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

  • Finger touch detection? Well hello Alyx 😏

  • It’s good for me and great opportunity to buy this generation of PS VR. Because I did not bought the last one.

  • Great job on the design and glad it’s made for today’s version of VR. Can’t wait! I’m curious how current PSVR games will work with them.

  • I love it. Now bring compatibility for The Last Guardian VR demo to the PS5.

    • High five! I still jump into this demo today, even after all the years owning the current headset. I tried that demo on the first day of setup (along with my physical copy of Wipeout VR of course!). It blew me away. THIS is why VR is here, to stay!

  • This news is absolutely massive. In addition to the haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, AND joysticks we are getting finger tracking. This article also confirms it will be done via headset aka inside-out tracking instead of a single camera. I am ecstatic to have dedicated left and right controller as well lol, it was annoying to be ready to play and your hands are swapped in game.

    The only question that remains is will any VR1 games be brought forward? I’d imagine the more popular and better selling games that are on other platforms that use inside-out tracking would be. Games like Beat Saber and Superhot. It would be sad to say goodbye to games like Saints and Sinners, as I highly doubt there will be any backward compatibility but hopefully, we will get sequels of those games.

    I know the release ETA is Holiday 2022 so plenty of time to bang out current gen VR games and upcoming ones

    • Ditto! Let the celebrations begin! (Although, I read the article three times so far, and I don’t think finger-tracking is officially confirmed yet – whether by the controller, or the headset itself. Seems that they’ve confirmed the headset will track the controller though. There’s still a chance finger-tracking – as per the earlier patents – might be confirmed in future though!). Hip hip hooray, either way!

    • On second thoughts – you’re right! (My bad). I read it through again and it appears that they mention the thumb, index and middle finger to serve as reference points to describe locales on the controller that are capable of tracking (presumably full) hand gestures movements!

  • Shut up and take my money! LoL nice! It’s about time! Time to sell my old kit.

  • I’m really excited that the hand tracking is done using the headset rather than the playstation camera. This way you can turn around fully in the game without the PS5 losing track of you.

  • Day one purchase, can’t wait.

  • Adaptive triggers booiii letttsss goooo

  • You copied the Oculus controllers.

  • Playstation, please make a deal with Valve to let Half Life: Alyx be on PSVR 2!! If so, everyone will buy this, me included ahaha

    • I would be shocked if HL: Alyx doesn’t get ported to PSVR 2.
      Btw. I played it on PCVR and yes, it is glorious. :)

  • Yeah! So much PSVR2 News :-D
    I would love a Hand Strap for a better trowing feel.
    Otherwise, this sounds great!
    Can’t wait <3

  • Wow, thanks for this awesome hardware. I hope this controller help you to give us ”Aliss” of valve on ps4. Anyway thanks to give us more great potential VR games!!!

  • As a user with one hand, how well can I use this new controller?

    A lot of games restricted gameplay by forcing two controllers.

    Can I just use one?

  • They look very nice. As long as the psvr 2 is wireless this is an instant buy. I loved my psvr 1, but today it is a little outdated compared to my pc headset. Looking forward psvr 2….

    • They said it is going to use a single cable. So no wireless. Hopefully we get the option of wireless adapter in the future.

  • This needs to be working on PC by default, there is a huge market for Sony out there. limiting it to the PS5 is a big mistake, we need Sony to push VR tech everywhere.

    • I speculate that if they could make a Sony PC storefront for their VR games, this could work well! All about revenue at the end of the day, which is mostly software-sale related. Of course, if a Sony PC HMD brought users to a PS5 for sales there, then I suppose that could work? The future is exciting though! High five!

  • With these controllers shown (haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, analog sticks, and tracking not based on camera), next-gen VR on PS5 is now a preorder / day 1 purchase for me.

  • Please limit sales to PS5 consumers who have a registered PSN or proof they actually own/play a PS5 so that scalpers are not an issue this time.

    • Underrated comment! Yes yes! (Or at least scalper-proof protocols for people legitimately gifting it to others in the initial phase).

  • I dont feel like buying a new headset… I barely used the original one because the controller sucked. and this news controller isnt compatible with the old headset…I guess i pass on vr this gen…

  • Do we yet know if these controllers will support existing VR titles? Do we yet know if there is a camera required, and if so, is it the current PS5 camera on sale or will it be another iteration needed?

    • It is inside out tracking. Which means PSVR 2 will have built in cameras. Like most VR headsets nowdays.

  • These look great. No PS Camera for tracking. I would like to know more about finger detection.

  • Well definitely a big leap forward from move controllers. Not sure about sharp edges and thickness of the grip area. Reminds me too much of the WMR controllers which don’t feel good in hand at all. Especially compared to Oculus touch and index controllers. This can me remedied by making grips and knuckles for controller. And i hope that Sony or your partners will make something like that available.

    Really excited about PSVR 2. And i can’t wait to see what Sony and third party studios make.

  • Now I just need one of two tjongs. Either have this being able to be used in PC or, I hope you allow games like VRChat to ce to PS5. We need more games involving the social aspect. There was only 1 but not many adults actually wanted to take part of it.

    • Rec Room, I know. I don’t know why these social apps don’t allow you to filter-out by age. Who wants to speak to/socialise with children and vice-versa – it’s weird and creepy. It should be allowed for specific groups or parties, but the public domain should be configurable.

  • Just one question? Do I need the new PS camera for PSVR2? Please let me know so I can buy one now since you guys sent me a discount code.

    • I doubt it very much. It looks like they’ve moved to inside-out tracking as on the Oculus devices. It means you don’t need to face or be in view of a camera, which is nice.

      It also makes VR cheaper to buy into, takes up less ports, and simplifies setup. They’re really going for that one front USB-C connection to power and control the entire thing.

  • This looks promising! I hope the new VR will be wireless!

  • When I bought the PSVR years back “Morpheus” was like this BIG conspiracy and when it was released it took a lot of us (me personally) by storm; I was obsessed with it because it was..well the best price you could get to experience VR games not even available on other VR platforms a game, in particular, that wasn’t released till years later was Iron Man VR and when motion controllers where idealized it made it more enjoyable you know. I rather use touch controllers than the DualSense or DualShock and to be able to play a wide variety of games on your PS5 with practically no need for wires and all of the available technology is enough to make a grown man cry and I pre-ordered my PS5 and I’m obsessed, with it and to be able to have my PSVR original library on the PS5 is only a dream… and I will no doubt purchase The PSVR”2″ and I would love to play games that are available on other platforms such as Boneworks or Half-life Alyx would be phenomenal and instead of using the controller in VR games that utilize the standard controller would be no more and the touch controllers would be constantly improved would once again be a dream imagine Playing Hitman 3 VR and you are using the new PS5 VR “ORB” controller and you can feel yourself become Agent 47 or playing Iron Man VR would feel more natural or even a new Batman VR game or an actual Spider-Man Game not just an awesome limited sandbox experience with a 15 min story but much more even just a demo to get a feel of what the new controllers have to offer would be revolutionary.

  • So are these new controllers also compatible with the existing PSVR? Since the original PSVR is compatible with the PS5 :) Probably don’t count on using these new controllers with the PSVR on PS4, but would be great if you can use them with the original PSVR on PS5 :)

    • That’ s not happening I’m afraid.

      As pointed out in the article; these controllers are tracked by the new headset, likely in the same way Oculus inside-out tracking works on Quest.

      It’s lightyears ahead of what current PS VR uses, and not compatible with the current headset no PS4 Camera tracking solution.

      Plus, why would you want to go half-in when the headset too will be so much better?

  • Good bye PS3 era light tracking. Hello analog sticks. Adaptive triggers in COD are amazing, and will feel even better in VR. Day one purchase for me. PS5 is set to be a hell of a VR platform in the coming years. The first real PS VR that isn’t adapting and reusing from existing technology.
    Can’t wait to see the headset next.

  • AWESOME!! Can’t wait! I loved the PSVR

  • Wow what an innovative design!
    Cant wait to see the New VR Headset.

  • These look great, although I’m a little sad that the Index-like finger tracking that was shown in the production demo last year got cut.

  • This looks great, but does it work with PSVR1 games?

    • I’d be surprised and upset if it didn’t.

    • Ditto. It’d be lovely if some OG PS VR games got patched for PS5 VR (resolution and controls). As long as there are good games with depth, increased detail and control (like Skyrim VR, Resident Evil 7, Astro Bot) then I think the new platform will likely do very well.

  • A question about the vr, will Minecraft be able to be played with the two controllers or do we still have to use the normal one?

  • Really like that Sony is still going forward with VR! I love the current headset, although it has it’s obvious problems (the wires, the extra box, tracking and ancient Move controllers). So it is definitely time for an upgrade!

    I am a big believer of the VR tech and I’ve also bought an Oculus Quest 2 so I wouldn’t have to wait for a next gen experience. But PSVR2 is on top of my wishlist!

    It is clear that Sony is inspired by the best elements of the Oculus controller. And I don’t mind! Just a bit curious if the placing and size of the rings around your hands will hinder you in some games/genre’s?

    Still hope that connecting the headset via a wire to a PS5 is optional (for better performance/graphics). Completely wireless IS the real gamechanger that I’m not sure if once experienced would want to go back to a wired setup? Not a fan of Facebook but must admit they sure made an awesome and affordable VR headset wirh the Quest 2. So there is a worthy competitor when Sony is launching their next VR headset.

    • Idk if they are a competitor yet. They have said if this psvr2 is standalone or if we will need a console. If so, which one? Not everyone owns a ps5. Not only that but, the list of games we have right now is pretty pale in comparison to what oculus offers and even more pale to steam. Still I’m happy that PS is doing something different this time.

    • I feel the same – PSVR was great at the time but I finally upgraded to Quest 2 and going fully wireless (even with high end games with Virtual Desktop) is absolutely the best experience.

      I really thought PSVR2 would support a wireless connection to the PS5 and honestly I’m surprised that so far it looks like that is not the case.

      Keeping in mind PSVR2 will likely not see another upgrade for 5 years I do think Sony need to make this wireless somehow if they want it to be successful.

    • @Icey7 – Great to have your insight. Perhaps a wireless add-odd, or wireless HMD will be released alongside or at some point in it’s life cycle. Nice to know that wireless VR (with high-end games) can be achieved satisfactorily though, even despite what people say about latency etc. (those kinds of comments can be overrated). Like it sounds like you’re saying, it’s all about the balance of all things considered!

    • *add-on

  • I love it! Looking forward to PS5(V)R !!!

  • Oh yeah, this is what I’m selling my PS3 for!!

  • I’m not saying Sony doesn’t have creative people, but I hope there’s already a negotiation going on with Valve in the background about Half-Life Alyx because that experience every gamer who loves a good game has to go through!

    GO SONY!

  • Hi,
    it would be nice if for games for two.1 the player was on VR and 2 player on TV so that the picture is not halved, as an example I would mention the VR playroom on PS4. For the new generation VR set with better resolution it would be great and more tempting for its acquisition

  • Incredible work, and incredible design! I just can’t wait to try next-gen full VR. Fingers crossed that your PS5 VR is 2880*2880 pixels per eye (or at least 2160*2160). This would be amazing! We need the deeper and more detailed worlds that are not available on the current stand-alone HMDs.

  • I’m really liking this controller design.

    Other VR controllers have gone through several iterations and have been converging on a standardized design so it’s sensible to make sure PSVR2 matches this for ease of software controller compatibility.

    The Quest 2 controllers are great but when games want you to bring your hand close to your face I find the tracking ring hits the headset – I think this design should solve or alleviate this problem.

  • Finally. Ever since I left PS to go to the PC side, I’ve been loving the steamvr so much because the controllers did everything I needed. Those move controllers were just not cutting it so I’m glad I ditched those. I’m happy that SONY is taking vr as serious as the rest of the world.

  • These new controllers look so high-tech I am so glad that Sony has decided to copy the oculist style of controllers so that porting games from PC to PlayStation will be simple easy and bring the most games to the PlayStation 5

  • My only concern is the placement of the triangle and square buttons, especially for FPS

  • Yes yes yes

  • Definitely an improvement on the old Move controllers. Little sad there not attached more like the “knuckles” controller, but im sure there are a lot of factors that made this the overall best choice. Im assuming the new headset uses inside-out tracking if the controllers are being tracked by the headset now. Which is nice because the setup for PSVR with all the cords is a lot to manage. And also PLEASE make this headset work with PC.

  • I’m about to have an out-of-body experience…

  • Looks good! I can’t wait to try it out on my PS5!

  • P.S. I’m also glad the controllers are black – so that the adult-children can stop complaining about the PS5’s white colour scheme! Shut them b****** up. Silence is golden. Am I riiite!?

  • Just ordered the Steams index vr… can’t wait to see these 2 beast side by side!!! So much hype!

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