New details surrounding the PlayStation’s next-generation VR headset – the aptly named PlayStation VR 2 (PSVR 2) – have been revealed, with a variety of quality of life features introduced. They were outlined in a PlayStation Blog post on 26 July 2022, and although none of the features were groundbreaking, they add some much-needed functionality for PSVR 2.
The first of these is the new ‘See-Through View’. Using the headset’s front-facing cameras, users can inspect their surroundings without having to remove the headset. This is a feature that other VR headset forerunners have had for quite some time – the HTC Vive as of 2016, with the Oculus Rift S following suit in 2019.
Read: Everything we know about PlayStation PSVR 2
With these embedded cameras is also the introduction of ‘Customised Play Areas’: allowing owners of the PSVR 2 to use the controllers to establish their environmental boundaries while using the headset. After setting up an area, if the user nears the boundaries, they will receive a warning and, if other front-facing camera headsets are anything to go by, partially enable the see-through view. Settings for the play area are also retained between uses: so long as users don’t move to a different area.
Both features introduced with the front-facing cameras should mean that anyone looking to pick up the PSVR 2 shouldn’t have to worry too much about trying to interact with the real world while using the headset, or colliding with people and/or household objects while enthusiastically fending off enemies in VR.
The inclusion of a broadcast feature seems to be a return from the headset’s first iteration. Content creators able to film themselves using the PSVR 2, with the assistance of a PS5 HD camera connected to their system. While users looking to film themselves in VR may already have an existing setup, it’s likely that the official hardware will offer additional integration features for ease-of-access.
Finally, the post confirms of the specifications for VR Mode and ‘Cinematic Mode’. The former is the headset’s primary 360° view: supporting 4000 x 2040 HDR video (2000 x 2040 per eye), with high refresh rates (essentially, frame rates) of 90hz and 120hz.
Cinematic Mode is PlayStation’s virtual interface for non-VR-supported content. The headset will display PS5 system content on a virtual cinema screen in 1920×1080 HDR video, with the capacity for 24, 60 and 120hz refresh rates.
While a release date for the PSVR 2 remains unannounced, Yasuo Takahashi, Sr. Staff Project Manager for SIE, suggested that more details surrounding the launch and other supported games would be coming ‘soon’, in addition to what we know so far.
With this preview, the PSVR 2 cements welcome additions to the software that any modern headset would be unwieldy without.