Move over Apple Vision Pro, Sony's coming with its own XR headset based on PSVR2

It looks like PSVR 2 but the spatial Sony headset and controllers take things more seriously

Sony XR headset
(Image credit: Sony)

Apple's Vision Pro isn't going to be the only high-end mixed reality headset we'll see this year. Sony has announced its own XR headset and controllers for content creators and product designers, which will launch "later in 2024". But it's not a replacement for PSVR 2: it's designed for serious work rather than serious fun.

Sony says it's "an immersive spatial content creation system", and it bears a strong resemblance to the PSVR 2.

The headset has twin 4K OLED micro-displays, is powered by a Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2 Platform, and there are twin controllers for working with three-dimensional objects in mixed reality. The display of the headset flips up so you can switch between virtual spaces and real ones without having to take the headset off, and Sony says it's been optimised for comfort during long creation sessions. 

The controllers here are different from the ones we're used to with PSVR 2. Although there's one relatively familiar-looking hand controller, the second controller is ring-shaped. Sony says that this means you can put the pointing controller in your dominant hand and the ring controller on the other for easy 3D modelling.

Who is Sony's XR headset for?

Like the Vision Pro, it's designed for high-end content creators, with Sony's expecting it to be used in 3D film production, 3D computer graphics creation, and 3D manufacturing design.

Creating lifelike images is clearly a big part of the sales pitch here, with Sony explaining that its displays deliver good colour accuracy and "detailed and realistic rendering of textures of 3D objects and facial expressions of human characters". 

The use of split rendering, which shares the rendering load – something that's very processor-intensive – between both computers and the display indicates that this headset is designed for serious graphics work.

Inevitably some of this is AI powered. As Sony explains, "on-chip AI enables enhanced user and space tracking for seamless XR experiences, merging physical and digital spaces for easy navigation and intuitive interaction within the XR creative spaces."

To begin with, Sony is going to work with Siemens to develop "innovative immersive engineering capabilities to the manufacturing industry". It says it will also collaborate with a number of 3D production software developers to integrate the headset with industry-standard apps. 

Pricing, availability and details of software partners will be announced later in 2024.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series; her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, was shortlisted for the British Book Awards. When she’s not scribbling, Carrie is the singer in Glaswegian rock band Unquiet Mind (unquietmindmusic).