PS VR: How the new technology will impact the future of racing games

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Sony have recently announced that there's a new generation of PlayStation VR coming to the PS5. Virtual Reality is the most immersive way to play video games, especially racing games.

What can we expect from next-gen PS VR? And how will it impact the future of racing games? We've got some ideas!

The next generation of VR

Virtual Reality is nothing new in video games. Sony introduced VR support for the PS4 in 2016 and the medium has been growing ever since.

The main attraction of VR is that instead of being limited to looking at a TV or monitor, you can fully immerse yourself in that world. This is especially handy for racing games, as VR puts you right in the cockpit of the car.

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Assetto Corsa Comptizione
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OPTIMISED: Games like ACC make full use of PS VR

PS5 VR was announced via a post by Hideaki Nishino in PlayStation's blog. The Senior Vice President, Platform Planning & Management at Sony Interactive stated that:

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"I’m pleased to share that our next-generation VR system will be coming to PlayStation 5... Players will feel an even greater sense of presence and become even more immersed in their game worlds once they put on the new headset."

Without actually seeing the next tech, we can't truly say what it'll feature. However, this is very encouraging to hear, but what will it mean for the racing genre?

Next-gen PS VR in racing games

As we said before, VR is perfect for racing games, as you get a true first-person perspective of what your driver sees.

No racing games were specifically mentioned in the blog post, but it's not a leap of faith to assume that Gran Turismo 7 will have full VR support.

gran turismo sport porsche
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QUICK OFF THE LINE: GT7 will likely come with full VR support from launch

GT Sport was meant to have full VR support from launch, but it was limited to only the "VR Tour". Polyphony are always on the frontiers of technological innovation, so GT7 won't be allowed to miss the VR train.

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When detailing what exactly will be new from next-gen PS VR, this is what Nishino had to say:

"One of the innovations we’re excited about is our new VR controller, which will incorporate some of the key features found in the DualSense wireless controller, along with a focus on great ergonomics."

The next-gen PS VR headset is more practical and easier to use than what we have now, needing less wires to be plugged in. Visual quality will also be improved, especially when it comes to depth of field, which is key for racing games.

As for the "key features found in the DualSense", this could be referring to the PS5 controller's haptic feedback and how it could be optimised in VR.

The new VR controllers could have a vibration system similar to haptic feedback in that you can feel what the play-controller character can. For a racing game, this would translate to feeling an impact when you crash the car.

What about the competition?

Sony are far from the only company to manufacture their own VR headsets. Samsung, Oculus, DESTEK and many more also have entries in the medium.

Oculus Rift
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THE CHALLENGER: It'll be very difficult to beat Sony's home field advantage

Third party companies have the edge in terms of quantity, as a collective, they can supply every system out there. Where they lack though, is quality, as Sony's VR headsets are fully optimised for their PlayStation systems.

When it comes to the PS5, this is even more pronounced, as it's a relatively new console and Sony are the only company that truly know it inside and out.

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Release Date

If you're wondering when you'll be able to get your hands on the next-generation PS VR headset, you're not alone.

We don't have an official release date or even a window for release yet. All that Nishino confirmed was that "it won’t be launching in 2021". So, expect more news later this year.

A release date of 2022 also puts next-gen PS VR in line with Gran Turismo 7 after its latest delay.

If you want to see what the current PS VR headset is all about, you can check out this trailer from PlayStation Europe below: