PS5's VR 2.0: First Look At New Controllers

Sony has revealed more details on the new controllers, which bear a resemblance to Valve Index, complete with finger-tracking.

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Sony has begun to share more details on its vision for next-gen virtual reality--and the full successor to PlayStation VR--today announcing and showing off the new controllers that will come with PSVR 2.0 for PS5. Ditching PlayStation Move at last, they resemble the tracking controllers seen on competing systems like Oculus Quest and Valve Index, but they also include some of the PS5's unique features.

"Our new VR controller speaks to our mission of achieving a much deeper sense of presence and stronger feeling of immersion in VR experiences," PlayStation's Hideaki Nishino said in a blog post. "It will build upon the innovation we introduced with the DualSense wireless controller, which changed how games 'feel' on PS5 by unlocking a new way to tap into the sense of touch. Now we’re bringing that innovation to VR gaming."

The PS5 VR controller has an "orb" shape that Sony says will allow you to hold it "naturally." This controller is said to offer a "high degree of freedom" with "no constraints" for moving your hands.

"We also designed the new controller with great ergonomics in mind, so it's well-balanced and comfortable to hold in each of your hands," Nishino said. "We applied learnings from testing users with a range of hand sizes, as well as the decades of insights from controllers across all PlayStation platforms. The result is an iconic design that will change how VR games are played."

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The controllers feature a number of unique features, such as adaptive triggers that add "palpable tension" when pressed, similar to the triggers on the PS5's DualSense controller. The controllers also have haptic feedback that will allow users to "feel the difference" based on what they are playing. Sony provided examples like trekking through a rocky desert or engaged in melee combat.

The PS5 VR 2.0 controllers also have "finger touch detection," which can detect your fingers without you needed to press anything where your thumb, index finger, or middle finger is. Tracking is done through a "tracking ring" across the bottom of the controller.

You can see a full rundown of the new features below, as shared by Sony in the blog post.

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Nishino said the new controllers were designed through a collaboration between SIE's product, engineering, and design units. The goal is to create a controller that offers a "huge leap" for VR.

"We're thrilled with the controller we developed, but what matters now is how game creators will take advantage of the features to design the next generation of VR experiences," Nishino said. "Prototypes of our new VR controller will be in the hands of the development community soon, and we can't wait to see what ideas they come up with and how the controller helps bring their imagination to life!"

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Sony has yet to reveal the form factor of the new PS5 VR 2.0 headset itself, but we do know it will have a single-cord connection. There is no word yet on a price or a release date for the headset and controllers for PSVR 2.0.

PS5 VR 2.0 Controller Features

Descriptions written by Sony

  • 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 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.

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