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 PS5 has entered the market, Sony has confirmed that its next-gen virtual reality device is on the way – officially known as the PlayStation VR2. As such, here at T3 we've gathered all the officially announced PSVR 2 information, as well as notable leaks, rumours, price details, games and other specs in one convenient place for your reading pleasure.
Like its predecessor, the PSVR 2 is going to be a device that's very specifically targeted. As of January 2020, Sony confirmed that PSVR has surpassed five million sales but the PSVR 2 is expected to be on another level entirely.
Sony has kicked off 2022 by revealing a big chunk of information on PSVR 2 – most importantly a first look at the headset and a list of official specifications (opens in new tab). We also got confirmation that Horizon is receiving its own PSVR 2 title in the form of Horizon Call of the Mountain. Exciting times!
That said, there are still a number of details we don't know about. Here's everything we know so far about PSVR 2, including all of the latest news, rumours and leaks.
PSVR 2 – release date and price
Sony has now officially confirmed that the PSVR 2 is on the way. A 2022 release date is still possible, with the Japanese firm reportedly ramping up mass production, but recent evidence suggests it 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 (opens in new tab). "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 for 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. It did, however, drop down to £299 / $299 / AU$479 for the PSVR Starter Pack a year later.
Something also worth considering in this day and age is consumer demand and whether it can be met. Chip shortages have plagued the PS5 stock issues since launching in November 2020 and have not gotten any better. As a result, this could potentially delay the launch of PSVR 2 with Sony wanting to hold on until consumer demand is met for the console first.
Most recently, Sony launched its official PSVR 2 website (opens in new tab), potentially meaning that a release date might not be far behind. If we had to guess, a release date sometime in the first quarter of 2023 seems the most plausible at this stage.
PSVR 2 – design
Sony officially revealed a first look at the PSVR 2 headset with the final design of the Sense controllers in February 2022 (via PS Blog (opens in new tab)).
Taking inspiration from the PS5, the PSVR 2 headset has received updates to help with user comfort by adding new features such as a lens adjustment dial, allowing users to have an additional option to match the lens distance between their eyes to optimise their view, as well as a slimmer design with a slight weight reduction. Additionally, there is a new built-in motor for the headset feedback.
Sony confirmed that the design of the PSVR 2 will utilise a "simplified single-cord setup (opens in new tab)", so we're not going to get the complete wireless freedom of something like the Oculus Quest 2. The first look at the headset showed off the cord setup. Despite that, it's still a big update that looks to reduce the numerous wires included in the original.
“When I started to work on the design for the PlayStation VR2 headset, 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," Sony Interactive Entertainment senior art director Yujin Morisawa said, speaking on the new update.
"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. I worked on many design concepts to achieve this, and in the final design, you can see there is a little space in between the top and front surface of the scope that contains the integrated ventilation. I am really proud of how this turned out and the positive feedback I have gotten so far. I hope our PlayStation fans will also agree, and I can’t wait for them to try it out.”
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.
PlayStation VR2 Sense controller
What we do know is what the PSVR 2 Sense controllers are going to look like, thanks to an early preview (opens in new tab) 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." In January 2022, the device was officially titled the PlayStation VR2 Sense controller.
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.
PSVR 2 – specs
Sony has now confirmed lots of information about the PSVR 2's specs and hardware (via its official blog (opens in new tab)). The official PlayStation VR 2 specifications are as below:
Resolution: 2000 x 2040 per eye
Refresh rate: 90Hz, 120Hz
Lens separation: Adjustable
Field of view: 110 degrees
Sensors: Six-axis motion sensing system
Cameras: Four cameras for headset, one IR camera
Feedback: Vibration on headset
Communication: USB Type-C
Audio: Headphone jack, built-in mic
In terms of visual fidelity, the PSVR 2 offers a 4K HDR, 110-degree field of view and foveated rendering. The PSVR 2's display is OLED and consumers can expect a display resolution of 2000 x 2040 per eye and in-game frame rates of 90Hz or 120Hz.
The PSVR 2 headset also delivers controller tracking with inside-out tracking. This means that the headset tracks the controller through integrated cameras, with directions and movements made mirrored in the game, without the need for an external camera.
"All of these advancements in PlayStation VR2, combined with the haptic feedback and adaptive triggers from the PS VR2 Sense controllers, enable players to feel and interact with games in a much more visceral way," wrote Sony platform experience senior vice president Hideaki Nishino.
During a Unity talk at GDC 2022, it was further revealed (via Android Central (opens in new tab)) that the PSVR 2 headset's eye-tracking has received a boost. The GPU frame times are now up to 2.5 times faster with foveated rendering and now 3.6 times faster with rendering and eye-tracking combined.
Sony similarly has officially confirmed the specifications for the PlayStation VR2 Sense controllers. These can be seen below:
Buttons: [Right] PS button, Options button, Action buttons (Circle / Cross), R1 button, R2 button, Right Stick / R3 button
[Left] PS button, Create button, Action buttons (Triangle / Square), L1 button, L2 button, Left Stick / L3 button
Sensing/Tracking: Motion sensor: six-axis motion sensing system (three-axis gyroscope plus three-axis accelerometer). Capacitive sensor: finger touch detectionIR LED: position tracking
Feedback: Trigger effect (on R2/L2 button), haptic feedback (by single actuator per unit)
Port: USB Type-C
Battery: Built-in Lithium-ion rechargeable battery
PSVR 2 – games
Sony has confirmed that PSVR 2 will have more than 20 games at launch, being made up of both first-party and third-party titles.
"Right now, there is a considerable amount of money being spent on partnerships with independent and other third-party developers to secure a considerable pipeline of attractive VR content at the launch of PlayStation VR2,” said Sony Interactive Entertainment president Jim Ryan during a briefing in May 2022 (via VGC (opens in new tab)).
“That energy, that effort and that money will continue to grow as the installed base of PlayStation VR 2 headsets grows also.”
The original PSVR launched with over 30 games, including Batman: Arkham VR, Driveclub VR, EVE: Valkyrie, Job Simulator, PlayStation VR Worlds, Rez Infinite, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Thumper and Until Dawn: Rush of Blood.
Over the span of its lifecycle, it then went on to receive such fantastic titles as Astro Bot: Rescue Mission, Blood & Truth, Tetris Effect, Moss, Beat Saber, and Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. Once again, Sony is going to need a strong roster of games to tempt players into purchasing the virtual reality accessory.
Horizon Call of the Mountain
After months of rumours, a Horizon game for PSVR 2 was officially confirmed by Sony in January 2021. Developed by Guerrilla and Firesprite, the original game is being built specifically for PSVR 2 and is said to "open the doors for players to go deeper into the world of Horizon".
Now that Horizon Forbidden West has launched, it's likely we'll start to hear more about this project in the coming months.
Iron Man VR 2
Iron Man VR developer Camouflaj (opens in new tab) 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.
Moss: Book II
Developer Polyarc announced a sequel to PSVR darling Moss as part of Sony's State of Play showcase in July 2021. While no release date has been slated yet for Moss: Book II, it's fair to assume the game will arrive to coincide with the launch of PSVR 2 or if not, shortly afterwards.
Doctor Who and Engram
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.
"PSVR 2 brings exciting new aspects, better controllers and dexterity which will create even more immersive worlds and higher fidelity. This lends itself well to more VR gaming for Doctor Who, although currently nothing is confirmed for the future," Maze Theory studio director Russell Harding told T3.
Speaking on the possibility of Doctor Who game for PSVR 2, Harding further said: "We have a great relationship with the BBC and will always be looking at titles we can support and evolve across multiple gaming platforms."
Furthermore, Maze Theory has confirmed that it is working on Peaky Blinders: The King’s Ransom, which is set to launch in 2022. The VR title will arrive on Oculus Quest and with the studio telling T3 that "PSVR is to be confirmed soon".
Cillian Murphy will return as Thomas "Tommy" Shelby alongside Paul Anderson as Arthur Shelby, in their respective roles from the TV series. Set in 1920s England. Players will choose their path in moments of "subversion, wish fulfilment, narrative intrigue, and gripping set pieces", to see how the story will play out.
Metal Gear and Death Stranding creator Hideo Kojima is working on a new project for PSVR 2, according to a new rumour in February 2022.
Twitter account Oops Leaks (opens in new tab)shared that Kojima Productions received a PSVR 2 prototype in November 2021. The studio is now supposedly working on a smaller VR project alongside Lucid Dreams Productions founder Celine Tricart, a virtual reality specialist.
Kojima then appeared as a guest on Tokyo radio station J-Wave in January 2022, where he teased the project. According to translations made by Genki (via Twitter (opens in new tab)), it has been described as "edgy", closer to an indie game, not AR, and not traditional.
Kojima Productions got PSVR2 prototypes back in November 2021. According to unconfirmed information that I’ve got, studio's upcoming smaller project could be a VR game/experience in collaboration with award-winning Virtual Reality expert and storyteller Céline Tricart. pic.twitter.com/fAyF3OyCxkJanuary 28, 2022
Among Us VR
Imposter! A teaser trailer for Among Us VR was debuted at the Meta Gaming Showcase in April 2022. Subsequently, it was confirmed (via Twitter (opens in new tab)) that the game will arrive on PSVR 2 upon the headset's release. A new trailer (opens in new tab) was also unveiled to show exactly how crewmates will interact and play the Mafia-inspired title.
Medieval Dynasty, a survival open world game, looks to be coming to PSVR 2 sometime in the future, with developers Render Cube and Spectral Games confirming the intention during a Polish interview (via Push Square (opens in new tab)).
The game is already available on PC and a new VR version is already planned for the Meta Quest 2 with a port then set to arrive on PSVR 2.
PSVR 2 – everything else to know
Real-time image upscaling
Another patent (opens in new tab) filed by Sony (via Resetera (opens in new tab)) in November 2021 points to real-time image upscaling being brought to the PlayStation 5 – including the possibility of PSVR 2 as well. A close comparison for the tech is Nvidia's Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS). The entry pertaining to the VR inclusion reads as below:
"Virtual reality headsets require much higher computing power to display a satisfactory image to a user than a conventional computer monitor. This is because the monitors of a virtual reality headset are much close to a user's eyes, subtend a much larger angle, and operate at a higher and sustained frame rate," it reads.
"Providing a virtual reality headset configured according to the method as described above provides the advantage of requiring much less computing power without sacrificing the image quality where is needed most for maintaining user comfort and immersion."
8K VR hardware
Sony has unveiled a new 8K Device the utilises two 4K displays to create the next-gen viewing experience. This was debuted at its Sony Technology Day event on December 7th, 2021. While not expected to be part of PSVR 2, the tech could be implemented further down the road. The aim of the prototype is to create more detailed images and help reduce motion sickness.
"This is a virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD) that projects a high-definition 3D space and achieves a high-resolution of 4K with one eye and 8K with both eyes," said Sony in the presentation.
"High image quality is achieved through multi-pixel and miniaturization using fine processing and advanced packaging technology cultivated through the development and manufacture of CMOS image sensors, and Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) microdisplay using device and circuit technology cultivated through the development of displays.
"The processing time is reduced by decreasing the amount of latency throughout the entire system thanks to the integration of data from multiple sensors. The person watching in VR can experience high-definition images in real-time according to the movement of his/her head."
Based on a patent application back in June 2021, it sounds as though there might be some handy anti-motion sickness measures included in the PSVR 2 as well. Nausea is a common issue with virtual reality and arguably one of the biggest hurdles (maybe aside from the price) to getting people through the door. If this can be solved, it could be a game-changer.
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 been 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.
PlayStation creator not sold
PlayStation creator Ken Kutaragi shared his thoughts in an interview with Bloomberg (opens in new tab) about VR, and it sounds as if the former Sony CEO is not quite sold on the prospect
"Headsets would isolate you from the real world, and I can’t agree with that,” said Kutaragi. Summing up his thoughts, he stated that “headsets are simply annoying.”
Better display than Oculus 2?
The PSVR 2 will reportedly have a better display than the Oculus 2, according to Display Supply Chain Consultants CEO Ross Young (via Twitter (opens in new tab)). As Sony confirmed, the resolution of the headset will equal 2000 x 2040, however, pixel density is still unknown at the point.
"As we published today in the DSCC Weekly Review, the Sony PSVR2 will have over 800 PPI resolution per eye with two 2000 x 2040 panels, up from 5.7" 1920 x 1080 with 386 PPI in the PSVR for both eyes," wrote Ross.
Early 2023 release date?
A new rumour that stems from Brian Paul, who runs the popular YouTube channel PSVR Without Parole (opens in new tab), points to PSVR 2 launching in early 2023. The reason why this one has a bit more credibility than most is that the influencer previously predicted Horizon Call of the Mountain for the system.
"The answer I'm hearing from multiple sources now is Q1 2023," said Paul. "This explains why Sony's been relatively quiet about PSVR 2, why they're drip-feeding us small bits of information here and there, why almost everything they've said so far in the topic has been relegated to the PlayStation blog and most importantly, why we haven't got the stage event or State of Play showcasing launch games, price, pre-order details, or whatever.
Analyst further predicts 2023 release
In April 2022, Display Supply Chain Consultants CEO Ross Young shared (via Twitter (opens in new tab)) that VR display shipments are expected to increase by 50% throughout 2022, amounting to 15 million units. As a result, it's now believed that PSVR 2 will not arrive until 2023. More and more rumours are now pointing to a 2023 release window and with Sony not officially specifying a date as of yet, the likelihood of this being true is rising.
VR display shipments to rise >50% to >15M in 2022 despite delays to 2023 at Apple and Sony. Big jump forecasted in 2023.https://t.co/4m1FfgkeoMApril 11, 2022
GDC took place the week of March 20th, 2022, and one presentation that got people talking was the 'Building Next-Gen Games for PlayStation VR2 with Unity (opens in new tab)'. The 60-minute presentation looked to provide helpful information on developers making games specifically for PSVR 2. The description of the talk read as such:
"PlayStation VR2 (PS VR2) promises improved graphics performance and cutting-edge hardware that allows you to create immersive virtual worlds for your players. This session explores how Unity’s VR tech stack can help you build better VR titles. Learn how to use the Unity Platform and graphics tools to build stunning PlayStation VR2 experiences and optimize your projects’ performance."
The talk can be watched below:
PSVR 2 tease from nDreams
Ghostbusters VR developer nDreams is teasing an announcement for PSVR 2. The tech company wrote (via Twitter (opens in new tab)): "2022 has been huge for us already but we're not done yet! We've got two more titles to announce in the coming months, including our first next-gen VR title for PS VR2...". It shouldn't be long before we hear more.
Four down, two to go... 👀2022 has been HUGE for us already but we're not done yet! 😱 We've got two more titles to announce in the coming months, including our first next-gen VR title for PS VR2...Are you ready? 🤷♂️#PSVR2 #VR pic.twitter.com/RV0C6idV13April 28, 2022
It's likely we'll start to hear more about further games and a launch in the coming months, so make sure to keep checking in for the latest details.