Last week Sony Interactive Entertainment’s Vice President of Research and Development, Dominic Mallinson, opened up about this thoughts on the future of VR at the Collisson 2019 conference in Toronto. While Mallinson was clear about the company’s commitment to VR going forward, he also said it’s that PSVR 2 will launch at the same time as PS5.

Sony has previously confirmed that the current PSVR headset will be compatible with PS5, and the company’s R&D chief, Dominic Mallinson, recently spoke to what kind of features he thinks are important for a next-gen PSVR 2 headset.

Speaking to CNET however, Mallinson last week said it’s unlikely that the company would launch a new headset at the same time that PS5 launches.

“There’s no reason for us to coincide [a new VR headset] with a new console. From the point of view of the consumer, to be bombarded with many many things—oh, you have to buy this, you have to buy that—is a message that we don’t want to send. In some ways, it’s good to have a little breathing space between those things,” he said, CNET reported.

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The original PSVR headset launched in late 2016, a whole three years after the launch of PS4 (but ahead of the launch of PS4 Pro). And while Sony has racked up an impressive 4.2 million sales of the headset, it seems like that number would surely be larger if the headset was available from the outset.

Still, game consoles compete against gaming PCs largely on their value proposition, and Sony sensibly doesn’t want to introduce sticker shock (a lesson they surely haven’t forgotten about PS3’s high launch price).

The original PSVR was introduced at $400 for the headset alone (the same price as PS4 itself at the time), though the bundle with the PS Camera (required) and PS Move controllers (optional) was $500. That’s certainly expensive, though because it wasn’t released right alongside PS4, it may have been seem more as a mid-cycle upgrade for existing PS4 owners instead of an attempt to nab new customers at a combined console + headset price of $900 (which could then fall into competition with PC gaming).

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So it seems sensible that Sony would try a similar strategy with PSVR 2 and PS5, but ultimately the bigger factor may be what kind of technology the company can fit into the headset at their target price point. Sony has aggressively reduced the price of PSVR down to $350 for the full bundle, and it seems like that’s roughly where PSVR 2 will need to stay to compete against the likes of low cost PC headsets like Rift S and even standalone headsets like Quest.

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  • AJ_74

    Not a smart move by Sony, but at least it sounds as if they’re committed to a PSVR 2.0 at some point. The perplexing thing is why they feel comfortable releasing an 8K-capable console in 2020 with a VR headset that houses a 1080p display. I mean, it’s by far the lowest resolution of any VR headset released in the last 3 years.

    I get that they’re probably working on a viable wireless solution for PSVR 2.0 and waiting for component costs to come down (and likely working on the next-gen tracking system), but why not release a PSVR 1.5 now? All they really need to do is upgrade the current display panel to something rivaling the Oculus Rift S/Oculus Go and they’d at least have a product that won’t look ridiculous when paired with a next-gen console.

    • Xron

      Don’t forget controllers…

    • Shawn MacDonell

      To be fair the display panel used in the PSVR is superb, even if it’s 1080p. It’s definitely up with the Rift S in terms of SDE reduction, plus it’s an OLED panel; until Rift S was released it was the most impressive made-for-VR panel I’d seen, even with its lower resolution given how reduced the SDE was compared to the original Rift, Vive and even HMD Odyssey.

      Holding off and continuing to reduce the current PSVR’s pricing (presumably) is the best move for Sony at the moment, especially when they have zero competition (and no PC VR isn’t competition, neither is the Quest really given they view PSVR as an optional peripheral for the PS4; the latter is more important).

      • Niklas Fritzell

        The mura of the ps vr is pretty annoying though… screen door effect goes away when moving the head while mura becomes more apparent. Watching netflix on ps vr vs rift is a clear whin for the rift as well…

      • Downvote King

        Not to mention it’s tracking that’s the main problem for PSVR. If you can’t address that I see very little point in upgrading any of the other components and increasing the cost for such little return.

        • Master E

          The tracking and controller options are no bueno on PSVR. I love it otherwise. The limited SDE and everything else is pretty good and actually find it the most comfortable of all the headsets.

          Sony apparently filed for a patent for traceable wristbands with finger tracking technology on them so I’d imagine a new tracking system is in the works as well.

          I’m also guessing the supposed 8k capabilities of ps5 is more for high fidelity vr and not just regular gaming. 8k as in perhaps one day near 4K VRs visuals with perhaps foveated rendering to compensate for hardware.

          • Downvote King

            I think I’d still want something physical to hold in my hand rather than just a wristband for finger tracking. Seems like it could be pretty difficult to perform all of the little minutiae of navigating a video game just using gestures, but but who knows maybe they could crack the code. It would certainly impact backwards compatibility though. I’d be more than happy with a Knuckles, or even Touch type solution for controllers. Definitely hoping 8K output capabilities leads to a 4K per eye headset though. Eye tracking with foveated rendering would be icing on that cake, especially as the console ages.

    • Darshan

      Indeed PSVR is just 1080p but have you used it your self? 120Hz RGB Display of PSVR with Sony selected lenses …Trust me its best VR HMD out there ..which is totally plug n play and needs absolutely no tinkering. If you have PS4 +PSVR+Controller+PSVR Game it just works naturally no ifs no buts. Guess what kind of insane processing power 10 Tera Flops pixel rate hardware can provide (PS5 will be 10+ Teraflops for sure..PS4 was only 1.84 TFLOP PS4Pro was 4.2 TFLOP) and how super detail rich games can be made for PSVR. PSVR 1.5 is already out if you have not noticed.. Difference Between V1 and V2. The biggest difference comes from having a newer television with 4K resolution. The new setup supports high dynamic range passthrough, which means that games supporting the wider range of colors will be able to feed their signal through the headset to the TV, ignoring the VR kit.

      Certainly looking for feture my list for PSVR2 is
      1) No breakup box between HMD and PS5
      2) Only single cable that has HDMI F on one end HDMI-M+USB on other end
      3) Inside out tracking so no PS Camera
      4) Atleast 2560X1440 RGB oled with 120Hz rate
      5) Support for all PSVR games including older with resolution bump.

      • Lucidfeuer

        Oh STFU, do you work for Sony? Anyone who has or has tried a PSVR knows you spitting piles of shit…

        • Darshan

          Check AJ_74 Comment ….also might be working for Sony..Right? Certainly PSVR is not bad for visuals ..Tracking of Move may be little less accurate still for console which has just 1.84TF pixel rate in honest opinion PSVR indeed is an accomplishment of Sony..Certainly for already owned console and $239 for camera + HMD you indeed get what you pay for.

          • Lucidfeuer

            The PSVR offer was “great” when it launched…in 2016. We’re in 2019 and VR headsets are already being iterated too slowly. Let’s wait for E3, we might have surprises…

          • Darshan

            So still in 2019 either processing power required for high end headsets are either too expensive, or headset them selves are not discounted much they should have..(though headset indeed became cheaper) hence adoption rate is slower than expected.

          • Lucidfeuer

            There are tons of factors why VR adoption rate has been slow, as slow as expected by actual analysts actually. One being indeed software/rendering technologies, but the main one being the products.

    • care package

      For Sony’s sake its a good thing you aren’t making the decisions then.

    • Brian Brown

      PS5 will support 8k displays, but won’t be powerful enough to play video games at that resolution, let alone VR.

  • Ted Joseph

    Sadly, Sony knows they can wait as long as they need, because the PS5 will sell 10s of millions of units in the interim.. I say sadly, because although I have the Oculus Rift, Go, Quest, and (tomorrow hopefully) S, I still like my PSVR once in a while. The top games feel AAA (Farpoint) etc. and I want to see what Sony plans next! Larger FOV, higher res, wireless, etc. Cant wait!

    • Immersive_Computing

      Farpoint on PS4 Pro with AIM controller = excellent

  • Yoshi Kato

    I’m curious to see what Sony’s got planned. It will probably be a pretty solid entry in the VR arena. Unfortunately, given their current track record of censoring games, I’ll probably be skipping the PS5 completely and sticking with the PC. Amazing hardware is meaningless if the software is hobbled.

    • Jonathan Winters III

      Interesting – never heard about that. What games and what kind of censorship?

      • Yoshi Kato

        A lot of Japanese games such as Senran Kagura, Devil May Cry 5, Omega Labyrinth Z, along with other titles. Blood and gore are still OK, just not cute girls. The censorship usually results in the removal of content or using mosaics to cover up cartoon girls in bikinis.

      • Master E

        No nudity mod for Skyrim vr is very upsetting to some

  • Marcelo Guido Vitulli Giunta

    The key is the controllers, they should release new ones for hand presence, that would extend the life of PSVR pairing it with the power of the new console.. remember that is just a display and yes, they will do a number 2 at some point.

    • The crux is the tracking. If they plan to update that in any way it has implications on both the headset and controllers. They may build their next tracking solution in such a way that it maintains backwards compatibility with older hardware, but it’s also very possible they fundamentally change the tracking solution for the next generation.

      • Jeremiah

        Yes, tracking is the PSVR’s biggest weakness by far.

        • Marcelo Guido Vitulli Giunta

          Totally!
          Well it could still be something that the camera can see. Plus more software feedback from the controller itself. For sure the new hardware will be improved in that sense, but dunno about inside out though!

      • Master E
  • Jonathan Winters III

    The Quest is $399 now, but will likely be $349 or even $299 within a couple years. Sony would have to compete with that price-wise, or a lot of people will buy the Quest instead.

    • Darshan

      Lot of people must buy Quest..its wonderful for what $399 can offer today…It will be unbeatable at price of $299. Its showcase of what FB Big Funds can do with OC bright minds..Sheer piece of Joy..Any doubts just watch Vader Immortal or play Beat Saber on Quest..There will be no place for doubts.

      • gacl

        I bought a Quest. I love it. I’ve played and love Beat Saber and Vader Immortal on the Quest. I’ll say that Beat Saber is better than the PSVR because of the portability, although the PSVR plays it perfectly well.

        PSVR still has better games than the Quest. Blood & Truth, Trover. From last year, The Persistence, Astrobot, Firewall, Wipeout. PSVR is way ahead on content. Quest has nicer hardware.

        • Darshan

          There should be a way PS4 Pro with all games can be used with Quest.

  • Nothing to see here

    This is a very smart move. PSVR owners are not ready for an expensive headset upgrade. The tracking is not the PSVR’s biggest limitation. It’s biggest limitation is the graphics quality and game selection. The graphics on the PS5 should be good enough to run all current PC VR titles and also allow many PS4 games to be converted to VR. Fallout 4 VR is an obvious PS5 launch title but imagine how fun games like Zero Dawn would be to play in VR. A year or two after the PS5 is released, a higher resolution PSVR 2 with eye tracking and foviated graphics running effectively 4K at 120 fps would make it an easy purchase.

    • Darshan

      Actual Gem for PSVR is Blood & Truth also Resident Evil, No Man’s Sky is also releasing for PSVR very soon..so software wise Sony is moving just fine, Graphics are also decent if not great..weak point is tracking of move and lengthy wires dangling around. so both things need fixing is first priority.

  • Hivemind9000

    While Mallinson was clear about the company’s commitment to VR going forward, he also said it’s that PSVR 2 will launch at the same time as PS5.

    Que?

  • Lucidfeuer

    I’m not sure it’s smart for Sony to wait long, 2022 is still a ways off and the PSVR is too cheap and obsolete.

  • On one side it has sense, on the other one, I would find weird a PS5 launch with people still needing to use the old PSVR…

  • This is a smart play for Sony. Existing PSVR users will get a very nice graphics bump if they upgrade to PS5 on release – with that kind of power and just 1080p display resolution you’ll be able to run huge games with super-detailed graphics like Horizon Zero Dawn in VR. Then 2-3 years later we’ll get PSVR2 and PS5Pro for a totally next-level experience.