Virtual reality is one of the most exciting new technologies innovating in the games industry. Headsets like the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR are making game experiences more immersive than ever before, transporting you into virtual worlds. As we’ve seen over the last few years, racing games are a great fit for virtual reality, putting you inside the virtual cockpit of a racing car. The technology has other benefits too, allowing you to intuitively turn your head to look ahead of corners, using mirrors to monitor opponent track positions, and get a greater sense of speed.
Out of every VR headset currently available, PlayStation VR is the most affordable and arguably the most comfortable, but the hardware has its limitations and is showing its age having launched in 2016. Racing games like DriveClub VR Gran Turismo Sport, and WipEout Omega Boost demonstrate how virtual reality can revolutionise racing games but run at a lower resolution, resulting in a blurry image. As such, we’ve been eagerly waiting to see how the more powerful PlayStation 5 will improve VR in racing games.
Last February, Sony confirmed a successor to the PlayStation VR headset is in development for PlayStation 5. Now, during a presentation at CES 2022 Sony has confirmed the new PlayStation 5 virtual reality headset will be called PlayStation VR2 and revealed some juicy new technical details.
PlayStation VR2 technical specifications revealed: 4K resolution, HDR, OLED screen and more
Sony says PS VR2 will take “VR gaming to a whole new level” while enabling “a greater sense of presence” and “allowing players to escape into game worlds like never before.” While the original PSVR headset had a 1080P resolution displaying 960×1080 pixels per eye, PSVR2 has a 4K OLED display with HDR and 2000×2040 pixels per eye for vastly improved visual fidelity.
It also boasts a wider field of view up to 110 degrees and a smooth frame rate of 90 or 120Hz. In an announcement video, Sony Interactive Entertainment President and CEO Jim Ryan promises PS VR2 will deliver “best in class” visuals.
Do you need a PlayStation Camera to use PS VR2?
Unlike the original PSVR headset, PS VR2 does not require an external PlayStation camera. Instead, PS VR2 tracks your position, movements, and controller using integrated cameras inside the headset. PS VR2 also supports eye-tracking that detects where your eyes are looking – this could be useful for glancing at gauges inside a virtual racing cockpit.Mercifully, the original PSVR’s Move controllers that used outdated technology from the PlayStation 3 era will be replaced with new PS VR2 Sense controllers. Like the PlayStation 5 DualSense, these controllers feature haptic feedback and adaptive triggers, enabling more tactile interactions.
In addition, a single built-in motor produces vibrations, replicating in-game effects such as the “thrust of a vehicle as the character speeds forward.”
Mercifully, PS VR2 connects directly to the PlayStation 5 console with just one wire, negating the need for a separate processing box. It’s a shame it’s not wireless like the Oculus Quest 2, but at least your carpet won’t be cluttered with an obscene number of wires like the current PSVR’s setup. Sony hasn’t shown what the PS VR2 headset looks like yet, however.
When will PlayStation VR2 be released and how much will it cost?
Sony hasn’t announced when PlayStation VR2 will be released yet, but rumours suggest it will go on sale in Christmas 2022 release, so we could be experiencing it in less than 12 months.
Pricing details haven’t been confirmed yet, either. When it launched in 2016, the PSVR retailed for £349, matching the PlayStation 4’s RRP. With its more advanced technology, the PS VR2 could cost around £449 – the same price as the PlayStation 5.
Will Gran Turismo 7 support PlayStation VR2?
So far, Sony has announced exclusive two games for PlayStation VR2: Horizon Call of the Mountain set in the Horizon Zero Dawn Universe and Firesprite. PS VR2 support for Gran Turismo 7 has not been confirmed yet, but it could be added after the game releases in March. Gran Turismo Sport also supports PSVR, albeit only with races against a single opponent. It would make sense for Sony to use Gran Turismo 7 to showcase the technology for racing games.
There is also a good chance the PlayStation 5 port of Assetto Corsa Competizione will also support PS VR2, especially as the PC version already supports VR headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
2022 is already shaping up to be an exciting year for racing games, and we can’t wait to see how PS VR2 will enhance our favourite racing games.