In preparation for the reveal of its next VR headset, Sony today gave a first look at its next-gen VR controller for use with PS5, something that appears very similar to Oculus’ Touch controller.

Sony showed off the new controller today, detailing a few of the most impactful changes coming to its VR ecosystem. One large shift that the controllers portend: it appears the company’s next-gen VR headset will include headset-mounted cameras to optically track the controllers, and presumably also the environment for room-scale movement. (Good riddance, PS Camera and PS Move).

Image courtesy Sony

Outside of its orb-like shape, which likely hides LED tracking markers similar to Touch, the still unnamed controllers are said to house Dual Sense-style adaptive triggers in each controller, which allows for developers to differentiate the level of force feedback to create unique feelings such as drawing a bowstring or firing a gun.

Image courtesy Sony

Haptic feedback is also aiming to be “impactful, textured and nuanced,” the company says.

“When you’re traversing through rocky desert or trading blows in melee combat, you’ll feel the difference, magnifying the extraordinary visual and audio experience that’s so central to VR.”

Image courtesy Sony

The company says the controllers will also come with some degree of ‘finger touch detection’, something it says will “detect your fingers without any pressing in the areas where you place your thumb, index, or middle fingers,” saying its slated to enable more natural gestures with your hands during gameplay.

Aligning more with modern VR motion controllers such as Touch (great for developers), the new controller has what appear to be a standard button and analog stick layout, something that’s since been adopted by many consumer VR systems at this point.

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Although difficult to tell, it also appears the controllers have a USB Type-C charging port, which could mean it has a non-removable battery inside similar to Dual Sense.

Close-up of lower controller hilt | Image courtesy Sony

It’s important to note that at this time there is no official naming scheme for Sony’s upcoming next-gen VR headset. There’s also no release date, price, or spec sheet available yet. We’ll have our eyes peeled for any additional information in the coming days, as it’s clear Sony is ramping up hype for its next big VR reveal.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • Adrian Meredith

    This is huge, now we have a standard control scheme for VR.

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    • xyzs

      Yeah the bad designs disappear for the good one.
      That’s really nice to see.

  • Amni3D

    It’s been 3000 years..

    It seems they’re going for both capsense and a grip button, so that’s interesting.
    I’m more interested in the HMD, but this is looking great design wise. I can only imagine how sharp the HMD is gonna look.

    I’ll guess that this is a summer or holiday 2022 product. Either way, hyped as heck.

    • Kevin White

      I agree with you on the timing — October / November 2022 would put it right at six years after the original PSVR and two years into the PS5’s life. Of course there’s always summer 2023 when a “PS5 Pro” is expected.

    • I’m guessing these things will have third-party addon Index-style straps available for purchase less than 24 hours after PSVR2 releases.

  • kontis

    Very nice, but the most popular VR app of all time (that has more total hours played than all other VR apps ever made combined) will never be available on it due to its open modding nature (ironically a necessity for any metaverse wannabe), which is not “kosher” enough for an archaic, closed and anti-consumer (internally monopolistic) platform like Playstation.

    • Amni3D

      Would love to see native SteamVR drivers. They seem tight with Valve, and Quest Link proved a point, so who knows.

      I’m fine with the storefront being closed if we can at least use it on PC.

      • kontis

        Would love to see native SteamVR drivers.

        This will never happen. Sony won’t make money on PSVR2 hardware and they are not in business to subsidize PC market.

        For the same reason “using” PSVR1 on PC to this day is an abomination not worth the effort.

    • JB1968

      Who cares about VRchat (besides some whining “RecRoom kids”)….but everyone will care about all the great Sony 1st party exclusive games that are gonna be released on PSVR2!
      Same as in 2016 PSVR was huge push for VR mainstream adoption (and got 5+ million people to play VR so far) Sony will again kill it with the PSVR2 and make even bigger push and hopefully the real breakthrough for VR masses no other company was able to achieve so far.

  • Yes, this looks like a lovely evolution of the Oculus Touch controllers (which I still consider the best VR controllers out there, even above the Valve Index ones). Nice one, Sony.

    Hopefully other hardware manufacturers will add this advanced force feedback and improved tracking area into their future controllers too, as these are two things I think would make every VR controller better going forward.

    • kontis

      I don’t see any evolution here. Valve Index was an evolution (but maybe a failed one due to complexity…).
      This one looks like a slightly modified clone with updated haptics to current standards.

      Not surprising from Sony, who stopped innovating decades ago. They trashed 20 years of their HMD development and micro displays investment (remember HMZ-T3?) and instead of using that for PSVR they copied something a teenager made in a garage, but with better parts.

      They were “inspired” by the Rift, then they were “inspired” by Timewarp (without being sued by Zernimax, haha) and now they got “inspired” by Oculus Touch.
      A very inspirational company.

      • Blaexe

        The haptics and adaptive triggers are very innovative. The rest is similar to the Touch controllers probably to keep the cost down, which makes sense for a device that aims at the mainstream.

        But still, the first two features are huge.

        • Bob

          Agreed here. It does seem a bit embarrassing that in the year 2021 heading into 2022, haptics for VR controllers has hardly moved on from 2016. Glad to see Sony taking a stance on this.

          • Blaexe

            The opposite actually. OG Touch had great haptics similar to – let’s say – the Nintendo Switch.

            Quest 1 controllers had very bad haptics. Quest 2 controllers are improved over that, but still nowhere near as good as the OG Touch controllers.
            Hope this pushes facebook to improve haptics in the next iteration.

      • Cragheart

        These should be cheaper than OG Touch controllers and probably better.

        • On what planet does that logic make sense when they clearly do more? I hope they are, but that’s not based on any rational that they do less or something–they do more. Well, maybe cheaper than the very original Touch controllers, but we’re long past the time of those anyway at this point.

          • Cragheart

            Last time I checked, information technology was supposed to become cheaper with time. OG Touch controllers will be 6 years old in 2022, so you should naturally expect only better and cheaper input methods, nothing less.

            Though, in GPU and HDD space, prices aren’t going down anymore and that is a significant problem. CPUs and RAM are going down in price, but only by a little bit. SSDs and AI accelerators are the hottest things right now. Quest 2 isn’t very expensive, but requires Facebook account.

        • Rupert Jung

          Can’t change batteries, have to use two charging cables. If the HMD itself had a “charging dock” for them, this would be ok. But I doubt they did even think about something.

      • Vastly superior haptic feedback (think Switch Joy-Con or PS5 DualSense) and clearly the potential for superior tracking (because the sensor rings cover way more area around the hand for less occlusion and so on) are both obvious and welcome evolutions–and far better than some finger wiggling that rarely gets used and isn’t even 100% accurate or reliable anyway.

      • The only thing the Index controllers have that isn’t here (at least that anyone cares about) is the strap. It has basically full finger tracking, it has much improved controller tracking over the original Move wands (and probably inside-out at that), it has amazing haptic feedback, it uses the basically now industry standard design template and layout for VR controllers. It’s all good from what I can see.

      • guest

        They could bring their HMZ product line back if they had enough returns of PSVR making people sick that have been hiding in the off balance sheet accounting.

    • Whats wrong w/ the Index ones?

      • Lack of grip buttons, and extraneous trackpads. There’s nothing wrong with trackpads, but they’re just not utilized enough in software to justify putting them on the controller. Grip buttons on the other hand are a real omission, because finger position sensors just aren’t an adequate replacement for the direct feedback a grip button gives and for such an important function as grip.

        Neither of these are a big deal, the Knuckles work great as they are! But they are a minor issue. Sony for example is providing the best of both worlds here, with both finger tracking and a grip button.

        • Eh, it they have grip buttons.

          • No they don’t. There’s no grip button, only a fixed finger-tracking grip force sensor. The haptics are completely different for a fixed sensing surface of that size as opposed to a button. (Apple made it work with simulated haptic feedback for the fixed Home button on their iPhone 7/8 models, but that was a single finger on a much smaller surface.)

          • There is a grip button that you use with your index finger in the same place as on controllers like Touch and Vive (it’s right there in the frikin’ pics), and the rest of the handle can sense the rest of your fingers for basically full finger tracking (which has also been confirmed).

            What the hell are you taking about when you state there’s no grip button?

            It seems to me you’re just gibbering on about some whatever than no other VR controllers have either–and no one is really complaining about what we do have so far–so what exactly is your problem here?

      • They’re totally fine, but not quite as ergonomic as the Touch ones imo, and I think the finger tracking tech isn’t ready to be included in a controller in any meaningful way right now so is just a bit of a throwaway gimmick. So, if I ignore the finger tracking, which I do, then it’s got a hand strap and that’s about it to boast about. Overall I’d still rather use the current version of Touch from what I’ve seen, and this Sony design looks like a nice evolution of that with what looks to be a design that will allow for even better tracking of the controller, plus the genuinely awesome haptic stuff.

  • nejihiashi88

    i hope they do standalone HMD that can pair with ps5 or pc for extra power and with detachable hdmi 2.1

  • Alex

    That looks awkward af to hold. There’s no strap to hold it in place like Index, there’s a funky grip trigger so no full, precise finger tracking I guess, since you have to hold it at all times. Maybe it was too much to expect them to be on the cutting edge, but at least they are on par with the current standard more or less and it sure beats the Move! But hey, if the rest of it is good and it’s priced well, I could even get it for my PC as a way too long overdue resolution upgrade, as long as people get it to work 100%. Man, Oculus really nailed the design in 2016, everyone is copying their set up since then so even the old af Oculus Rift CV1 users like myself basically have all the same playability developers expect and primarily develop for, 5 years into it, now likely to get to 10 thanks to PSVR2.

    • Amni3D

      Even Oculus are playing catch-up with the CV1 designs. That’s how ahead of the curve they were :v

      These are obviously styled after the CV1 and Index controllers. Can’t really judge until I try it. I wonder if these are the final designs…

      • Alex

        The grip trigger is suspect though, in placement and form. Why not have that also be a full adaptive trigger instead, maybe it’d also allow for convenient “squeeze” functions without full finger tracking. Technically you can do it on Oculus but it’d take some more self control, it doesn’t have resistance, if you were to use it in that way and have it work as “grip” with Looks almost like the meh Vive Wand trigger.

      • Rupert Jung

        I hope they don’t play this catch-up games in terms of comfort.

    • These look to be Oculus Touch plus, which basically makes them the all round best VR controllers on the market imo.

      • david vincent

        Nope, apparently no interchangeable batteries.

        • Rupert Jung

          Yes. I LOVE it that I don’t ever have to attach a damned charge cable to my controllers. Just flip out the (rechargeable) batteries and I’m good to go!

          • Yeah, I honestly really like the way the batteries work on Touch and have never had an issue with just slamming in one of the other charged pairs of batteries once the current ones run out of charge.

      • OdinTheOdious

        Please stop talking about these controllers as if you’ve actually used them

        • Please stop talking like [some] people [not you] can’t deduce a few basics about what these controllers will likely be like from prior examples of such VR controllers (Move, Touch, Vive, Index, etc) as well as PS5’s DualSense controller plus what we already know and can see about these new PSVR 2 controllers–don’t be that kind of plonker who paints everyone else with your own ignorant brush.

    • brandon9271

      yeah, Sony should’ve added a bunch of expensive tech that no games will support just to drive up the cost! Maybe they’ll hire you as CEO

      • Alex

        Sucks to be you, they did announce something expensive that most games won’t support, just as I said they should, a whole PS5 VR kit :D

        • brandon9271

          i’m not a console gamer so I couldn’t care less what they add… but if, according to you, the entire VR kit is going to be “unsupported” by games what difference do added features make? cheaper devices mean more adoption and thus more support. I think you’re confused.. the slam the form factor but praise CV1 design which this thing basically parrots.

          • Alex

            Um, you’re the one who said, idiotically, that features not used by most games aren’t worth having, I merely pointed out all of VR itself sits in that category for the foreseeable future so it’s silly to bring it up as an argument at all. I don’t care for all games to be in VR and I do think VR games would be enhanced by additional features you use dumb arguments to claim they’re worthless. Do you speak English or what? Form factor isn’t just like Touch, it looks different to hold, in shape and size and input placement. Feel free to consider it close enough, I’ll have my doubts until it’s out and it can be tested, if it’s even the final design of course.

          • brandon9271

            you were upset that it wasn’t loaded with cutting edge feature but then said PSVR is basically a niche segment of their audience. That’s a contradiction. why would Sony increase cost and price on something they desperately what people to buy? it’s the same with mobile VR.. i hated that the industry shifted to that but it was smart. eleminating the need for a PC and drastically reducing cost increased the audience. it was good for VR in general

          • Alex

            I literally just said “Maybe it was too much to expect them to be on the cutting edge but at least they are on par with the current standard more or less and it sure beats the Move!” in regards to its lacking features. That’s mildy enshusiastic at worst, rather than “upset” about it. Stop projecting and arguing with your imagination.

  • sfmike

    The type of beautiful design we expect from Sony.

  • Wild Dog

    I’m actually a bit disappointed in the design. I thought they were going for finger tracking.

    What’s even the point of the ring here? I don’t see any LED’s for tracking, did they just get too lazy to add a lanyard?

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Because you might not see them, doesn’t mean they’re not there (IR). But maybe it has the same type of tracking as the Pico Neo 2 controllers.

      • Wild Dog

        I somehow doubt that.

  • “Oh, hey there PS5, I didn’t see you standing there. Have you been out for long?”, says every VR Enthusiast.

  • Ragbone

    Can pets use these?

    • oomph

      Wow if we make things usable for pets too then they can also play as a friend/companion during online gaming. Pets are intelligent as long as you involve them in fighting situations. And it may also evolve their brains fast.

  • oomph

    Great design

  • Greg Seliga

    If PSVR2 will be possible to connect to PC and make it PCVR i would buy it.
    If not then i would not spend around 600 USD for console and 600 usd for PSVR2 just to play a couple of exclusives.
    I much as i’m happy seing PSVR2 development right now the games library and apps on PSVR is just to small to justify extra spend.

    • JB1968

      I guess when the PSVR2 is released the PS5 will cost around $400 + the PSVR2 for another $400.