Next-gen VR on PS5: the new controller

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Next-gen VR on PS5: the new controller

Stronger immersion with adaptive triggers, haptic feedback, finger-touch detection and more.

Following the recent reveal of our next-generation virtual reality system for PS5, I’m excited to unveil more details about the new controller that will play a critical role in providing gamers with the VR experience we’re working to deliver. Our new VR controller speaks to our mission of achieving a much deeper sense of presence and stronger feeling of immersion in VR experiences. It will build upon the innovation we introduced with the DualSense wireless controller, which changed how games “feel” on PS5 by unlocking a new way to tap into the sense of touch. Now we’re bringing that innovation to VR gaming.

VR Controller

Design

The first thing you’ll notice with our next-gen VR controller is the unique design, which takes on an “orb” shape that allows you to hold the controller naturally, while playing with a high degree of freedom. There are no constraints with how you’re moving your hands, providing developers with the ability to create unique gameplay experiences.

We also designed the new controller with great ergonomics in mind, so it’s well-balanced and comfortable to hold in each of your hands. We applied learnings from testing users with a range of hand sizes, as well as the decades of insights from controllers across all PlayStation platforms. The result is an iconic design that will change how VR games are played.

VR Controller VR Controller

Features

The new VR controller enables players to feel and interact with games in a much more visceral way. There are several features, including key features from the DualSense controller, which match our vision for what next-generation VR games can be.

●      Adaptive triggers: Each VR controller (Left and Right) includes an adaptive trigger button that adds palpable tension when pressed, similar to what’s found in the DualSense controller. If you’ve played a PS5 game, you’ll be familiar with the tension in the L2 or R2 buttons when you press them, such as when you’re drawing your bow to fire an arrow. When you take that kind of mechanic and apply it to VR, the experience is amplified to the next level.

●       Haptic feedback: The new controller will have haptic feedback optimized for its form factor, making every sensation in the game world more impactful, textured and nuanced. 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.

●       Finger touch detection: The controller can detect your fingers without any pressing in the areas where you place your thumb, index, or middle fingers. This enables you to make more natural gestures with your hands during gameplay.

●       Tracking: The VR controller is tracked by the new VR headset through a tracking ring across the bottom of the controller.

●       Action buttons / analog sticks: The Left controller contains one analog stick, the triangle and square buttons, a “grip” button (L1), trigger button (L2) and Create button. The Right controller contains one analog stick, the cross and circle buttons, a “grip” button (R1), trigger button (R2) and Options button. The “grip” button can be used to pick up in-game objects, as one example.

SIE’s Product, Engineering, and Design teams have collaborated to build our new VR controller from the ground up with a goal of making a huge leap from current-gen VR gaming. We’re thrilled with the controller we developed, but what matters now is how game creators will take advantage of the features to design the next generation of VR experiences. Prototypes of our new VR controller will be in the hands of the development community soon, and we can’t wait to see what ideas they come up with and how the controller helps bring their imagination to life!

There’s still much more to share about the next-generation of VR on PS5. On behalf of all of us at SIE, I want to thank you for taking this journey with us!

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353 Comments

  • These look fantastic and it’s exactly the type of controller I wanted from PSVR2. Can’t wait

    • The controllers look incredible. Very futuristic and the functions is everything you would ask for from a new VR experience.

      I’m really looking forward to this!

    • So happy I decided to wait for PS VR2 on PS5! I would play my friend’s HTC VIVE and am definitely a believer in VR for the home market. Hoping the current PS VR games get updated!

    • Same :D

    • When this drops is when I’m buying a PS5 until then I’m working on my ps4 pro backlog

  • Makes me want to finally try out VR.

  • I can’t wait for Sony and the rest of the gaming market to realize VR is nothing more than an expensive gimmick and trash it forever like 3D.

    • I can’t wait for VR to win you over within the next few years.

    • We can’t wait for you to actually try modern VR.

    • Maybe you don’t like it but they sold 5million units by the end of dec. 2019. There’s obviously a market for it people are willing to buy and they do it well on top of that. I’m excited to see where this goes and how it will play on next gen!

    • are you serious? Vr is pretty much the future of some videogame genres, especially FPS and Horror games. Just cause it doesn’t play Persona 5 (yet) doesn’t mean that it’s just a gimmick.

    • Have you tried VR? Everyone in my household loves it.

    • Sony largely profited off of PSVR. It’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Just because you don’t have your VR legs and get dizzy doesn’t mean there aren’t people out there that can take advantage of the amazing titles still releasing on the platform.

    • Sadly it sounds like your mom thought the same thing about condoms.

    • Been using VR for a few years now. While I’ll admit not all the experiences out there are particularly mind blowing. I can definitely say what does stand out certainly sets the stage for something far more profound and meaningful than 3D could have ever provided on its own.

      PSVR provided a window into what was possible, but also showed where it was weak.

      I’ve been asking for controllers like these for some time. I’m happy to see sony learning from its competition and its own mistakes here and willing to give this another shot.

      I’m sorry you feel VR is a gimmick, but until you take the time to really invest in it, you really have no idea what you’re missing out on. Hopefully removing the hassle of setup and cleanup with a single connection and the new controllers will help open up a world of new software.

    • You realize the first PS VR sold like crazy right? Let’s not forget the fact that VR games are getting better and selling more and more each year.

    • @FlippyHippy04, “3D is a gimmick”? I’ll pray for you. On second thoughts maybe I won’t – because I don’t believe in God, and you’re probs beyond help. Have a nice day!

    • As someone who has tried it, I agree. Maybe one day, but it’s just meh.

    • This is a typical comment from someone that likely only tried a gen 0 headset, or thinks 360 video is VR.

      There are some incredible games in VR that do things you simply cannot do on a flat screen. The industry continues to grow year on year as well. If it were a gimmick it would have died by now.

      VR isn’t going anywhere.

    • Put down Google Cardboard and try some real VR.
      As for expensive you are aware that Quest 2 is just 300?
      I just realised that I am wasting my time responding to your comment.
      How about you comment again with your REASONS why VR is an expensive gimmick?
      Rather than expect people to accept your unresearched and uneducated VR opinion.
      Facts count.

    • I believe 3D is the future and will certainly not be trashed forever. It was released 10+ years too early, with completely junk (stereoscopic) tech, which will sadly cause consumers to be overly wary of it in the future. But one day we’ll have proper 3D displays (and they’ll be very, very large; maybe you’ll paint them on the wall?).

      I’m not sure whether VR has a future except to function as a stepping stone for proper 3D displays. Right now you can’t run in a VR game, for example, because you’ll trip over the coffee table and fall into the TV. That pretty much cements it as a non-starter in my eyes. Maybe we’ll end up with a room-sized 2D treadmill in each house but that sounds very expensive.

    • This is an awful opinion but nice try

    • Or, one might realize that VR is great for what it is. Who says it has to appeal to every single user? Kind of like how not everyone enjoys fighting games, or racing games, or whatever. I will only ever be a light VR user since I get motion sickness way too easily, but I think it’s great for those that are really into VR. It’s okay to have choices, bud. Enjoy what you enjoy and let others do the same. ;)

    • Sorry, but you are 5 years late with this opinion.

    • Keep waiting. VR is nothing like 3d and far more immersive. It’s the future and here to stay.

    • Amazing! I have to ask. Can we please have Half-Life Alix on PS VR2?

    • Just because you can’t afford it doesn’t mean you can dump on it

    • Literally everyone who replied to this post didn’t get the sarcasm or humour

    • Ew. Speak for yourself. VR is the future. You are right about 3D being a gimmick though.

      Check out psvr2 and then pass judgement.

    • Vr is far from a gimmick. A gimmick is something that doesn’t have a legitimate wow factor. Psvr far exceeded my expectations. The presence vr creates is vastly different to a standard flat screen experience, and frankly quite astonishing. It is definitely a worthwhile experience and I can only imagine how mindblowing Psvr 2 is going to be!

  • Way better than the move controllers. Sold!!!

  • Half-Life: Alyx feels very possible now for PSVR 2. Sony, I’m looking forward to Big Games made for VR. Bring it.

    • you can walk, run and jump in Skyrim and Borderlands just fine with Move controllers, why would you have any issues with that teleport in Alyx? The problem with it is that PS4 is supposedly not up to the task, though after seeing Hitman 3 in VR I highly doubt it.

      Anyway, this is off course way better than Moves and I want psvr2 much.

    • @fotorama yeah I don’t mean its entirely impossible with move controllers, though it just isn’t as good without thumbsticks. But also the new layout for the tracking seems to suggest a much better tracking system overall.

    • @fotorama The move controllers stink for moving and are demonstrably worse than control sticks. Other VR devices, and the aim controller, have proven this repeatedly. Even if the PS4 was powerful enough to handle HL Alyx, the move controllers would have made it a severely compromised experience. I hope they retain move wand support purely for backwards compatibility, but this is the biggest improvement they could have made for all of PSVR2.

  • So glad I sold my original PSVR

  • These look and sound great!

    Really looking forward to hearing more about this headset, my main issue with the original PSVR was how obvious the screendoor effect was and I’m wondering if having higher resolution screens is enough or if Sony comes up with a fancy way to eliminate it.

    Also… wonder how pricey this bad boy will be!

    • A high price would be more acceptable if this is also compatible with PC too

    • @Joyr123
      Very unlikely this will compatible with PC because the headset, they said, will be connected directly to the PS5 with a single cable. That cable will be a custom one and so it won’t possible to physically connect it to a PC, unless Sony decides to come up with a hardware piece to adapt it to PC, but let’s be realistic, that won’t happen. This is only for PS5.

    • @vincentecarro

      It’s not a custom cable. They already said it’s a USB-C cable. Which is why the PS5 has a USB-C port next to a type A port in the front of the system. It’s would not be difficult to connect that to a computer and have firmware that works with it. If Sing doesn’t do it than I’m sure some one will find a way to hack it and make it useable on PC.

  • Cool! I knew the new VR controller will carry the same features as the DualSense controller! Cannot wait to see the full VR headset!

  • So this is how the vr controllers should be the move controllers was useless they kept glitching out and I felt like they never worked 100% hopefully this is everything vr should be

  • Can’t wait to try psvr2, dualsense haptics are amazing, I’m sure this controller haptics will be amazing too.

  • Shut up and take my money!!!

  • These look amazing!

    Look comfortable and with all new adaptive haptic features – wow these really look next generation. Cant wait to see the PSVR2 visor reveal and the new games coming.

    I was day one for PSVR and will be there for launch of PSVR2, Sony keep on pushing the boundaries of gaming!

  • just shut up and take my money.

  • So is the headset gonna be all matte black too?

    I would love to see a PS5 + DualSense in this blacked out color scheme too.

    • This is a prototype. I would fully expect the appearance to change a bit before launch, especially the colour scheme.

  • This looks and sounds amazing, can’t wait!

  • Let’s gooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!! 2022 can’t come soon enough!!!!!

  • Does this really happen? We thought it was a rumor! boy

  • I wonder if there will be a way to emulate the touchpad. I could honestly see myself using these in all Ps5 games if they could somehow simulate the touchpad also so it’s 100% compatible.

    I love the split style of joy cons and this would be such a great improvement.

  • Yassssssssss Now just need Shenmue 3 in VR

  • Okay were do I swipe my card?

  • Color me interested.

  • Kind of weird the Vr for the ps5 appears to come in black, but the console doesn’t. I really would have loved if they reversed the colors to make it happen… alas who knows how long that’ll take.

  • I’m a bit disappointed in the lack of any significant innovation. This controller is just an evolution of the Oculus Touch formula, with different tracking ring, better rumble and better triggers. It’s a bare minimum required for the immersive VR.

    The requirement of “grip” button is very disappointing, because Valve’s Knuckles controllers can accurately track full position of each finger, while this can probably only know basic “rested, pressed, extended” states for fingers 1-3.

    On the other hand, it makes porting existing Oculus games a breeze.

    • Correct me if i’m wrong, but according to the article the controllers will have finger touch detection, and adaptive triggers/haptic feedback which will amplify the immersion. What exactly did you expect? Vr gloves or something?

    • Finger touch detection is only on the buttons an triggers, detecting if the fingers ar touching them or not, so it tracks only three fingers and you can not use the controller with a full open hand like the knuckles controllers of the Index but just like you can do with the oculus touch controllers since 2016… In a world where a 350 euros headset like the quest 2 have even the full hand tracking to play without a controller at all it is not so much for an headset that will be sold more than a year from now..

    • Yeah it’s a slight bummer it doesn’t track each finger, having owned both Index and Touch controllers. But its no dealbreaker. HOWEVER the advanced haptics/triggers are going to be the main standout – maybe even more effective for VR than the Dualsense for flatscreen.

    • Mhm, I believe that’s why they didn’t innovate it as much as they could. They wanted to get all the popular oculus games on psvr rather than complicate things. I’m just happy to get something new and exiting but everyone is allowed to share their views

  • They look fantastic, wonderful engineering and aesthetically beautiful, look forward to using them next year hopefully. Kudos to the teams involved.

  • LETS GO SONY LETS GOOOOOOO!!!

  • These look great! The Move controllers were seriously PSVR’s biggest limitation. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my PS Moves to death on PS3, but retrofitting 6 year old controllers to work with VR was not good at all. Very excited for the future of VR!

    • But it was great in 2016. You forget that all the other headsets were 700 quid back then, even MORE when you had to buy additional controllers. Yet with PSVR, you may have already had the controllers and if you were fast, could have bought them for 20 quid a pop second hand before PSVR even launched.

  • Please, just announce PSVR 2 already, the hype is killing us

  • Looks cool as heck. Looking forward to seeing the headset itself too. I skipped out on PSVR (1), but this may well be the time for me to jump onboard with this new VR system 😄

    • Same!!! Especially since Sony works out exclusive deals with partners like exclusive VR mode in Resident Evil 7. (Imagine the same thing will happen with 8) etc. This has all the features of the VR gaming thus far and It seems like it’s going to be great.

  • Should have made VR Gloves. Hand and finger tracers are available. Seriously. Make gloves Playstation. And I would love to demo them on stream.

    • If it were that easy, don’t you think someone else would have made them already?

      Hand and finger tracking solutions still have years to go before they’re practical enough for consumer products.

    • I think they should allow 3rd party to sell accessories like these for who wants full immersion.

      But the VR market is already niche enough, so Sony is right to focus on just the controllers.

      on the PSVR1 some people didn’t even want to buy the Moves, even less people bought the Aim Controller..

      But once VR catches on to Mainstream, so yeah, release official VR gloves.

      But I think would also be great if Sony could replicate Facebook Oculus technology of hand tracking by camera.

  • PC + PS5 compatability would be the best

  • Holy moly, wasn’t expecting to see something like this already. PSVR2 must be closer than we think.
    So Xbots, gonna complain about Sony being silly and showing just a controller again?🤣🤣🤣

  • Finally! Something I can use and not feel silly like those awfull move controllers, or better, matchstick controllers…
    And as bonus, I can punch people out of the VR as an excuse, looks like a hollow boxing glove, looks good!

    • Too bad ps vr was actually a scam on ps4. Left a real salty taste in my mouth, now I have a $300 720p 60 hz paper weight. Sony, sit down. You’re on time out.

    • @citizenn0xie Those specs weren’t exactly a secret, so you were hardly scammed. The PSVR was fine; when it came out it was the best value for money VR headset available and it STILL has some of the best VR games.

      Maybe you should sit down.

  • Can’t wait to try it out.

  • I literally cannot wait! VR for the gamers baby!
    Day one, no doubt… assuming I can get my hands on a preorder lol. I’m pumped Sony! Bring the love!

  • The presence of thumbsticks is the best feature for me; finally the control experience will be at parity with other headsets. The confirmation of inside-out tracking is also nice, but I hope we’re still able to play first-gen PSVR titles on the headset–even if it means having to plug in the camera and bringing out the Moves.

  • Can’t wait to use that “cross” button

  • We just need a steam vr colaboration now

  • 2022*

  • This looks great. Can’t wait to try it.

  • 👍🏾👍🏾

  • Good job Sony team, looking forward to it

  • These look great! Would also be awesome if you added a strap to the controller that wraps the back of the hand, like the Valve knuckles controllers do. The straps lets you completely let go of the controllers without dropping them, which is nice when you’re catching and throwing objects in VR.

    • Aren’t those straps on the model’s hands?

    • Reply to axlgundam, you wrote “Aren’t those straps on the model’s hands?”

      What the Valve Index Controllers (fka Knuckles) have is a hand strap, not a wrist strap. So you can fully open your hand without the controller falling down. The straps you see on the model’s hands are just wrist straps. The big difference is: With hand straps, like the Valve Index controllers have them, you can fully open and close your hand in VR without the controller being in the way.

  • Although I didn’t have any problems with controls provided by devs via PS Move e.g. for Skyrim VR, this obviously is a much welcome step in the right direction :)
    And looks stylish. Next-gen PS VR is what might actually make me want to get a PS5 because for now it’s just “meh” until Rift Apart releases… when it’ll become sth like “hmmm, not yet tho”.

  • The controllers look cool! I never bought the original PSVR (I couldn’t justify the price for just the 1 or 2 games I was interested in), but I’m keeping my eye on this one. Like others have said, I think VR is really going to push FPS & horror games forward, MMOs & social games would probably benefit as well, and AstroBot was a good proof of concept for platformers. I don’t know how games like Horizon Zero Dawn or God of War would fit in a VR setting, but I think the future is bright for PSVR. No one would ever do it, but a Gravity Rush VR game would be wild lol

  • first we must buy ps5 :) there is no stock in turkey. when will you send the new stocks?

  • Imagine half life alyx on ps5

  • LETS GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • These look awesome but I do wish they strapped to the hands similar to the Valve Knuckles.

  • With controllers like this, I might actually take VR on PlayStation seriously and actually try it out instead of disregarding it as some sort of gimmick like I did with the move controllers.

    Unfortunately all the games I’d want to play in VR are going to be Microsoft exclusive… :\ Hopefully PlayStation will have something that can compete with the likes of Elder Scrolls or Fallout in the future.

    • We dont know that those are Microsoft exclusive though. And right now there are some truly amazing PSVR games

    • Imagine welding the Chains of Olympus with these two bad boys.
      😍😍

    • Doom 3 VR is coming out at the end of the month on PSVR.
      I’m pretty sure Sony and Microsoft will find a way to move forward.
      I do believe Gamepass could happen on playstation platform.

    • Erm, Skyrim VR. Btw, most games used the DualShock4 (which is also spatially tracked in 3D space). That’s how I played Skyrim from start to finish. It’s insane. I’d highly recommend it. (Also, use a PS4 PRO).

    • Elder scrolls and fallout?…seriously?…this has got to be a joke.

  • Looks amazing!

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