Editorial: New PSVR Controllers Should Launch Before PSVR 2

It seems clear at this point that Sony won’t be releasing a second PSVR headset to go alongside the launch of the PS5 later this year.

The tech giant will have its hands busy getting the market to adopt just one expensive new Christmas gift, for starters. But recent breadcrumbs dropped on the trail Sony is taking to VR on PS5 do have us wondering if the company might take a different approach to its next-generation rollout. Specifically, we’re growing increasingly interested in the idea that the company could release new VR controllers before a new headset.

Time To Move On

Sony PSVR Move

On September 15th of this year, Sony’s Move controllers will turn 10 years old. When PS5 launches, they’ll be two generations removed from their original console.

I won’t spend much time dishing out the insults on the Move controllers. Even in 2020, PSVR remains my favorite headset and VR ecosystem, but the Move’s limited tracking, confusing button layout and lack of analog sticks hang like a weight around the headset’s neck. The system is in dire need of an upgrade.

In fact, as excited as we are for the PSVR 2 headset itself, it represents only one of three areas Sony has to make strides with for VR on PS5. Another is processing power, a problem that’s solved with the introduction of the new console. Improved controllers are the final piece of that puzzle. Naturally, you’d assume these would arrive alongside PSVR 2, but Sony may have cause to jump the gun a little earlier than that.

Hitman Hints

Last week’s reveal of PSVR support Hitman 3 has sparked a lot of speculation in the PlayStation community.

Somewhat strangely, neither Sony nor developer IO Interactive has yet confirmed what platforms Hitman’s PSVR support will be available on. Hitman 3 is coming to both PS4 and PS5 in January 2021, but it would be a truly bizarre situation if the PSVR support was limited to the PS4 version of the game, and yet Sony has not yet confirmed new PS5 games can support the old headset. This week, we found out the game doesn’t support the Move motion controllers and instead uses the DualShock 4, but either way, the existence of PSVR-compatible PS5 games means the point still stands.

Tracking R&D

At the same time, we’ve been closely following Sony’s progress with new VR controllers via published patents and research videos. The results, so far, are promising.

Most recently the above video — produced by Sony’s own PlayStation division — showcased a device with finger-tracking capabilities similar to Valve’s Index controllers. The device can detect when the player has their fingers wrapped around the controller’s grip, and mirror’s this with a pair of virtual hands. Patents, meanwhile, also point to improved ergonomics and, yes, analog sticks.

Plus, PS5’s new DualSense controller features improved haptic feedback and back triggers that put up resistance when pulled. These are features that have also been spotted in VR controller patents and would surely make sense for second-generation Move controllers.

Why Wait?

While marketing a new, $300+ headset to go alongside your likely $400+ new console might be out of the question this Christmas, a new pair of $100 controllers for PSVR’s existing fanbase seems like an easier sell.

So far we know PS5 supports old PSVR controllers — including Move, DualShock 4 and Aim — for backward compatible PS4 games only. You won’t be able to use them for new PS5 games but, if Sony is going to let new games like Hitman support VR, there needs to be some sort of workaround. New, future-proof motion controllers strike us as the most logical avenue.

Not to mention the knock-on effect of then reducing the cost of PSVR 2 itself whenever it finally arrives; a base package that includes the headset alone could drive down costs.

The Future Awaits

This is, of course, all speculation at this point in time, but with the clock running down on 2020, we’re sure to learn more about Sony’s PSVR plans in the near future. With the wait for PSVR 2 likely to go on for a good while longer, shipping new controllers sooner rather than later would be a great way to whet our appetites.

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Demo now Live for Iron Man VR, PlayStation Move Bundle Coming July

Iron Man VR header2

Earlier today VRFocus reported on the likelihood that Marvel’s Iron Man VR would be getting a demo ahead of the videogames’ official July launch. That’s happened soon than expected, as the demo is now available on PlayStation Store. Plus there’s a new controller bundle coming.

Iron Man VR

If you head to the PlayStation Store right now (here for UK/ here for US) you can download the free Marvel’s Iron Man VR – Demo and see what all the fuss is about – and whether the full experience is worth waiting for.

The PlayStation Blog has revealed that the demo contains:

  • “Malibu” tutorial mission
  • Interactive Stark Jet cinematic starring Tony, Friday & Pepper Potts
  • “Out of the Blue” Stark Jet gameplay mission
  • Flight Challenge optional mission
  • Advanced Combat Challenge optional mission

This should give a nice taster of the action and how it feels to fly, shoot, and Rocket Punch using Tony Stark’s famous armour. As an added incentive to download the free demo (as if you needed one?), doing so will unlock the exclusive Molten Lava Armor Deco when you purchase Marvel’s Iron Man VR.

Iron Man VR

To play Marvel’s Iron Man VR you’ll need a pair of PlayStation Move controllers which can be difficult to come by should you not own a pair. So alongside the videogame launch on 3rd July a special bundle including the highly sought after controllers will be released, retailing for €99.99 /£84.99. Available to pre-order today this bundle will be available in Switzerland, Austria, Eastern Europe, UK, Croatia, Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Israel, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Benelux, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway.

Those in US, Canada, Columbia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Peru, and Republica Dominicana will have a different deal. For $349.99 USD / $449.99 CDN the bundle includes:

  • Marvel’s Iron Man VR videogame
  • PlayStation VR headset
  • 2 PlayStation Move controllers
  • PlayStation Camera
  • VR Demo Disc

Placed inside the famous superhero, the storyline revolves around a mysterious villain called Ghost. A hacker and anti-corporate activist who repurposes old Stark tech, Ghost aims to topple Tony’s empire and you need to stop her.

VRFocus will continue its coverage of Marvel’s Iron Man VR, reporting back with further updates from developer Camouflaj.

Watch: Sony Research Reveals Finger-Tracked VR Controllers For Next-Gen Input

Past patents have suggested that Sony is working on finger-tracking for a new VR motion controller, possibly PlayStation Move 2, to be paired with an unannounced PSVR 2 headset. Now a new video from Sony researchers gives us a much more solid look at that work.

The video accompanies a new research paper titled ‘Evaluation of Machine Learning Techniques for Hand Pose Estimation on Handheld Device with Proximity Sensor’. Crucially, the work is authored by Kazuyuki Arimatsu and Hideki Mori from Sony Interactive Entertainment. That’s the division of Sony specifically responsible for the PlayStation brand, and not the wider corp. Watch the video below – this could well be the basis forSony next-gen PlayStation Move 2 VR controllers.

What we can see is a prototype for a controller similar to Valve’s Index Controllers in terms of functionality. Sensors in the controller are able to tell when a user is gripping the device with all their fingers and when they lift individual fingers away. The movement is imitated in a virtual representation of the hand, allowing for deeper hand presence in VR. As the video states, this technique doesn’t use any external vision to track the position of fingers as seen in the controller-free solution on Oculus Quest.

Later on in the video we also see the controller put to the test with a simulated sweaty had and with hands fitted with rings and watches. The results are impressive.

While nothing’s confirmed yet, it’s looking more and more possible that finger tracking becomes a major feature of Sony’s next-generation motion controllers for a possible PSVR 2. We do know that Sony is prototyping new headsets and we also know that its next-generation console, the PS5, will support the original PSVR headset. A true successor seems likely, and a new pair of controllers to accompany it is also likely to happen.

If these really are Sony’s next-gen VR controllers, expect to see a strap somewhere on the final device to help you hold them, much like the original patent showed. A year ago, the company also licensed advanced haptics for VR controllers. Not only that, but advanced haptics and trigger resistance already feature on the new DualSense controller for PS5. Lots of threads to follow here.

That said, don’t expect to see any of this work as a commercial product this year. Sony itself has warned that it’s not likely to release PSVR 2 alongside PS5. Hopefully we won’t have to wait too much longer, though. For now, check out everything we know about PSVR 2.

Excited to see these Sony next-gen VR controllers? Let us know in the comments below!

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Community Download: What Do You Want Out Of PSVR 2?

Community Download is a weekly discussion-focused articles series published (usually) every Monday in which we pose a single, core question to you all, our readers, in the spirit of fostering discussion and debate. For today’s Community Download, we’re looking to the future to ask you all what you want out of a PSVR 2?

The hype train for PS5 is making its final boarding calls as it prepares to leave the station. The PS5 is slated for Holiday 2020 and the final big hitting PS4 games (like The Last of Us 2 and Ghosts of Tsushima) are nearing release in the next few months. And with the PS5, also comes the promise of the PSVR’s successor as well.

We still don’t know many concrete details about the PSVR 2 just yet, let alone what it’s even going to be called or what the actual PS5 looks like, but there are plenty of informed guesses we can make based off of speculation. It doesn’t sound like the PSVR 2 will be ready for showtime by the time the PS5 launches, but it’s still looking promising. The technology itself is likely going to be a major step up over the now three-year-old headset which was already based off of a generation-old tracking system. Patents suggest the next headset could use a mixture of tracking features and potentially even be wireless. A wider FOV, higher resolution, and potentially even eye tracking are all on the table.

Thankfully it looks like the PS Move Controllers will get redesigned as well for PSVR 2.

With so much potential on the horizon — what matters most to you? What do you want to see out of the PSVR 2 when the time finally comes?

Let us know down in the comments below!

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PlayStation Move Support Arrives on Space Junkies

Just over a month ago Ubisoft outlined plans regarding future updates for its zero-gravity multiplayer Space Junkies,  including work on supporting PlayStation Move. PlayStation VR owners will be happy to hear that Space Junkies does now included support for the motion controllers.

Space Junkies

From today PlayStation Move can now be used to navigate the zero-g arenas and take the fight directly to opponents using intuitive motion controls, just like Oculus Rift and HTC Vive players have been doing. The new control scheme also allows for smooth turning if needed. The full controller layout can be seen below with a video at the bottom of the page going into even greater detail regarding the movement nuances now available with PlayStation Move.

The PlayStation Move update continues Ubisoft’s rollout of improvements for Space Junkies which saw the first episode of the teams’ Season 1 content arrive at the end of April. This saw the addition of a new character, The Quantic Calamarii; a new map, the Orbital Mine; a new game mode called Final Cut; more customisation items as well as minor bug fixes and balancing adjustments.

The road map for additional content will see episode 2 arrive later in May, episode 3 in June and episode 4 in July, all for free. Ubisoft hasn’t detailed which episodes will feature particular content but there will be more maps, new equipment, daily and weekly challenges, as well as the introduction of bots.

Space Junkies

Ubisoft has shown a firm dedication to virtual reality (VR) content development over the years, providing players at home with a rich variety of titles alongside location-based entertainment (LBE) projects. The most recent being the release of  Beyond Medusa’s Gatea multiplayer escape room based in the Assassin’s Creed Odyessy universe which is available at numerous VR arcades across North America and Europe via the Ubisoft Escape Games platform.

VRFocus will continue its coverage of Ubisoft’s VR efforts and Space Junkies, reporting back with the latest announcements and updates as they happen.

Space Junkies Move Support, Smooth Turning Arrives Today

Space Junkies Move Support

Good news for Space Junkies fans playing on PSVR; two of your most requested features arrive today.

PlayStation Move support has finally been added into the zero gravity shooter. Previously the game only supported DualShock 4 on PSVR. We thought the implementation was pretty good but others disagreed, especially when getting into cross-play matches with Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Windows VR owners. With Move support, players will be able to independently operate both hands. You can get out the control scheme below.

But that’s not all; today’s update also brings smooth turning. Now the iron-stomached among us can do away with blink turning. Check out the video below to see these new features in action.

These additions are one part of developer Ubisoft Montipellar’s plan to give the game a bit of a boost. Space Junkies enjoyed a hefty 60% discount over the past two weeks, for example, to “maintain a positive game experience.” In other words, Ubisoft wanted to get more people into the game to ensure players aren’t stuck in lobbies.

But that’s not all. The team also has a detailed road map with plenty of plans for free content. These updates will arrive monthly through now until July. Expect to see new maps and equipment as well as bot play.

It’s great to see Ubisoft giving Space Junkies a chance to thrive. We really like the game and think it deserves a fair shot. “It’s the kind of game you can either play for one match, or accidentally lose hours to. The matches are fast-paced and frenetic, the weapons are fun and varied, and the customization brings a deeper level to it all,” we said in our review. “Frankly, it’s fun in a way that is sometimes missing from more serious affairs. It’s already an exceptional experience and if it evolves and gains new content it will become unmissable.”

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Sony Patents Hand-Tracking Technology for VR

Since the reveal that Sony are indeed working on a successor to the PlayStation 4, there has been a great deal of speculation on if the company are intending on continuing with virtual reality (VR) for the new console. A new patent filed by Sony suggests that the future of VR for Sony will involve hand-tracking.

Though for the most part the PlayStation VR has been positively received by users, one of the most criticised elements of the set-up has been the PlayStation Move controllers, and the new patent would ditch the controllers entirely and see players controlling VR using just their hands.

PlayStation Move

The patent, published on 11th October, 2018, is titled ‘Gaming Device With Rotatably Placed Cameras’. The patent was looked at more closely as analysts and fans began speculation on what shape the ‘PlayStation 5’ might take.

The specifics of the patent describes a system which can identify fingers on a hand by using devices mounted on each wrist, similar to a wristwatch or fitness tracker, which transmits infrared light. Cameras on the headset can pick up this light, while cameras on the wrist device identify the location and position of the fingers.

This would create an inside-out tracking system, which would replace the urrent tracking method used by the PlayStation VR, which uses a two-lens camera to track the headset, Dual Shock 4 controller and PlayStation Move controllers.

The patent also mentions the potential for trackers mounted on the ankles, which could incorporate foot tracking, which has potential for games such as FIFA, or martial-arts themed titles. There is also a suggestion that wireless transmission could be incorporated, which would allow users to enjoy VR untethered.

The idea that Sony has been working on this kind of ‘daisy chain’ method for tracking has been mentioned before, and patents had previously surfaced for new controllers which utilised individual finger tracking. Only time will tell what Sony does with this technology, but VRFocus will be sure to keep reporting on it.

Two Years On: PlayStation VR

It has now been two years since the PlayStation VR first launched, completing the ‘Big Three’ trifecta of high-end virtual reality (VR) systems alongside the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. The PlayStation VR is widely seen as the most ‘accessible’ of the high-end VR devices, as it only requires a PlayStation 4 in order to work, instead of needing a high-specification PC.

Known as Project Morpheus during its development, the PlayStation VR was released on 13th October, 2016, initially priced at $399 (USD). The device has to date sold over 3 million units.

Following on from the successful integration of motion controls introduced by HTC Vive and subsequently Oculus with the Oculus Touch, Sony made the decision to make the PlayStation VR compatible not only with the standard Dual Shock 4 controller, but also with the PlayStation Move motion controllers.

The decision to incorporate the PlayStation Move was generally seen as a smart one, since it not only saved Sony money on developing a new controller, it also meant consumers could dig existing devices out from whatever dusty corners they were kept in, and Sony could also offload any unsold stock.

The PlayStation VR headset has also received praise for its comfortable design, with many VR users who have tried most of the major headsets rating the PlayStation VR head-mounted display (HMD) very highly compared to the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.

Unlike the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, the PlayStation VR relies on a single camera for tracking instead of multiple sensors. This does restrict the device from being used for room-scale VR experiences, but on the plus side also means the set-up process is much simpler.

Farpoint plus Aim Controller PSVR

In early 2017 the PlayStation Aim controller peripheral was made available, initially being bundled with sci-fi shooter Farpoint. Modelled on the PlayStation Move technology but offering more precision, the Aim controller has received praise from users for it accuracy and ability to improve immersion.

In January 2018, a new slightly revised model of PlayStation VR was released internationally, which offered a few minor upgrades on the original model, particularly for PlayStation 4 Pro owners.

Check out the post series below for a number of topics discussing PSVR.


Grab This PlayStation VR Deal With Move Controllers and Firewall Zero Hour for £230

It might be the week where everyone is talking about new standalone headset Oculus Quest but that’s not likely to worry Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) and its PlayStation VR. The headset has seen over 3 million sold and with this limited time deal a few more are likely to go out.

Firewall Zero Hour - Screenshot (E3 2018)

Currently UK retailer Argos has quite the offer for those interested in purchasing PlayStation VR. For £229.99 GBP you can pickup a PlayStation VR V2 with VR Worlds Mega Starter Bundle – which includes the videogame and PlayStation Camera – then add-on a PlayStation Move Twin Pack – worth £69.99 – for free and then select one of three titles, Wipeout Omega Collection, Firewall Zero Hour or The Persistence for free as well. These retail for £29.99, £24.99 and £15.99 respectively, so you can save a maximum of £100 in the deal.

Obviously with a deal like this time is short, with Argos only offering it until 3rd October 2018. It’s one of the best VRFocus has seen for sometime especially for UK customers – SIE tends to do more deals for the US market.

As for the videogames, Wipeout Omega Collection is certainly a fan favourite offering high speed racing and the VR version has an added treat, three new VR exclusive ships in HD, Fury and 2048 classes have been included. But Wipeout Omega Collection may not be for everyone due to its hectic nature.

The Persistence screenshot

Currently very popular is another PlayStation VR exclusive, Firewall Zero Hour. Having hit the top download spot for August, the tactical first-person shooter (FPS) is purely multiplayer, but developer First Contact Entertainment does recommend the PlayStation Aim controller which costs extra.

Or for those who like a few frights then there’s always sci-fi horror The Persistence. With procedurally generated levels each playthrough is never quite the same, plus there’s a companion mobile app allowing friends to join in and either help or hinder the VR player.

VRFocus will continue to keep its eye out for the latest deals and offers from around the world.

A PlayStation VR 2 Wish List

The PlayStation VR is a fine bit of virtual reality equipment, which offers some great videogaming experiences without needing to invest the time and money in buying or building a VR-capable PC rig. However, the PlayStation Vr in its current form does have some drawbacks, something which we hope the next iteration of the device will fix. So, here’s is a list of features we at VRFocus would like to see in the next version of the PlayStation VR.

It’s quite likely that we won’t see another PlayStation VR announced until the PlayStation 5 is ready for announcement, but speculation and wishing is fun, so here we go:

Higher Resolution Displays

In recent months we’ve seen announcements from companies who have revealed details of displays intended for use in VR that have truly ludicrous graphical capabilities, such as the TFT LCD display from Japan Display Inc (JDI) which is capable of an astounding 1001ppi, or pixels per inch on a 3.25 inch display.

For context, the current PlayStation VR has a 368ppi display, while the Oculus Rift has a 461ppi, and even the HTC Vive Pro can only boast a display of 615ppi.

What is especially interesting here is that JDI is the result of a joint venture between Hitachi, Toshiba and… Sony.

So is it possible that we will see this super-high resolution display in the next PlayStation VR? We can only hope.

A New Motion Controller

PlayStation Move Controller patents January 2018

Re-using the PlayStation Move was a brilliant move on Sony’s part, no doubt saving the money and creating a new use for that old stock they probably had lying around in a dusty warehouse. However, the technology for the PlayStation Move is now a generation out-of-date and is showing its age, something which many users have noticed, and also a topic I’ve visited before.

A patent filed by Sony showed a possible design for a new type of controller, one with a much-demanded thumbstick and possibly even individual finger tracking, something that SteamVR/HTC Vive have also been working on.

Either way, Sony will need to move on from the PlayStation Move for the next generation of VR hardware.

Improved Motion-Tracking

New PlayStation Camera

Related to the above somewhat. The PlayStation VR replies on the PlayStation Camera for its tracking, which means that if the headset or, more commonly, the controller is out of view of the camera, you lose tracking.

Some leaks have suggested that Sony are working on a system which would allow the headset to independently track the controllers, creating a kind of motion-tracking daisy chain that means the controllers will be in much less danger of being occluded. Its possible that this could work the other way around, with the controllers proving tracking info for the headset if you are turned away from the camera.

This of course will mean that the developers and engineers will need to ensure that lag stags at a minimum, since latency is the enemy of good VR.

Wireless Transmission


No, wait. I’ve changed my mind. I’m good.

Oh fine. Yes, for many people being able to use a PlayStation VR without the encumbrance of cables would be awesome, but there is currently no indication that this technology is in the works for the PlayStation VR.