PS5 VR (PS VR2): Does it use a new controller?

Playstation Vr2 Headset Image
(Image credit: PlayStation)

Best answer: Yes. The new PS5 VR will feature completely redesigned controllers, dubbed the PS VR2 Sense controllers, with better tracking and more functionality than the PSVR's PS Move controllers.

PS VR2 Sense Controller: A whole new look

Sony is changing everything up with PS5 VR (PS VR2), starting with the controllers themselves. Gone is the wand design of the PS Move. In its stead are controllers that look like an almost perfect mashup of the Valve Index's Knuckles controllers and the Oculus Quest 2's Touch controllers. The only real similarity between these controllers and the PS Move controllers is their elongated handle, making it easy to grip. It also has a wrist strap to keep the controllers from flying away if you were to let go of them.

The new ring tracking system is considerably more accurate and offers total freedom of movement.

We're looking at a completely different experience outside of all of that, starting with the tracking. The new PS VR2 Sense controller design sports a pronounced series of rings that wrap around the controller. These rings feature a six-axis motion sensing system (three-axis gyroscope and three-axis accelerometer) along with a capacitive sensor with finger touch detection for positional tracking.

This new tracking system will not only be considerably more accurate than the PS Move controllers on the original PSVR (which were extremely limited by a single light at the top tracked by a single camera array), but with the addition of tracking fine motor movements like twisting, turning, and angling hands up and down more accurately. Patents also show that Sony might add cameras on the back of the headset and the front, so PS5 VR players shouldn't experience tracking dead zones as you'll find on Oculus Insight tracking, which only features cameras on the front of the headset.

PS VR2 Sense Controller: Now with real feels

Playstation VR2 Headset Image

(Image credit: PlayStation)

The PS VR2 Sense controllers don't just sport a brand new design or better tracking. They're meant to feel better to use, and that isn't just about the controller ergonomics. First up is the new button configuration, which is far less cluttered than what's on the PS Move controllers. Each controller sports the same design — albeit a mirrored version of each other — but unique buttons as you would expect.

Think of it as splitting the PS5 controller in two and elongating the handle to make it more comfortable for a single hand. The left controller features a joystick, square button, triangle button, and a menu button up top, with a grip button on the inside where your middle finger would rest and a trigger around the back where your index finger would rest. The right controller is identical, save for the circle and cross face buttons.

The controller can sense your touch, not just when you push buttons down.

The inclusion of a joystick on each controller is a massive upgrade from the PS Move controllers, which featured no way to move around virtually. Sony has also built in some minor finger tracking, which it says can sense your touch in the areas where you place your thumbs, index, and middle fingers. While that sounds a lot like the capacitive touch sensors in the buttons on Oculus Touch controllers, there's a possibility this could mean something more, too.

Impressively, Sony didn't stop there. The same advanced haptics and adaptive triggers that ship inside every PS5 controller are included in the new PS5 VR controllers. We've seen from PS5 titles like Astro's Playroom that the haptic motors inside the PS5 controllers are so precise that the difference between fine textures, like sand and stone, can be felt in impressively realistic ways. It all helps you get into game interaction in a way you couldn't in PSVR before.

The PS5's Adaptive Triggers also make an appearance on the new PS5 VR controllers. These triggers can actually push back when you pull on them. That means developers can give virtual objects weight, have gun triggers push back with real friction, and make picking up slippery or heavy objects more difficult. That's an incredible new way to make the virtual world feel more realistic, and it's doing it in a way that's not just associated with sight or sound.

PS5 VR: A huge upgrade


(Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

Aside from the controllers, Sony has also detailed what players can expect from the PS VR2 headset. It's set to feature a single USB-C cable, a 4K OLED display, eye tracking, inside-out tracking, and a 110-degree field of view. While the original PSVR was certainly a first-generation product that was eclipsed in several ways very quickly, Sony's deliberate and determined support has kept it around for over five years.

Sony's incredible-looking designs for the next-generation PSVR are sure to be even more forward-thinking than last time. It's designed to deliver, as Sony puts it, "the ultimate entertainment experience with dramatic leaps in performance and interactivity." Based on what we've seen from just the controller alone, Sony goes to some serious lengths to make this the best VR experience you'll find anywhere.

We expect some considerable leaps in comfort for the new headset, which is said to be smaller and lighter than the current PSVR, though PlayStation has yet to reveal the design. Higher-resolution displays and lenses with a broader field-of-view will make worlds look more immersive, and the PS5's advanced 3D audio chip means that VR will sound better than ever, even through the best headphones for PSVR.

Nicholas Sutrich
Senior Content Producer — Smartphones & VR
Nick started with DOS and NES and uses those fond memories of floppy disks and cartridges to fuel his opinions on modern tech. Whether it's VR, smart home gadgets, or something else that beeps and boops, he's been writing about it since 2011. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram @Gwanatu