Gaming

Next-gen PlayStation VR is higher res and has gaze-tracking tech

Sony gave partners a brief peek at what to expect from the forthcoming PSVR hardware.

An employee of an electronics retail shop sells the new Sony PlayStation virtual reality (PSVR) headset before its opening in Tokyo on October 13, 2016. 
The electronics giant - which has been leaning on its videogames business to claw back to profitability - started selling its PlayStation virtual reality (PSVR) headset on October 13 in the Japanese domestic market and North America. / AFP / KAZUHIRO NOGI        (Photo credit should read KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images)
KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images

Sony has been teasing its next-gen PlayStation virtual reality headset for months now, doling out breadcrumbs one at a time for fans to drool over. Today we’ve been gifted some more key details about the forthcoming PSVR hardware, though this time the info drop isn’t quite so official.

Multiple sources have told Upload VR that Sony recently shared more details of the next-gen PSVR with the company’s partners. Topping the list of details is a 4,000 x 2,040-pixel resolution — that’s 2,000 x 2,040 for each eye — which gives it a stunning total of 8.16 million pixels. That’s much higher than the last generation of PSVR and just a little more than the resolution on the Oculus Quest 2.

Even with these latest insider details, we still don’t know all that much about the new PSVR, except that it’s not expected on the market before 2022. But hey — we probably won’t find a PlayStation 5 to use it with before then, anyway.

All in the details — The details given to Upload VR are all unofficial in that Sony has made none of these specs public so there’s a fair chance some of them will be incorrect or change before the device is actually launched. Still, they’re tantalizing.

These controllers are all we’ve seen of the next-gen PSVR hardware thus far.Sony

Upload VR reports that the new headset will have a single USB-C port on its front, used for both charging and connectivity to the PS5 console. The headset will include onboard cameras for tracking eye movement, body movement, and the placement of the new curvy PSVR controllers. Sony also reportedly told partners that the new headset will have a lens separation adjustment dial to make the wearing experience more adaptable to different faces.

The VR market is hot, hot, hot — The original PSVR was very successful, selling more than 5 million units between 2016 and 2019. That success alone puts huge pressure on Sony to deliver an even more enjoyable product for the PlayStation 5.

That pressure is compounded by the fact that the VR market is much more competitive than it was just five years ago. Companies like HTC are rapidly pushing VR tech to new heights, and consumers want those offerings to be affordable and user-friendly, too.

It’s for the best, then, that Sony is very much taking its time with the next-gen PSVR equipment. The company hasn’t even given us a release date yet — we know only that we won’t be seeing it by the end of 2021. It’s something to look forward to next year. If we can find a PS5 to use with it by then, that is.