Among other additions to the console’s base experience, the forthcoming PS4 System Software Update 4.50 will bring improved tracking and 3D Blu-ray playback to Sony’s PlayStation VR headset.
In time for the launch of Farpoint and the PSVR Aim controller, the PS4 System Software Update 4.50 will launch with tracking improvements that apply to objects tracked with the PlayStation Camera, including the Move controllers and the Aim controller. That’s according to developers working on PSVR and Farpoint during a session at GDC 2017 where it was also confirmed that Farpoint would launch on May 16th and include co-op.
PSVR Tracking Improvements
When asked to detail the tracking improvements, the developers didn’t share specifics, except to say that the changes were derived from work with the Aim controller, but apply to tracking in general. The improvements are also applicable to all PSVR games following the PS4 System Software Update 4.50 without requiring per-game updates. The developers cautioned that users shouldn’t expect major changes to tracking performance, but apparently felt the improvements notable enough to warrant mentioning during the session.
Speaking with other developers working closely on PlayStation VR, Road to VR was told that PSVR tracking has in fact been improving since the October launch of the headset. Most of the improvements to this point have come in the management of edge-cases, like extreme lighting situations. It isn’t clear if the changes coming with PS4 System Software Update 4.50 are more or less significant than those previous tracking improvements.
Easy Aim Development
At the same GDC session, the developers explained that the PSVR Aim controller, which is due to launch alongside Farpoint in May, will have support built directly into the PSVR SDK. This means that developers can target the peripheral easily without needing to deal with additional software or plugins. It was shown during the session that incorporating the Aim controller as a source of input is almost identical to doing so with a PS4 controller.
That ease of development will hopefully see the controller supported widely for shooter-style VR games. The company has already confirmed that in addition to Farpoint, The Brookhaven Experiment will also see support, and that Sony is working on multiple new first-party titles with support for the Aim controller.
3D Blu-ray Playback
In addition to PSVR tracking improvements, Sony confirmed back in February that the PS4 System Software Update 4.50 will add 3D playback on PSVR for supported Blu-rays. Presently, you can watch Blu-ray discs inside the PlayStation VR headset on a virtual screen, but even if the movie supports 3D, you’ll see a flat image. The update will add depth to the screen as defined by the movie. PSVR currently supports 3D playback on some other video platforms, but Blu-day was left out, until now.
Rumored to Come as Early as Tomorrow
Sony hasn’t confirmed when the update will launch, except that it would come before Farpoint’s May 16th release date. However, a Reddit user claims to have received word from Sony support that the PS4 4.50 update will release tomorrow, March 7th, alongside version 2.40 of the PSVR firmware. The authenticity of that claim is unconfirmed, but we’ll know for sure as of tomorrow.