A report from Bloomberg citing unnamed sources points to a Holiday 2022 launch of Sony’s next-gen PSVR headset. The report says that PSVR 2 may be the only next-gen VR headset to use OLED displays rather than LCD.

Following reports of leaked PSVR 2 specs last month—which claim a 4.1MP (2,000 × 2,040) per-eye resolution, eye-tracking, head-mounted haptics, and more—this week a new report from Bloomberg, citing unnamed “people with knowledge of the matter,” says that the headset is aiming to launch in the Holiday 2022 window, and use new OLED displays from Samsung.

Bloomberg has a decent track record regarding the accuracy of its VR sources. Last year the company correctly reported that Oculus would release a successor to the Quest with a faster refresh rate, new controllers, and a smaller redesign that would remove the headset’s fabric accents. Four months later, Quest 2 was announced.

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As the Bloomberg report notes, the majority of modern VR headsets have moved to LCD displays, but the next-gen PSVR may use a Samsung-made OLED display, just like the first-gen PSVR.

The first generation of consumer VR headsets—HTC Vive, Oculus Rift CV1, and PSVR—all employed OLED displays which were favored thanks to their excellent contrast, rich colors, and extremely fast response time which allowed these headsets to implement a display technique called low-persistence which sharpens the image during head movement and reduces perceived latency.

Second-gen VR headsets largely switched from OLED to LCD thanks to the availability of so-called ‘fast-switch’ LCDs which are capable of low-persistence and bring other benefits like higher resolution, lower price, and less smearing & mura.

PSVR’s OLED display | Photo courtesy iFixit (BY-NC-SA)

Sony’s PSVR was the only first-gen VR headset to use an OLED display with an RGB sub-pixel arrangement, where all others used a PenTile arrangement which caused more screen door effect and slightly less effective resolution. It also offered a refresh rate of 120Hz which was ahead of its time compared to 90Hz on other headsets.

It’s unclear if an OLED-equipped PSVR 2 would manage to retain the RGB sub-pixel arrangement or exceed 120Hz for the company’s next headset. As Samsung is the rumored display provider for PSVR 2 (and the display provider of the original PSVR), that will likely come down to what the display maker has to offer.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • xyzs

    Finger crossed it’s still RGB…
    If it is Pentile, the true sharpness will be in reality around 1300×1300 but with the computational cost of 2k (the wonders of Pentile: marketing wins, users loose)

    • AndroidGuy

      Not true. Pentile is based on the fact that humans are more sensitive to green, and thus more sensitive to local changes in green, i.e. resolution, making RG-BG a more efficient layout than RGB for the same dot pitch. If Samsung’s OLED manufacturing is capable of making a subpixel dot pitch of X, then Pentile costs 2/3rds X.

      Meaning, if they picked an RGB layout, it would cost the inverse, or 3/2 (1.5x or 50% more) in terms of pixel budget. So, no matter what actual resolution you’re talking about for Pentile or RGB layout, the determining factor is the dot pitch of each subpixel. And since green subpixels matter more than red or blue to the human visual system in terms of sensitivity and acuity, it is wasteful to give R,G,B subpixels equal weight on a display. Green matters more, so it should get more “air time” or “real estate” on screen. Pentile gives you more green at the cost of less red and blue, which is a smart tradeoff.

      In this example, say 4 million pixels per eye, with RGB that’s 12 million subpixels (three subpixels per pixel), whereas with pentile you get 8 million. 12 is more than 8, so you think, hey, I’d rather have 12 million subpixels on my display. There you would be right. However, you’re not comparing like for like, because the manufacturing capacity would be producing subpixels with a 50% finer dot pitch. You need to compare the opportunity cost at the same dot pitch. Green matters more, therefore it should rightly get a larger share of the overall subpixel budget, whatever that is. Think of it this way, for PSVR 1 which was RGB Stripe but 1080p, the norm for OLED was 1440p pentile. Which do you think is sharper, perceptually? Anyway, it doesn’t matter what you or I think, what matters is that billion dollar companies like Samsung and Sony know way more about this stuff than you or I, which is why they go with the smart engineering decision to use pentile for OLED phones, because RGB stripe is dumb and a waste of money for little to not return on investment. Actually it costs sharpness, because of the opportunity cost of not being able to deliver a higher resolution pentile display at the same dot pitch.

      I wish this meme that pentile is bad would die, but apparently we’re all set to hear more people complain about it despite the fact that it’s 50% more efficient use of subpixel budget, which is true for any resolution, and even more so the higher the base resolution where the perceptual difference between pentile and RGB becomes less and less, making it increasingly more appealing than RGB stripe, not less so. Sony goofed up with 1080p pentile on PSVR 1 compared to 1440p OLEDs which had full resolution green and half-res red and blue (which, again, don’t really matter as much due to the bias in our vision). If someone claims they can tell the difference between pentile and RGB at such a high resolution, they’re lying or delusional. But that’s not even the issue, the issue is that if PSVR 2 were to use RGB instead of pentile, they would be throwing away green resolution potential, which matters more.

      I hope I wasn’t too patronizing in this post, but I really hope this meme that pentile is bad would die already. There’s a reason it’s ubiquitous in OLED phones, because it simply doesn’t matter. It’s smarter and costs less, and if you can improve your dot pitch enough to deliver RGB at the same resolution, then you would still be better off sticking to pentile layout with that finer dot pitch and increasing the overall green resolution, at the expense of red and blue, yes, but again, those don’t matter as much.

    • TechPassion

      total bs. Odyssey+ is high resolution

      • xyzs

        What bs? Pentile has 2/3 amount of RGB subpixel. That’s simply proven by math. Plus go find the many comparison rgb/pentile online to figure out. We know you are a fanboy of your odyssey, you mention it al the time… that’s doesn’t delete truth still…

        • David

          If it’s Pentile, it will have as many total subpixels as a 1633×1633 RGB screen.

          • Cless

            I think @xyzs2049:disqus is kind of right up there. For example a 1440p pentile panel has 11 million subpixels, while a pentile has 7 million subpixels. To give you a bit of perspective, an RGB 1080p panel has 6 million subpixels. So the math says its close to 2/3. The only “upside” if you want to even call it that, is that because the arrangement and size of subpixels is different, it does get rid of the “grid” pattern and does some “antialiasing” on the image (both totally not worth it though).

          • David

            xyzs just used incorrect math when calculating the equivalent linear resolution. They did 2000*2/3 to calculate the height and width, but the correct way to calculate the linear resolution equivalent is sqrt(2000*2000*2/3)

  • kontis

    If OLEDs got to that resolution then LCDs resolution advantage may no longer be valuable with current limitations of quite blurry optics used in VR headsets.

    This may change again if optics become sharper and make higher PPI worth pursuing, but by that time hopefully “Mini LED” (LCD with dense LED backlight) will be available at these sizes. They achieve contrast similar to OLED, but are much brighter and thus better for HDR.

    • Blaexe

      MiniLED also shows significant halo artifacts because the number of LEDs is way smaller than the number of pixels. This will be magnified in VR, which imo renders it unusable.

    • Bob

      “They achieve contrast similar to OLED”

      No they don’t. You’re confusing mini LED with microLED; both completely different technologies with the latter having contrast equal to an OLED display. Blooming is still evident with mini LED which takes away from the blacks which in turn takes away from the contrast. This will be even more evident if the display is two inches away from your face.

      It isn’t anywhere close to OLED so I’d suggest experiencing both technologies firsthand (OLED, mini LED) before making bold inaccurate claims like this.

  • Till Eulenspiegel

    Current PSVR uses OLED too, but looks like a piece of dirty cloth when the screen goes dark.

  • Rupert Jung

    I really miss the contrast and deep blacks of the Quest, compared with Quest 2. So I am really happy about that. Sony was ahead of it’s time back then, the 120 Hz RGB stripe OLED panel was really outstanding, despite the relatively low resolution when compared with other headsets. Comfort was excellent too as they invented the halo mount system.

    But times have changed. For PSVR2, we need a wireless option. Never going back to cables again.

    • dk

      2160×2160 per eye or quest2 resolution with oled rgb stripe matrix will be pretty awesome …but we’ll see what will be the price …and what other headsets will offer in the end of 2022

      • OdinTheOdious

        By the time people can get their hands on a PSVR 2 we may be talking more like 2023…

        Wired mainstream VR in 2023?

        It sounds kind of like dinosaur tech

        • Jistuce

          And yet, mainstream VR still sounds like “the future”. It is a tantalizingly close future, though, instead of just the stuff of books and movies and Shadowrun games.

    • FrankB

      yeah, going back to a PSVR after using a Rift S for a while i was staggered at how much difference proper blacks make. In some games PSVR looked sort of better than PC equivalents despite the resolution difference. They need to sort out the mura issue that plagued PSVR1 though.

      • Buddydudeguy

        Must be comparing against a low end PC with quality settings on low, with no super sampling cuz….ya, no.

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  • OLED… interesting…

  • oomph2

    I am waiting
    but make it free from cables

  • Geogaddi

    Late 2022…if PSVR2 gets delayed we might be looking at 2023. If the PSVR1 is getting long in the tooth now, the headset will feel like a relic of a foregone era by then.

    I wonder if good PC GFX cards will be more readily available/cheaper next year? Maybe we’ll see a Quest 3 before PSVR2 as well?

  • Buddydudeguy

    Good HMD, crappy tracking, crappy camera, crappy console= bad VR.

    • Sven Viking

      You’re talking about PSVR1 though. Nobody knows anything about PSVR2 tracking except that it’s inside-out and doesn’t use an external camera. The reported foveated rendering with gaze tracking may compensate for the ”crappy” graphics processing power (estimated at about the level of a 2070 Super) to some extent.

      • Buddydudeguy

        Of course I’m talking about PSVR 1…2 isn’t out yet. WTF made you you think I was talking about a headset that’s not even out yet?

        • Sven Viking

          Because it’s the subject of the article you’re commenting on.

          • Buddydudeguy

            Are you being deliberately obtuse? He mentioned PSVR. Not the non existent PSVR 2.

          • Sven Viking

            You didn’t reply to a specific comment but as a top-level comment to a PSVR2 article about PSVR2. Maybe that was accidental?

  • brandon9271

    Now if it’ll work for PC and have non Fresnel lenses, it’ll be the best HMD available. How sad would it be if the best PCVR headset ended up being for the PlayStation 5? That would make HTC, Valve and Oculus look like fools

    • Cless

      Can’t really be the best headset without light houses support :/

  • Andrew Jakobs

    The report says that PSVR 2 may be the only next-gen VR headset to use OLED displays rather than LCD.

    That’s a mute statement as there are no next-gen VR headset announced yet. My biggest bet is that there isn’t an OLED panel yet available which has a ‘high’ resolution, low persistence and high framerate (90-120/144hz) for a reasonable price, otherwise it would have been used already. But if there are panels available at the moment that meet those specs, I’ll bet they are about twice as expensive as the LCD’s currently in use, which would make a headset even much more expensive.
    It could be very well possible that the Quest 3 would have OLED panels again, and any new headset that would arrive near the end of 2022 or later.

  • Cless

    Fuck yeah. The only bit it will be missing is… good tracking, since it won’t be using lighthouses… But we will see once we know more I guess…

  • Evol Love

    If it doesn’t use Fresnel lenses I’ll buy it and a PS5 otherwise never cared…

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