PSVR Without Parole claims to have sourced fresh information from a private conference Sony held on Tuesday for prospective PSVR2 developers, the occurrence of which was independently corroborated by UploadVR.
Let’s delve into the details. According to PSVR Without Parole, Sony’s next VR platform is codenamed NGVR, for Next-Generation VR. (It will likely be called PSVR2 when released.)
As UploadVR reported in May, PSVR2’s display will have a resolution of 2000 x 2040 per eye, which is a solid little bump above the world’s current most popular headset, the Oculus Quest 2. In addition, PSVR Without Parole suggests the screen will utilize OLED display technology and support high dynamic range (HDR), potentially giving it a lot more vibrancy, deeper blacks, and greater brightness than the Quest 2’s more typical, non-HDR LCD display.
The new kit will supposedly feature a 110-degree field of view, up 10 degrees from Sony’s original PSVR and around 20 better than the slightly scuba mask-feeling Oculus Quest 2. This wide FoV will be accomplished in part via fresnel lenses, which come with pros and cons that Quest users are already well acquainted with. (Hopefully Sony will get the glare and god rays under control.)
Perhaps the biggest news back in May was that PSVR2 will feature eye-tracking capability, which will make possible a much-desired performance-improving technique called foveated rendering. Today’s video suggests that PSVR2 will also feature another new technology called Flexible Scaling Resolution (FSR) which “concentrates the rendering resources on the player’s area of focus” to further reduce load on the PS5 hardware. It’s not immediately clear how FSR will differ from foveated rendering.
As for stuff you can touch and feel, PSVR Without Parole corroborates UploadVR’s information from May that PSVR2 will have some sort of haptic feedback in the headset to help reduce motion sickness, apparently via a “rotary motor.”
Back in March a Sony blog revealed PSVR2’s new controller design, and noted that the new units will have sensors to track your thumb, index, and middle fingers. Today’s video describes these as capacitive touch sensors that have an “analog” quality to them that will let them sense the positions of your fingers even when your fingertips hover above them. PSVR2 will be able to use this data to make guesses about pinky and ring finger positions, ostensibly allowing for more natural in-game gesturing.
Finally, some of the most interesting tidbits dropped in the vid concern software. The claim is that Sony is looking to move away from so-called “VR experiences”—you know, like pretending you’re Batman for 90 minutes, or swimming with whales for 10—in favor of a greater focus on “console-quality” triple-A games.
Further, it’s said that Sony thinks the best way to accomplish that is to create “hybrid” games that support both conventional displays and virtual reality, sort of like Capcom did with Resident Evil 7. Apparently the intent is to let the player download just the version they want to play, standard or VR, saving on download size.
According to PSVR Without Parole, the event passed without any explicit mention of PSVR2 being backward compatible with PSVR1 games, which seems mildly concerning. A lack of backward compatibility with older VR purchases would be a big misstep, so I’m still expecting Sony will take care of its earliest adopters. However, what apparently did get mentioned was Sony intending to make a “big push” to “remaster” PSVR1 games for the new hardware. Curious.
The vid wraps by noting there’s still no official release date or price for PSVR2, but that launch details will come in early 2022. If all of this information pans out, I think it’s still fair to say that next-gen PlayStation VR is sounding pretty impressive.