It may not be the release date announcement fans were hoping for, but Sony took a step closer to its next generation of virtual reality on Tuesday morning.
The PlayStation VR2 headset and controllers made their physical debut in a PS Blog post that highlights the hardware from three different angles. Generally speaking, there are no surprises. But Sony clearly seems to be sticking with what worked in its original design.
The PS VR2 appears to use the same approach to the headstrap as its predecessor, with a wraparound design that leaves the goggles perched on the wearer’s forehead while a tension-adjustable strap distributes the weight all the way to the base of your head, without the need for an over-the-top strap. For any of the original model’s technical flaws, it’s one of the most comfortable VR devices on the market, especially when you’re wearing it over longer periods of time.
Sony’s blog post notes that the PS VR2 also includes a lens adjustment dial — everyone’s eye spacing is different, so adjusting this setting has the effect of bringing your in-headset experience into sharper visual focus. The next-gen headset is also more lightweight, even with a newly added motor for “headset feedback.” (Head rumble? That’s what it sounds like.)
The post also includes a quote from Yujin Morisawa, a senior art director who worked on designing the headset with an eye toward airflow. “One of the areas I wanted to focus on first was the idea of creating a vent in the headset to let air out, similar to the vents on the [PlayStation 5] console that allows airflow,” he wrote.
“I worked on many design concepts to achieve this, and in the final design, you can see there is a little space in between the top and front surface of the scope that contains the integrated ventilation.”
The PS5’s swooping aesthetic served as the model for the PS VR2 headset and controllers’ physical designs. The goggle part of the headset is sleek and more curved than the PSVR goggles were (its four front-facing cameras are easy to spot). The PS VR2 Sense controllers are similarly curvy, with a plastic ring around the grip that a hand is meant to slide into.
Also just like the PS5, the whole setup is encased in white plastic with black accents for the goggle/strap interiors and the Sense handgrips.
Like I said: No surprises. This looks like a VR headset. It carries over some design sensibilities from the PSVR that make it feel uniquely of the PlayStation family, but it’s not any kind of reinvention. The only bit we have questions about is the cord; it plugs in near the back of the headset, apparently close to where the strap sits above the left ear.
It remains to be seen what that cord positioning feels like. Sticking it on the left side like that could be disruptive for left-handed players. Of course, the ideal would be a completely wireless rig; for any issues Meta has with privacy, its Quest headset is still the best consumer VR experience out there. But Sony clearly isn’t quite there yet.