We now know what will power the PS VR2, aside from the PS5
A MediaTek SoC will power Sony's upcoming virtual headset.
What you need to know
- Major mobile chipset developer MediaTek will power the Sony Playstation VR2.
- Sony says the MediaTek SoC delivers the "high standards" necessary to power the headset.
- The Sony PS VR2 will launch on February 2023 and will require a PS5 to work.
We've known for some time that the PS VR2 will be powered by the Playstation 5, but not how the headset itself would process that information or track the PS Sense controllers. Now we know that MediaTek has developed two system-on-chips (SoC) for the Playstation VR2.
Specifically, MediaTek developed the primary SoC for the display and a secondary SoC for the controllers. MediaTek executive Vince Hu announced the partnership, saying it was the first of the company's forays into the metaverse space. He also brought up the success of the Quest 2 sales to say that he hopes the MediaTek-powered Playstation VR2 will reach similar sales success.
Sony gaming executive Shuhei Yoshida appeared in a pre-recorded video announcing their partnership, saying that they searched for a chipmaker that could deliver "high standards for low latency, low power consumption, and high performance."
MediaTek didn't (and likely won't) share what kind of SoC appears in the PS VR2, nor do we know how much RAM powers the device. We will ask over the course of the MediaTek summit, but as MediaTek considers this an "enterprise" deal, they aren't likely to make the specs public, at least initially.
Surprisingly, Sony decided to go with MediaTek over Qualcomm, which has had huge success in the VR/AR space powering headsets like the Meta Quest 2 and Meta Quest Pro, as well as a ton of enterprise AR devices.
The Snapdragon XR2 in the Quest 2 is based off of the Snapdragon 865 chip found in mobile phones. But because the PS VR2 mostly runs off of the PS5's power, we suspect that the MediaTek chip inside of it isn't a traditional SoC like the recently-announced Dimensity 9200.
MediaTek may not be as well known as Qualcomm in some tech spaces, but the company is the number one manufacturer in the world in categories like smartphone chips, Android tablet chips, and TV chips. Its emphasis has been on energy-efficient budget processing, which will be important in keeping the PS VR2's weight low and preventing overheating.
The Playstation VR2 will launch in February 2023 for $550. This has led to a heated debate as to whether or not the PS VR2 is too expensive or isn't too expensive, especially given the already high price of the Playstation 5.
But given MediaTek's history of powering budget devices like the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K, it's likely that its PS VR2 chip didn't add much to the price.
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Michael spent years freelancing on every tech topic under the sun before settling down on the real exciting stuff: virtual reality, fitness wearables, gaming, and how tech intersects with our world. He's a semi-reformed Apple-to-Android user who loves running, D&D, and Star Wars. Find him on Twitter at @Michael_L_Hicks.