Sony recently confirmed it is working on a next-generation virtual reality headset for its PlayStation 5 game console, which it said will arrive after 2021.
Now, although the company has said nothing more, alleged specification details for the headset have leaked out. According to Upload VR, these details were shared by Sony to partners; the sharing of technical details like this is usually done to help game developers create content for future hardware.
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If accurate, the details are highly impressive. They include a claimed resolution of 4000 x 2040 pixels, which is 2000 x 2040 per eye and a significant improvement on the 960 x 1080 pixels per eye of the original PlayStation VR. It also out-guns the Oculus Quest 2, which measures in at 1832 x 1920 pixels per eye.
Also new for the second-generation PlayStation VR is the reported inclusion of a motor for deploying haptic feedback to the wearer. We expect this to work in a similar way to the haptic feedback of the PlayStation 5's DualSense controller, which is seen as a major feature of the console and sets it apart from the equally new Xbox Series X.
Sony has already released an image of new controllers for the VR headset, shown below. These include resistive triggers that push back against the player's fingers, like those of the DualSense game pad.
Sony has already revealed new controllers for the headsetSony
There is also claimed to be inside-out tracking, where cameras and other sensors are used to map the wearer's environment and make them aware of their surroundings while playing in a VR world.
Perhaps the most interesting rumored feature for the new PS VR headset is the use of foveated rendering, where the image displayed by the headset is sharper where the user's eyes are facing, and blurrier in their peripheral vision.
As well as more closely mimicking how our eyes perceive the real world, foveated rendering also helps to reduce the performance demands of the headset, as parts of an image in the player's peripheral vision don't need to be shown at full resolution. Eye-tracking could also make for more realistic interactions between virtual avatars, and more accurate interactions between the player's character and their environment.
A final tidbit from the report says how the headset will connect to the single USB-C port on the front of the PlayStation 5.
Talking about the headset in February 2021, Sony said the new headset will offer "dramatic leaps in performance and interactivity," compared to the current model, adding: "Players will feel an even greater sense of presence and become even more immersed in their game worlds once they put on the new headset."
Hideako Nishino, senior vice president of planform planning and management at Sony, said at the same time: "There's still a lot of development underway for our new VR system, so it won't be launching in 2021. But we wanted to provide this early update to our fans, as the development community has started to work on creating new worlds for you to explore in virtual reality."