Leaks Show Sony’s Next-Gen VR Plans

Sony’s best-selling Playstation VR headset not only brought virtual reality into millions of homes, it pushed VR into the mainstream of the gaming and entertainment industries. Now, with the Playstation 5 console still utilizing this first edition PSVR headset, fans are clamoring for a new, improved, upgraded PSVR. And Sony is listening very closely.

Revealed in leaks from an internal Sony conference, the next generation PSVR is on its way, under development and being refined for release. With many expecting this upgraded headset to land in late 2022 – but with no release date yet set – it may be some time before Playstation fans are strapping on a next-gen PSVR, but there’s already plenty to get excited about. Controllers have been redesigned and will feature capacitive touch sensors on the thumb, index, and middle fingers of users. Haptic feedback is also being touted as a key component of the new controller design, bringing tactile sensations and greater immersion into whatever experience a user embarks upon. Also on the cards: built-in eye-tracking, Flexible Scaling Resolution (FSR) for a concentrated render process tied to the area catching the user’s gaze, and a 110° field-of-view should make existing PSVR users very happy, all being notable upgrades over the earlier device.

For Gamers, For Gaming, For Girls

Whether geared for gaming, entertainment, or more varied, general use, the original PSVR proved itself not only a worthwhile VR device but a breakthrough device for the industry as a whole. Millions of homes around the world held a PSVR and used it to enter VR for the very first time. Now, with the roaring success of the first and second Oculus Quest headsets from Facebook, Sony has a real challenge on its hands.

The next-gen PSVR – internally nicknamed NGVR – is touted by its creators as being primarily concerned with (and built for) gaming. Claiming to be moving away from virtual reality “experiences” in favor of more immersive VR gameplay, Sony aims to tie the PSVR to the very idea of VR gaming. That said, with myriad other uses – some even more appealing than a great game; here’s looking at you, VR porn! – any VR device that manages a market breakthrough will end up a solo entertainment device, at least some of the time. Spending time with an amazingly erotic (if virtual) partner may not be presented as the best use case for Sony’s NGVR but it will undoubtedly be a strong pull for certain audiences.

On the Horizon

Expected to be both an affordable and powerful VR solution for families and solo flyers alike, the next-gen PSVR could pose a serious challenge to Oculus Quest 2’s VR market dominance. With the (assumed) added bonus of not needing to be tied to an active Facebook account – something which has caused many otherwise eager buyers to hold off nabbing a Quest – Sony could find itself with a very appealing VR package on its hands. Gamers will already be clamoring for a chance to try out Sony’s next gen VR, perhaps the non-gaming market will follow suit.

Sony is yet to announce an official street date (or, in point of fact, an official name) for its next-gen VR device but pundits expect it to land in late 2022.