Sony unveils new “next-gen VR” controller.
Fresh off their announcement that they indeed plan on bringing a new VR headset to PlayStation 5, Sony revealed the new controller which you’ll be using for your next-gen VR jaunts. Though the nameless controller is still far out from seeing release, Senior VP for Sony, Hideaki Nishino dished out some details on the new controller. “Our new VR controller speaks to our mission of achieving a much deeper sense of presence and stronger feeling of immersion in VR experiences. It will build upon the innovation we introduced with the DualSense wireless controller, which changed how games “feel” on PS5 by unlocking a new way to tap into the sense of touch. Now we’re bringing that innovation to VR gaming”, Nishino states over on the official PlayStation blog.
The first notable design feature is the tracking ring around the base of the controller which the new VR headset will use to track hand movement. Sony emphasizes hand freedom with this design allowing for “no constraints with how you’re moving your hands”. Ergonomics and weight were also carefully considered for the design. Sony seems to have done all of their VR homework over the last 5 years and combined the latest advancements with years of controller design experience in order to create as well-balanced and comfortable controller.
The DualSense controller was an obvious inspiration. Sony outlines the features of the new VR controller and many of them have enhancements that mimic the DualSense:
● Adaptive triggers: Each VR controller (Left and Right) includes an adaptive trigger button that adds palpable tension when pressed, similar to what’s found in the DualSense controller. If you’ve played a PS5 game, you’ll be familiar with the tension in the L2 or R2 buttons when you press them, such as when you’re drawing your bow to fire an arrow. When you take that kind of mechanic and apply it to VR, the experience is amplified to the next level.
● Haptic feedback: The new controller will have haptic feedback optimized for its form factor, making every sensation in the game world more impactful, textured and nuanced. When you’re traversing through rocky desert or trading blows in melee combat, you’ll feel the difference, magnifying the extraordinary visual and audio experience that’s so central to VR.
● Finger touch detection: The controller can detect your fingers without any pressing in the areas where you place your thumb, index, or middle fingers. This enables you to make more natural gestures with your hands during gameplay.
● Tracking: The VR controller is tracked by the new VR headset through a tracking ring across the bottom of the controller.
● Action buttons / analog sticks: The Left controller contains one analog stick, the triangle and square buttons, a “grip” button (L1), trigger button (L2) and Create button. The Right controller contains one analog stick, the cross and circle buttons, a “grip” button (R1), trigger button (R2) and Options button. The “grip” button can be used to pick up in-game objects, as one example.
With no sign of a release, price, or design for the headset itself, Sony still has plenty to reveal about it’s next-gen VR unit. Does today’s news make you optimistic about Sony’s future with VR? Sound off in the comments below and let us know!