Best answer: 2022, at the earliest. Sony executives stated that the PSVR 2 will not make its debut in 2021.
PSVR 2 Back to the future
Since the 2016 release of the original PlayStation VR, Sony has been working hard to build a proper ecosystem for PlayStation gamers who want to get a unique perspective of their games. PSVR 2, as we're currently calling it, is sure to be among the top best accessories for PS5 when it launches. Unfortunately, for PS5 owners looking for a next-generation VR experience, the wait is a bit longer than some of us were hoping.
During a series of PS5 announcements, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan stated that the second-generation PSVR — built exclusively for the PS5 — will not be making a debut in 2021. While Jim Ryan wasn't clear on exactly when we should expect the PSVR 2, the implication certainly seems to be 2022 at this point in time.
PSVR 2 What will it be like?
While CEO Jim Ryan didn't provide many specifics in the announcement of the second-generation PlayStation VR, he did provide plenty of information to get excited about. First off, PSVR 2 will be built exclusively for the PS5. That means that, unlike plenty of launch titles and other games coming out in 2021, developers won't need to consider the far less-powerful PS4 hardware when designing PSVR 2 games.
Given that Sony has been adamant about the original PSVR only working with PS4 versions of games — even on PS5 — it seems that they are set on making sure PSVR 2 is a next-generation experience from day one. In the announcement, Jim Ryan specifically stated that Sony is working on a "completely new VR format" for the PSVR 2. While that's a bit vague, it certainly foreshadows an experience that's unlike any we've seen or can currently experience.
Thus far, Sony has said it will include a higher-resolution display on the PSVR 2, as well as a wider field of view (FoV). While resolution is particularly important for reducing the screendoor effect — meaning you can see the individual pixels that make up the display — a wider FoV is important for many reasons. First, it increases immersion since it better recreates a human's peripheral vision. Many current-generation VR displays sport somewhere between a 90-110 degree FoV, while human eyes can normally see somewhere between 120-135 degrees.
Second is that, along with a higher-refresh-rate, a wider FoV helps reduce motion sickness. While the past 5 years of consumer-level VR headsets and software have evolved dramatically and have solved motion sickness for most players, there are still a lot of gamers who have a hard time adjusting to VR. Simply put, VR gamers have to retrain their brain to understand that their body doesn't have to move exactly as their eyes are seeing it move. Any tool that helps players do this will reduce the time needed to get into VR and, as a result, help gamers play more often.
Sony also says that it has developed brand new controllers inspired by the PS5's DualSense controller. Again, Sony has been light on specific details but it says that "some of the key features found in the DualSense wireless controller" have made their way over to the controllers for the PSVR 2. We certainly hope for joysticks — which would enable significantly better virtual movement versus the current PS Move controllers — and some of those amazing haptics inside the DualSense. Given that there's no lightbar on the back of the DualSense, as there was on the PS4's DualShock 4 controllers, it seems clear that Sony will be replacing the core functionality that players needed the DualShock 4 for in PSVR games.
The one downside so far? It seems that, at least at launch, the PSVR 2 will not be wireless. While it seems a rather odd decision given the Oculus Quest 2's totally wireless nature, Sony says it has an easier-to-use single cable for the PSVR 2. Cables can certainly be more reliable than some wireless tech, but this decision may have been made more from a cost standpoint — meaning Sony could very well offer a wireless model or wireless adapter for the PSVR 2.
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