At CES 2022, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO and President Jim Ryan unveiled their latest next-gen hardware aimed at creating virtual reality experiences. Based on previous rumours, Sony confirmed its name as the PlayStation VR2 (PS VR 2). The unit will be accompanied by the VR2 Sense controllers – similar naming scheme as the PS5’s DualSense.
The new controllers will feature haptic feedback, emulating the sense of physical touch and feel, depending on what you are interacting with. Enhanced controls, vibrations, and finger tracking is also expected, using capacitive touch buttons and infrared. The company has also eliminated the overabundance of cables, as now, the PSVR2 only requires a single wire that connects to the PS5 console.
The headset itself features a high-fidelity experience, offering 4K HDR with a similar 110-degree FOV (field-of-view) as its predecessor. To make things realistic, Sony has also implemented foveated rendering, where the eye-trackers within the headset only focus on the fovea of one’s eye, and maximise the resolution. Things that are not in focus will appear a little pixellated and blurry.
With an OLED display, players can expect a display resolution of 2000 x 2040 in each eye with smooth refresh rates between 90 Hz and 120Hz. Unlike other, current-day VR headsets that require cameras to be set in either corner of the room, the PS VR2 tracks the player and their controller via integrated cameras embedded within the headset. Any movements or head tilt is reflected directly onto the game character.
In addition to spatial 3D Audio, the headset also includes a sensory feature that “amplifies the sensations of in-game actions from the player.” The PS VR2 is equipped with an in-built motor that vibrates to add a tactile element. For instance, if the character in-game stops sprinting or is stuck in a tense situation, their elevated pulse will be felt throbbing inside the headset. Any kind of thrusts while driving a vehicle or the bullets flying past the characters’ heads will also be felt.
Such elements would be ideal in a Hideo Kojima game, which is riddled with lengthy cutscenes that emulate a movie. Quite recently, the titular production studio had opened a new division in Los Angeles, focusing on film, TV, and other media. At the time, Yoshiko Fukuda, Kojima Productions’ business development manager, touched upon exploring new ways to deliver engaging stories.
“Our new division will take the studio into even more areas that present our creative narratives beyond videogames and to open up ways for our fans to communicate and immerse themselves in these spaces,” he said. Knowing Kojima’s track record and his recent comments on his 2022 “radical project,” things could be pointing towards a game based within the metaverse, where you could directly interact with objects or characters.
Even his close friend, Geoff Keighley held part of The Game Awards via Epic Games’ Core app this year. The company had previously acquired popular music-based game studio, Harmonix to create interactive musical journeys within Fortnite as well.
At CES 2022, PlayStation also revealed a look at one of the first titles coming to PS VR2 – Horizon Call of the Mountain. The game is being built exclusively for the new hardware and will allow “players to go deeper into the world of Horizon.”