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SYFY WIRE Playstation

Sony reveals details of next generation VR2 hardware for Playstation 5, new 'Horizon' VR game

Now all we need is a look at the actual headset…and a release date.

By Benjamin Bullard

Sony’s next-gen virtual reality device officially has a name. Showing up at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show to share a trove of new details on its upcoming PS5-compatible headset, PlayStation president Jim Ryan revealed the new device will be the home platform for a bespoke new VR game in the Horizon series, and it’ll be called the PlayStation VR2.

Though players haven’t yet been treated to a first look at the headset itself, images of the orb-like controllers have been out in the wild since Sony revealed the new system almost a year ago. Thanks to a fresh post at the PlayStation Blog, though, there’s now a ton of long-awaited new info about how the PS VR2 will improve on the gameplay and performance of the PS VR set it replaces.

Before we get to all that, what about the new game? It’s called Horizon Call of the Mountain, it’s being built from the ground up for the PS VR2, and it’s being jointly developed by in-house Sony studios Guerrilla Games (the same studio that created the franchise and is prepping the launch of next month’s Horizon Forbidden West) and the newly-acquired Firesprite Games.

Here’s Sony’s first tease of the game, which shows off a super-brief glimpse at a close call, in first person, with the giant mechanical hoof of a towering Tallneck:

In a separate PlayStation Blog post, Guerrilla’s Jan-Bart van Beek saved most of the details for a later date, but teased that Call of the Mountain’s story “will be told through the eyes of an entirely new character,” even as players encounter familiar protagonist Aloy as well as “other familiar faces, and new characters along the way.”

But back to the device itself: The PS VR2 will feature an OLED display that supports full 4K resolution with a 110-degree field of view, controller movement tracking based on cameras embedded in the headset (rather than relying on an external camera), and new eye tracking technology that “detects the motion of your eyes, so a simple look in a specific direction can create an additional input for the game character,” as Sony’s Hideaki Nishino explained.

Also new is a simplified connection setup that requires only a single USB-C cord to connect the PS VR2 with your PlayStation 5. Paired with the controllers’ haptic feedback features that Sony announced last year, the headset itself also will provide sensory feedback — a step toward greater VR immersion that, wrote Nishino, “amplifies the sensations of in-game actions from the player” thanks to “a single built-in motor with vibrations that add an intelligent tactile element.”

In practical terms, he added, the increased feedback setup means “gamers can feel a character’s elevated pulse during tense moments, the rush of objects passing close to the character’s head, or the thrust of a vehicle as the character speeds forward.”

There’s still no word on a release date for the PS VR2 (nor for Horizon Call of the Mountain). In the meantime, you can take a geeky gander at all the headset’s newly-revealed technical specs over at Sony’s blog post.