Sony Unveils the PS5 VR Controllers and Hints at Inside-Out Tracking for the Headset

PS4 & PS5

After confirming that a next-gen PS5 VR headset and controllers were in the works last month, Sony is now lifting the curtain on the new PS5 VR controllers. The as-yet-unnamed next-gen VR controller has a whole new design that moves away from the old wand and light-up orb design of the Move Controllers. It also gives both controllers analog sticks for easier locomotion in games. And, as was confirmed last month when PS5 VR was first announced, the controller will have immersive features similar to the DualSense controller, optimized for the form factor of the new next-gen VR controller.

Perhaps one of the biggest reveals with the new controller design is that they will be tracked by the next-gen PS5 VR headset itself, suggesting that the new PSVR headset will use inside-out tracking as opposed to relying solely on on an exterior camera or other sensor. Whether or not any exterior sensors will also come into play remains to be seen, but the next-gen VR controllers themselves are tracked from the perspective of the headset.

Next-Gen PlayStation PS5 VR Controller Features

Here’s everything the next-gen PlayStation VR controllers feature:

Next-gen PS5 VR Controller

New Orb-Shaped Design

The new design is intended to give players a greater degree of freedom with how they move and position their hands, which also enables developers to do more with their VR experiences. The design was built with ergonomics in mind, and Sony says it’s “well-balanced and comfortable.” It was designed with through tests with multiple hand sizes and the history of insight that has come from PlayStation controller designs through the decades. “The result is an iconic design that will change how VR games are played,” Sony says.

Adaptive Triggers

An expected feature making its way over from the DualSense controller, Adaptive Triggers allow for variable pressure sensations and tension on the triggers themselves, lending to a greater sense of immersion depending on how developers end up using them. We’ve already seen some great examples of this with the DualSense, so VR should add an extra layer of depth.

Haptic Feedback

Another feature from the DualSense, Haptic Feedback is about micro-vibrations that simulate visceral and nuanced textures and sensations. Again, with some standout experiences on the DualSense with Haptic Feedback, this will be a welcome feature for VR immersion. The Haptic Feedback for the next-gen VR controllers is specifically tuned for the unique form factor of the controller itself.

Next-gen PS5 VR Controller

Finger Touch Detection

Sony’s old PlayStation Move Controllers were notoriously cumbersome and lacked the nuanced kind of finger detection that would allow players to do more intricate hand gestures. A number of PC VR headsets have since implemented the feature with their own controllers, and that level of freedom is now coming to PlayStation VR. While it’s not entirely clear exactly how this will work just yet, Sony says “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 From the Headset

Gone are the days of a big light-up orb at the end of a wand to track the controller position. The next-gen VR controller is tracked via a ring on the bottom of the controller by the next-gen PS5 VR headset itself. As mentioned above, this seems to indicate that the new PS5 VR headset will feature inside-out tracking.

Button Layout

The next-gen VR controllers have a new button layout, including analog sticks on both. The left controller houses the Share, Triangle, and Square buttons while the right controller has Options, Cross, and Circle. Both have a grip button (L1, R1) and a trigger (L2, R2).

Next-gen PS5 VR Controller

Sony says the new next-gen PlayStation PS5 VR controller has been built from the ground up to be a “huge leap” from current-gen VR. Prototypes of the controller are heading out to developers—most likely why Sony chose to reveal it ahead of the inevitable leaks. While not identical, the form and features seem to match a patent that was unearthed in September last year.

Sony also promises that there is “still much more to share about the next-generation of VR on PS5,” but doesn’t say when we can expect to hear additional details. The original announcement indicated that it wouldn’t be coming out this year, so it could still be quite some time before we learn more about the headset itself, and perhaps more importantly, the kinds of games and experiences we’ll be able to play on it.

[Source: PlayStation Blog]

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