Sony recently confirmed that it is building a next-generation VR—virtual reality—system for the PlayStation 5. To be clear, the system is far from an official launch but much like the PS5 unveil, Sony has started hyping it in advance. And similar to the PS5, we’re getting a first look at Sony’s next-gen VR controller first rather than the console itself.
Sony had revealed last month that the PS5 VR controller “will incorporate some of the key features found in the DualSense wireless controller, along with a focus on great ergonomics.” As promised, that is indeed the case.
Let’s start with the design—and ergonomics.
For starters, the new controller looks nothing like the old one. Sony has built this thing from scratch and designed it somewhat like Facebook’s Oculus Quest controller with a twist, which is a far cry from the current-gen “Move”. The new control is orb-shaped and wraps around the user’s hand. Sony says this allows for a high degree of freedom while maintaining comfort and “natural” grip. Sony has done well with the DualSense’s ergonomics and it is seemingly bringing the same level of craftsmanship to the VR controller as well.
As for button placement, while 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 the other analog stick, the cross and circle buttons, second grip button (R1), trigger button (R2) and Options button.
The DualSense-inspiration flows into the VR controller’s experiential side as well. The PS5 VR controller will feature both adaptive triggers as well as haptic feedback, two key highlights that set Sony’s next-gen game console apart from anything we’ve seen before. This means, just like the DualSense controller, the PS5 VR controller will also let you feel the tension when you’re drawing a bow to fire an arrow, for instance. While haptic feedback will allow you to feel your game world while you’re traversing through a desert or trading blows in melee combat, for instance.
All of this will of course be optimized for the controller’s unique form factor. It would be interesting to see how that transpires in the real world but surely, the fantastic DualSense experience raises a lot of expectations.
The PS5 VR controller will additionally support finger touch detection, Sony said, so it will be able to “make more natural gestures with your hands during gameplay.”
Sony also confirmed that developers will start receiving their PS5 VR controller prototypes “soon”. As for the VR system itself, Sony has already confirmed that it won’t be launching in 2021.