Our biggest remaining questions about PlayStation VR2 have been answered

Zoom in / On and on with a brand new VR system.

Sony Interactive Entertainment

Ahead of Sony’s arrival at the Tokyo Games Show 2022 this weekend, the company’s PlayStation division has been broadcasting a ton of news online to fans in the past 24 hours. The biggest news probably came from the hands-on, close-up impressions of its PlayStation VR2 add-on for the PS5 console.

The new virtual reality system, slated for a “early 2023” retail launch, is now being discussed outside Sony’s careful PR hands, and its first testers have offered impressions of both the hardware and some of the its apparent launch software.

PSVR2: What we already knew

Thanks to Sony’s announcements earlier this year, we know that the PSVR2’s OLED display offers a pixel resolution of 4000 × 2040, which can run VR software in either 90Hz or 120Hz mode. That performance is boosted by a new one. foveated rendering system, which is meant to emphasize the full resolution of the pixels where your eyes are focused and blur the parts where your eyes are not, and this, unsurprisingly, is coupled with new internal eye sensors. tracking.

We also know that PSVR 2 will ship with two completely new gamepads, one in each hand, which follow the Meta Quest archetype of VR controllers (complete with buttons, triggers and joysticks), but with the additional technology updates found in Sony’s recent DualSense gamepads. —That is, more refined rumbles and triggers of tense “pulses”.

A new “inside-out” tracking system is similar to what is found in Meta Quest and various Windows Mixed Reality headsets and uses built-in cameras to scan players’ real environment and track VR positioning, no cameras required external or sensing boxes. However, unlike Meta Quest 2 wireless by default, PSVR2 requires a wired connection for power and data transfer to a PlayStation 5 console.

PSVR2 hardware: what we learned this week

Speaking of that cable connection: now we’ve seen it in action. The new single-cable connection, via the PS5’s unique USB Type-C slot, is a revelation over the wired-everywhere external “processor unit” required for Sony’s first VR system. This 4.5-meter cable was reportedly designed to weigh as little as possible, but a cable that can wrap around the legs may remain a problem for some.

Sony also confirmed that the PSVR would lack built-in audio. Just like the latest model, PSVR2 owners will need to connect headphones using a 3.5mm jack. The original PSVR came with low-budget earbuds, which could happen again for PSVR2, and to Sony’s credit, the new earbud includes sleek built-in “earplugs” where you can squeeze existing earbuds for neatly stowed away. . But that’s a shame compared to the integrated audio found in Valve Index and all Meta Quest models. This week’s demonstration videos show that the larger Sony PS-branded headphones restrict users in VR, reduce airflow and leave people sweaty, so interested users should look for high-quality, lightweight wired earbuds before PSVR2 launch in 2023. (My 3.5mm recommendation is the affordable, high-performance Koss KSC32-i.)

In better news, Sony’s lens mechanism includes a precise interpupillary distance (IPD) slider, which can be accessed with a handy dial while the system is attached to the face. (This is a huge differentiator from Quest 2, which skipped such a slider as a cost-saving measure.) New users can access a convenient calibration menu at any time to make sure the IPD setting is aligned to their unique face, and this in addition prompts users to take a look at a series of moving points to calibrate the PSVR2’s eye tracking sensors. So far, PSVR2’s “poised” fit, complete with a foam strap and sleek dial to tighten the fit, is reminiscent of the same we loved in the original PSVR. The fit around the eyes is reportedly roomy enough for eyeglass wearers, although we’re still waiting to know the weight and distribution of the new system versus the original, at least, beyond suggestions that the current headset it is quite light.

A preview of July 2022 on how PSVR2's automatic room monitoring technology will work when the system launches in 2023.
Zoom in / A preview of July 2022 on how PSVR2’s automatic room monitoring technology will work when the system launches in 2023.

Sony Interactive Entertainment

PSVR2’s new room monitoring system, which relies on four built-in cameras, appears to automatically track objects in your play space. When users point the system cameras at a new room, the black and white pass-through view wraps objects (furniture, entertainment centers) in a creepy pattern of 3D triangles as PSVR2 cameras scan them instead of pointing. hands to scan and “paint” a play space. If PSVR2 gets it wrong, users can still use the system controllers to fine-tune their VR “boundary” before starting to play. The headset includes a button at the bottom that can enable PSVR2’s camera passthrough mode at any time so users can see what’s around them without removing the headset.

We previously learned that PSVR2 includes a number of built-in rumbling engines, the first in consumer-grade VR, and now we know how they work in action. The severity of the rumble can vary between a subtle sensation, such as when flies buzz over your face during a sequence Resident Evil: Village VRor a more intense full-head blast, such as when a monster flies over your head and sends a gust of wind towards you in Horizon VR: The call of the mountain. So far, reports suggest this feeling is more engaging than hateful.

Sony has not yet confirmed the maximum brightness of its OLED display, simply suggesting it is rated for “HDR,” but Sony is clearly taking screen quality and light bleeding seriously. OLED panels are generally better at handling an “infinite” contrast ratio, thus putting the deepest blacks and brightest highlights side by side, and PSVR2 apparently includes a superior light-blocking arrangement of foam and nose liners.

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