While PS5 might be the big news in the Sonyverse, spare a thought for PlayStation VR 2. With the PS5 fast approaching, it seems Sony is also in it for the VR long haul with either a new PSVR or exciting add-ons for the existing one. At any rate, a patent has been spotted for a new VR controller featuring finger tracking technology. Add the power of PlayStation 5, and it could probably let you destroy all life in the universe with a click of your fingers. Maybe. It's also another good way to establish ownage over the Xbox Series X, since Microsoft is not bothered about VR. Not bothered, mate.
Sony already has minimal competition when it comes to console VR. In fact, it has none. Xbox box Phil Spencer has said that VR isn't a focus for Microsoft (opens in new tab) and its Xbox Series X (opens in new tab), adding that "nobody’s asking for VR." (opens in new tab) Nintendo's VR offering isn't really a contender, as it's part of its cardboard-based Labo kit (opens in new tab) and involves users holding the console up to their face.
Whether or not Microsoft is right about the demand for VR, Sony is forging ahead anyway, with President of SIE Worldwide Studios, Shuhei Yoshida, seemingly subtweeting (opens in new tab) Spencer, saying, "We often work hard to make things that no customers are asking for." Woah, fierce! Easy with the burning there, girlfriend, the earth around Spencer is now scorched.
Anyway, the latest Sony VR patent (opens in new tab) appears to confirm that the company is doing just that.
Filed in 2018, but only publicly available now, the patent shows off strap-on controllers for each hand with sensor units for finger tracking, although the method to do so doesn't appear to be concrete. The document describes "either an electrostatic sensor or an infrared sensor" as the means by which it will detect "proximity or contact of a finger".
The "plurality" of sensors are arranged "along the longitudinal direction of the grip unit" which comprises four small buttons, and fifth, larger button at the top for the index finger. The whole setup sounds very similar to the Valve Index (opens in new tab).
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Sony patent shows PlayStation 5 motion controller that might make AR/VR gaming more fun than ever https://t.co/7H8VsHaENwFebruary 14, 2020
We know Sony is continuing its foray into VR next gen, with a new PSVR headset expected to launch this year (opens in new tab). While this patent looks like Sony is investing in improving the experience and putting out peripherals that are significantly more suited to the medium that the existing PS Move controllers (opens in new tab), it's best not to put too much stock in it, as companies frequently file patents for devices that don't end up coming to fruition. But at the very least, it shows that Sony is on board the VR train and is looking at options to seriously step up its game.