Even though the original PSVR headset is still getting some new game releases, it’s decidedly a last-gen headset… or maybe even a last-last-gen headset depending upon how you look at it. Luckily the forthcoming PSVR 2 is ready to match the latest and greatest headsets with modern features like passthrough view and a system-wide playspace boundary.
For those who have been waiting six years to upgrade from their original PSVR, the forthcoming PlayStation VR 2 is going to be a huge breath of fresh air. Not only is the headset a big step up in specs, but today Sony shared new features coming to the headset that will finally bring it up to par with the latest headsets.
One of the biggest differences between most first-gen VR headsets and modern headsets is a passthrough view function which uses the headset’s cameras to let the user ‘look through’ the headset to the outside world. This seemingly simple feature adds a lot of convenience for doing things like finding your controllers or phone, quickly chatting with someone in the room, or checking on the location of a pet, all without taking off your headset.
While many other headsets now offer a passthrough view, most don’t actually do anything other than allowing you to look outside of your headset. PSVR 2 will go one step further to add one of Quest’s best features: passthrough playspace setup.
System-wide Playspace Boundary
Every other VR headset in the same class has long offered a ‘playspace boundary’ which shows players a virtual border outlining their safe area so they don’t bump into furniture or smack their TV. The original PSVR didn’t visualize any kind of custom boundary for the player.
For seated games this isn’t too big of a deal, but for more active games it is—so much so that some PSVR developers had to add their own boundary visualization system for their specific game.
Now with PSVR 2 players will be able to define a custom playspace boundary, and they’ll be able to do so conveniently from within the headset using the passthrough view.
Sony says PSVR 2 will be capable of automatically scanning the player’s space to automatically create a boundary, and players will be able to further customize the area with their controllers.
Stream Yourself While Playing
It’s always been possible to stream and capture VR gameplay with the original PSVR, but with PSVR 2 players with the PS5 HD Camera will be able to include a picture-in-picture view of themselves at the bottom right corner of the screen while they play. It’s not mixed reality, but it appears that players will be cut out from their background automatically, giving more context for those watching.
Beyond being able to put a view of yourself in the corner of your PSVR 2 gameplay, we’re also expecting the headset to finally be able to deliver significantly better streaming and capture quality than the original PSVR, though Sony hasn’t given detail on that just yet.
‘Cinematic Mode’ Returns
Sony also confirmed that PSVR 2 will retain the ‘Cinematic Mode’ of the first headset which allows players to play any non-VR PS5 content on a big screen inside of the headset. This includes regular PS5 games and movies, including support for HDR content at 24, 60, or 120Hz. That’s a nice little bonus because it means anyone buying a PSVR 2 is also getting an HDR display as well. There’s no word yet however on whether PSVR 2 will support stereoscopic video content like 3D Blu-ray movies.