Sony’s Coming for Meta with PSVR2

Facebook Meta isn't the only game in town when it comes to virtual reality. In an approach based in... reality, Sony is developing their second PSVR hardware for the application people would actually use: playing games.

Sony released its first edition of the Playstation VR add-on to the PS4 back in 2016. While it was not a massive success, it was good enough to do what they promised. PSVR allowed for immersive gaming using only a pair of Move controllers, the PS Camera, and your existing PS4. Out the door, the entire kit (minus the PS4) was only $300. This was an attractive price and offered some great games.

With the PS5 on the market for over a year and now actually somewhat available to buy, Sony has begun trickling out news on the first revision of the immersive hardware. Sam Machkovech at Ars Technica has more.

PSVR2's OLED display packs a pixel resolution of 4000×2040, which can run VR software in either 90 Hz or 120 Hz modes. That performance is boosted by a new foveated rendering system, which is meant to emphasize full pixel resolution where your eyes are focused and blur the parts where your eyes are not—and this, unsurprisingly, is coupled with new internal eye-tracking sensors.

We also know that PSVR 2 will ship with two entirely new gamepads, one for each hand, that follow the Meta Quest archetype of VR controllers (complete with buttons, triggers, and joysticks) but with the additional tech upgrades found in Sony's recent DualSense gamepads—namely, more refined rumbles and tension-filled "impulse" triggers.

Ars Technica

The controllers look super cool and I love the idea of eye tracking within the headset. A demo video Sony put out last week gives a great example of how this could work. Imagine you are in a game where you want to switch from using a bow and arrow to a sword. You could hold a button to bring up a weapon-select screen, look at the item you want, then let go. The eye tracking would know where you looked and make the selection for you. Another awesome addition is rumble within the headset itself. This will allow for even more immersion.

There's a lot of details Sony still has under wraps, but one unfortunate piece is that no PSVR 1 game will be compatible with the new hardware. There is no real reason given and it is a disappointment since there are some amazing games on the platform. I personally wouldn't want to re-buy them.

Depending on the finalized specs and price, the PSVR 2 could end up remaining a novelty. But, if Sony plays its cards right and makes a big push to appeal to people who've bought Meta's Quest hardware, Sony could have a great platform war on its hands.

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