Last month when Sony gave us a tease that they were in fact working on PSVR 2, a lot of people, including myself, got really excited. From the patents that were released, you could tell there were some much-welcomed additions that could be headed our way. One of those additions would be the controllers and it looks like they will not disappoint by bringing a new way to tap into the sense of touch to the innovation of VR gaming. One thing that has been missing for PlayStation VR is thumbsticks for movement. Yes, the current PlayStation Move controllers can do the movement, but most of the time it’s either using the Move button for movement and using one of the other buttons for turning. Again, it works, but not as natural as some might be used to with the traditional controller or from what PCVR and the Oculus Quest platform have been used to since day one. So the thumbsticks are coming to PSVR 2. Next, the trigger buttons on the actual controllers are well placed and will have that natural feeling with them. Also, notice the buttons right where your middle fingers will be. Then you also have the circular shape design. This will allow not only the freedom of movement but for the creativity of development as well.
But it also looks like Sony has brought some of the amazing features of the DualSense controller of the PS5 and some features from other headsets like the Oculus Quest, Quest 2, Rift/S, and others into the new PSVR 2 controllers such as:
- Adaptive triggers: Each VR controller (Left and Right) includes an adaptive trigger button that adds palpable tension when pressed, similar to what’s found in the DualSense controller. If you’ve played a PS5 game, you’ll be familiar with the tension in the L2 or R2 buttons when you press them, such as when you’re drawing your bow to fire an arrow. When you take that kind of mechanic and apply it to VR, the experience is amplified to the next level.
- Haptic feedback: The new controller will have haptic feedback optimized for its form factor, making every sensation in the game world more impactful, textured, and nuanced. When you’re traversing through a rocky desert or trading blows in melee combat, you’ll feel the difference, magnifying the extraordinary visual and audio experience that’s so central to VR.
- Finger touch detection: The controller can detect your fingers without any pressing in the areas where you place your thumb, index, or middle fingers. This enables you to make more natural gestures with your hands during gameplay.
- Tracking: The VR controller is tracked by the new VR headset through a tracking ring across the bottom of the controller.
- Action buttons/analog sticks: The Left controller contains one analog stick, the triangle, and square buttons, a “grip” button (L1), trigger button (L2), and Create button. The Right controller contains one analog stick, the cross and circle buttons, a “grip” button (R1), trigger button (R2), and Options button. The “grip” button can be used to pick up in-game objects, as one example.
But let’s look at the features a little bit more. The Adaptive Triggers are going to be awesome. Think of games like Farpoint, Doom, Blood & Truth just to name a few and when you can fire off shots and be able to feel them in the triggers, it’s going to help elevate the game. Haptic feedback is going to add to the experience by being able to feel swinging your sword in Until You Fall or in battles like in Star Wars Squadrons, for example, being able to feel the sense of the action is going to be very good for VR. Now, finger touch detection is not new to VR but will be for PlayStation VR. I know when you play on the Oculus Rift/S and Oculus Quest/Quest 2, being able to move your fingers under the thumbstick, does have a more natural gesture when playing, so this will be a nice addition as well. Then with the action buttons and the analog sticks will be one of the nicest and probably most anticipated features for the PSVR 2. Being able to pick things up in a more natural feeling for VR, again, thank you Sony, thank you.
But let’s talk about the tracking that is mentioned. The new PSVR 2 controllers are tracked by the new VR headset through a tracking ring at the bottom of the controller. To me, it almost seems like the PSVR 2 will either have a cable that will go the PS5 or possible might be able to be both wired and wireless. The Rift S is wired, but has 5 cameras at the top, sides, and in front of the headsetlike how the Oculus Quest/Quest 2 have 4 corner cameras to track the action of the controllers as well.
Will the PSVR 2 just be wired, is there a possibility of it being wireless or could it do both? Time will only tell to see what Sony really has in store. But imagine if you could play wired and that in fact, also charges the headset so that you could take with you to a different room and continue and be able to have a type of remote play as long as the PSVR 2 and PS5 were on the same network or even work the way the Oculus Quest does. At this point, with the patents that Sony has put out, I will not be surprised when it finally is revealed. I for one am looking forward to what the PSVR 2 headset will look like (if the controllers are anything to go by, the headset will probably be all black or have some white PS5 color scheme going for it), the cost, and the release date.