At the end of last month, Sony announced it was making a new iteration of PlayStation VR for PlayStation 5, which would include a new controller heavily inspired by the system’s DualSense. Today, the company released a first look of the controllers (pictured above), and they’re certainly an upgrade from the PlayStation Move controllers.
Through a post on the PlayStation Blog, Sony Platform Planning & Management Senior Vice President Hideaki Nishino explained the company’s design philosophy:
Our new VR controller speaks to our mission of achieving a much deeper sense of presence and stronger feeling of immersion in VR experiences,” Nishino said. “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.”
Rather than just using the PlayStation Move’s wand form factor again, the designers went for more of an “orb” shape, giving players more freedom of movement and developers more freedom to design games and motion around more versatile input.
As Sony previously stated, the new PlayStation VR controller will take inspiration from the DualSense, and use features like adaptive triggers and haptic feedback for more immersion. The blog post runs down the key features:
● 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.
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There’s still no release date in place for the next iteration of PlayStation VR beyond “not 2021,” but the original headset and PlayStation Move controllers are backwards compatible on PS5 in the meantime. Sony recently filed for a patent that would allow players to use household items as controllers, but it’s unclear if that’s going to make its way to the market any time soon.