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Sony announces that a new VR headset is coming for PS5, but not in 2021

In a blog post published on PlayStation Blog, Hideaki Nishino, Senior Vice President, Platform Planning & Management at Sony Interactive Entertainment, has announced that a new PSVR headset is coming for PS5, but not this year.

The post is not rich in details, but it just gives a taste of what it will be.There isn’t even specified a name, and it is vaguely called “next-generation VR system”. These are the key info about the new headset:

  • The new VR headset enhances everything from resolution and field of view to tracking and input;
  • It will connect to PS5 with a single cord to simplify setup and improve ease-of-use while enabling a high-fidelity visual experience;
  • It will feature controllers carefully studied for VR.They “will incorporate some of the key features found in the DualSense wireless controller, along with a focus on great ergonomics”;
  • There will be a “new generation” of games and experiences for it;
  • It is still under development andwon’t launch in 2021.

He ends the article by stating that the“commitment to virtual reality as a medium for games is stronger than ever. We look forward to sharing more details in the future”. You can read the full post at this link: https://blog.playstation.com/2021/02/23/introducing-the-next-generation-of-vr-on-playstation/

playstation 5 psvrPlayStation 5 and new DualSense controller (Image by Sony)
This comes as an exciting piece of news. Finally, Sony has confirmed its interest in virtual reality: some people were afraid that given the success of the Quest 2 and the declining sales of PSVR, Sony was thinking about ditching away VR. The delays in talking about the new PSVR headset made everyone worried, but luckily everything came to a good end. Sony is still investing in immersive realities, and its next headset will be much better than the first one, which today feels very dated. From what Mr.Nishino says, there will be a complete overhaul of the device, and finally, there will also be new innovative controllers and not those annoying Playstation Move sticks. Since the device is not coming in 2021, it will most probably come in 2022 and as a name, I bet on PSVR 2. Since the controllers will introduce some of the features of the DualSense gamepad, we can speculate that they will be able to provide force-feedback on the triggers and great haptic sensations on the whole hands. This could be a great improvement over the current rather simple Touch-like controllers, that can just rumble.

Its not just about the fun and games. Other than providing action-packed, fun-filled entertainment for the entire family, VR plays a big role to help humanity as developers use it to help those in need in ways that were unimaginable 20 years ago. Some use it to cure phantom pain among amputee victims, while others rely on VR to provide therapy for soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. VR has also been proven to help children with autism by teaching them social cues and real world lessons. It is being used as a practice board for surgical students before they make the first cut. There is even a VR content targeted at young adults that simulates their physical condition when they get to their 60s, and thus encourages them to save for the future.

I found super-interesting that he underlines that there will be a cable to connect the headset to the PS5: so the rumors of a possible standalone headset by Sony were all wrong… they are continuing on the road of a tethered device. Maybe there will be a wireless module accessory, but the default mode is still tethered. I think this choice has been made for two important reasons:
  1. So that to exploit the PS5 hardware that all PlayStation gamers already have. This could let the PSVR 2 have the same advantage as the PSVR 1: it could be just an accessory to enhance a device that millions of people already have and enjoy, driving very high sales;
  2. It could offer games of high quality.The typical PlayStation gamer wants games with beautiful visuals, and can’t be satisfied with mobile-level graphics like the ones of the Quest. Only a tethered solution to a powerful machine can guarantee this.
Now the question is: will sell more a tethered system connected to a console that millions of players have (PSVR 2) or a standalone system by a new gaming brand (Quest 2) ? The answer to this question can also change again the rules of the VR market: if PSVR 2 will sell more than the Quest and becomes a market more profitable than the one of Facebook’s device, developers could be interested again in making games with high-quality graphics, favoring also PC VR. Now everyone develops games Quest-first, but if PSVR 2 becomes successful, this may not be the case for the future, maybe. New dynamics can start in the VR market and I can’t wait to see what is going to happen.

We’ll see discover this in 2022. For now let me be excited for the fact thatSony is still in the game!

(Header image by Sony)

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