later than that. Many delays have happened across all industries due to the pandemic, so there's every chance PSVR 2 might slip to 2023.
"There’s still a lot of development underway for our new VR system, so it won’t be launching in 2021," PlayStation head of platform planning and management Hideaki Nishino wrote in a blog post. "But we wanted to provide this early update to our fans, as the development community has started to work on creating new worlds for you to explore in virtual reality."
Make of that what you will. We haven't heard any real whispers on cost either, though the original retail price of the first PSVR might give us some indication: that device launched in October 2016 at £349 / $399 / AU$549.95, so expect something similar next time around.
PSVR 2: design
For the time being we haven't seen any leaked images of what the PSVR 2 might look like, although there are only so many ways you can design a pair of VR goggles really – they fit over your head and sit in front of your eyes. The technology that needs to be packed inside these devices means they have to be fairly hefty as well.
Concept designers are trying their best to imagine what Sony might be coming up with. The PlayStation XR concept from French tech site VR4Player is definitely eye-catching, and if the real deal ends up looking anywhere near as good as this, then we're going to be first in line when preorders open.
Sony has shared a few tidbits about the design of the upcoming PSVR 2. It's mentioned that it will run from a single wired cable, for example, so we're not going to get the complete wireless freedom of something like the Oculus Quest 2. Despite that cable, it does sound as though quite a bit of streamlining and refining will be happening when it comes to the PSVR 2.
An update of the original PSVR headset was released back in 2017 when Sony launched the CUH-ZVR2 model. The major differences were lighter cables as well as the stereo headphone now being situated within the headset, again reducing the cabling situation from the CUH-ZVR1. Most notably, HDR passthrough was enabled for 4K TVs through the new processor unit, something that was available prior but was a lot more hassle to set up. We expect Sony to continue this streamlining approach.
What we do know is what the PSVR 2 controllers are going to look like, thanks to an early preview from Sony itself. As you can see from the picture below, the ergonomic controllers wrap around the entire hand, and we're being promised adaptive triggers, haptic feedback and finger-touch detection when they make their appearance.
Nishino further added in a blog post that these new features "enables you to make more natural gestures with your hands during gameplay."
Some of this tech, like the tension you can feel when you press down on a trigger, has been adapted from the DualSense controllers that come with the PS5 console itself. Sony says that a tracking ring on the bottom of the controller will be used to track your hands in 3D space, with no need for any external monitors or trackers to be added.
On the left controller, we have an analog stick, the triangle and square buttons, a 'grip' L1 button, an L2 trigger button and a Create button. Over on the right controller, there's another analog stick, the cross and circle buttons, a 'grip' R1 button, an R2 trigger button and an Options button. One of the uses for the 'grip' buttons is to pick up objects in the virtual reality world, for example.
Another rumour that made the rounds in August 2021 pointed to a second screen. It's a bit outlandish but in every way possible. The idea that this could become a reality came about from a new Sony patent (see below), as first spotted by VRFocus.
The patent was named under the title "Display screen front panel of HMD for viewing by users viewing the HMD player" and supposedly designed to help improve the experience of anyone watching someone playing with VR.
PSVR 2: specs
Rumours of the PSVR 2 specs are plentiful, with Sony stating that the upcoming device "enhances everything from resolution and field of view to tracking and input" – so it sounds as though we're going to get a higher-quality display and a wider field of view this time around.
This would match up with a report (via UploadVR) pointing to a resolution of 4000 x 2040 (2000 x 2040 per eye) for the new headset. This is just up on what the Oculus Quest 2 currently offers. On top of this, the claim suggests a lens separation adjustment dial and gaze tracking that can provide foveated rendering will be added.
The original PlayStation VR offers a display resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, with a field of view of approximately 100 degrees – we've previously talked about the screen door effect that this can create, and so it's reassuring to hear that Sony has taken steps to improve this aspect of the device's specs. This looks to be upgraded to a 110 degree field of view, according to the same rumours as above.
Based on a recent patent application, it sounds as though there might be some handy anti-motion sickness measures included in the PSVR 2 as well.
The same VR4Player site that put together the concept video we've embedded above has also speculated that we'll be getting a 4K OLED RGB display, interchangeable battery packs, and a microSDXC for expanding the onboard storage.
Something interesting to consider is Sony's relationship with JDI (Japan Display Inc.) and how that may play into PSVR 2. Sony utilises JDI screens for its smartphones and the latest looks to offer a 3.3-inch display, capable of 1001 PPI (pixels per inch) and a 2160 x 2432 resolution. Latency has equally being reduced to 2.2 milliseconds and will demand less power, according to the manufacturer. This is why several rumours point to Sony going with JDR for its PSVR 2 screen.
PSVR 2: games
PS5 exclusive games are still thin on the ground at the moment, and there's plenty of speculation as to what we might see. The original PSVR had titles such as Astro Bot: Rescue Mission, Blood & Truth, Tetris Effect, Moss, Beat Saber, and Resident Evil 7: Biohazard to tempt players into purchasing the virtual reality accessory, and Sony is going to want to have a strong roster of titles for the next-gen headset too.
Most recently, Iron Man VR developer Camouflaj put up a load of new vacancies for a currently unannounced triple-A project. The listing asks for "experience with VR" so it's fair to assume the studio will be staying within the space for the time being. Could this be Iron Man VR 2, or even another Marvel property?
On top of this, we have another peculiar rumour surrounding actor/director Andy Serkis and a video of the man congratulating players on earning a Platinum trophy. No specific game has been cited at the minute, so speculation seems to point to a new game tied to Venom.
Why PSVR? Well, Marvel's Spider-Man 2 is set to launch in 2023 (at the earliest) and while the game is set to feature Venom it does seem odd to include Serkis promoting a film that will have launched two years prior. Not to mention, Insomniac Games likes to branch off from established versions of the Spider-Man characters, so why would they want to connect it to the Tom Hardy-led movie?
Furthermore, Sony previously released a small Spider-Man: Homecoming VR experience alongside the release of the MCU film. So, our thinking is this will be for a similar Venom-led experience sometime in the near future.
Developer Maze Theory (known for making Doctor Who: The Edge of Time) has also confirmed that it is looking at bringing its upcoming narrative-based game Engram to the platform.
There's also another rumour suggesting that a new Horizon experience designed for PSVR 2 is in the works from Firesprite studio, though this comes courtesy of the XboxEra podcast so we're not sure how much validity there is to it. A Horizon game for VR does make all the sense in the world too, with Horizon: Forbidden West due to launch in February 2022.
It's likely we'll start to hear more about further games in the coming months and early next year.