The next-gen PlayStation VR for PlayStation 5 is still a while away, but with last month’s reveal, we know it’s somewhere on the horizon. Today, Sony shared a few more details about it—specifically, a look at the controller it’ll use.
Where the existing PlayStation VR uses PlayStation Move controllers as its main input device—which pre-date VR and weren’t designed with that in mind—the next-gen PSVR has a controller tailored for virtual reality. It’s got dedicated left and right units now (instead of the generic, interchangeable PlayStation Move wands), designed to be ergonomic and comfortable. The “orb” shape, with a tracking ring at the bottom of each unit that your hands go through, is meant to ensure that “there are no constraints with how you’re moving your hands” without breaking line-of-sight for tracking.
Following on from the PlayStation 5’s DualSense controller, the new VR controllers will have the same adaptive triggers and haptic feedback, to provide more sensory feedback to the player. Given how effective this has been in some PS5 games—not just to increase the sense of immersion, but to help convey game information in a more direct, intuitive way—it seems an obvious thing to include in a virtual reality setup, where full immersion is so often the goal.
The new controller also includes a “grip” button on each unit—basically, a regular button, but positioned on the side of the controller in such a way that it mimics a gripping action when you press it. None of the promo photos clearly show it in use, but it looks like it’s designed to be pressed from underneath by your middle finger.
The left and right units are largely similar, but with different buttons on each to make the button layout similar to a standard PlayStation controller that’s been split in two. The left controller has an analog stick, triangle, square, L1, L2, and Create; the right controller as another analog stick, cross, circle, R1, R2, and Options. There’s no D-pad or touchpad
“SIE’s Product, Engineering, and Design teams have collaborated to build our new VR controller from the ground up with a goal of making a huge leap from current-gen VR gaming,” said Hideaki Nishino, PlayStation’s Senior Vice President, Platform Planning and Management, in closing out the PlayStation Blog post about the new controller.
“We’re thrilled with the controller we developed, but what matters now is how game creators will take advantage of the features to design the next generation of VR experiences. Prototypes of our new VR controller will be in the hands of the development community soon, and we can’t wait to see what ideas they come up with and how the controller helps bring their imagination to life!”