A recently filed patent from Sony may offer gamers a potential first look at its PlayStation VR 2 controller. Should the final design end up resembling the patent drawings, then it would mark a major departure from the form of the original PSVR controller.
Sony launched its original PlayStation VR device over four years ago. The company's first foray into virtual reality gaming, the device was the first commercially available VR headset for consoles, drawing mainstream attention to the now-rapidly growing gaming market. Powered by the PS4, the PSVR peripheral has made virtual reality gaming more accessible to the masses, and after some unfortunate lack of smooth compatibility with its' next-gen console, Sony has revealed its first PS5 VR details.
The pair of drawings in the patent show off the controller from the front and back. Those familiar with PSVR will recognize the most instantly noticeable change is that the giant light-up globe of the original PSVR controller is gone, with a small LED panel in its place that can emit light in a variety of colors.
Interestingly, it has several new additions as well. First and foremost among those new additions is a trigger button that, much like the PS5 DualSense adaptive triggers, can offer resistance when pressed, with a vibration device to provide accompanying haptic feedback. This isn't too surprising, given that Sony has already stated its new VR controller would incorporate technology featured on the PS5 gamepads.
However, the controller also sports a thumb sensor and three different finger sensors, so finger tracking somewhat like the Valve Index may be a component. While the controller detailed in the patent only includes the haptic feedback on the index finger button, Sony specifies that multiple buttons could be arranged to provide differing levels of resistance for each finger.
The patent application suggests that, when combined with haptic feedback, the feature could be used to let players feel the size and texture of virtual objects as they hold them. This is far from the first time the company has filed patents for such a device. Sony teased a major PlayStation VR Controller upgrade via a patent last September, and although a bit different in appearance, it seems Sony is honing in on what it wants the final product to look like.
Virtual and augmented reality technologies seem to be having a watershed moment. In addition to companies like Valve filing "immersive" AR patents, Microsoft has just unveiled its impressive Mesh AR technology. The cutting-edge technology promises real-time shared experiences via "holoportation" and mixed realities. Designed to work best with its new HoloLens 2, the Mesh platform is planned to be accessible through a multitude of devices, potentially including the PSVR 2.
While news of a new PSVR comes as exciting news to many fans, the fact that it won't be arriving until at least 2022 is equally disappointing. However, the good news is Sony has confirmed six new PlayStation VR games are being actively developed, with the majority of them set to launch this year.