In less than a year’s time Sony’s next console, the PlayStation 5, will be with us. The company is committed to a holiday 2020 release window for its next-generation device, and now we’re pretty much just waiting for it to be officially revealed. But will PS5 support VR?
As we all know, the PS4 introduced Sony’s first VR headset, PlayStation VR (better known as PSVR). The kit released in October 2016 and has, for the past four years, proven to be one of the most popular headsets on the market. Last we heard in March 2019, the device had sold 4.2 million units. Very little has been said about Sony’s future with VR beyond PS4, however.
Will PS5 Support VR?
PS5 Supports The Original PSVR
Heres’s what we do know. PS5 will support the original PSVR headset. Mark Cerny, PS4’s lead system architect, confirmed as much back in April 2019 when Sony revealed work on PS5 to Wired.
“I won’t go into the details of our VR strategy today,” Cerny told the publication, “beyond saying that VR is very important to us and that the current PSVR headset is compatible with the new console.”
Cerny also confirmed that the PS5 was backwards compatible with the PS4. This should mean that PSVR games released over the last four years are compatible on Sony’s new console, provided you can still sync up PlayStation Move controllers, which the company hasn’t confirmed. We also don’t know if the original PSVR will work with the same PlayStation Camera on PS5 though, again, we’d hope it would.
PSVR Games On PS5
Cerny also revealed that PS5 will utilize a customized solid-state drive. In an example shown to Wired on an early dev kit, this allowed for a massive reduction in load times when playing 2018’s PS4-exclusive Spider-Man game (fast-traveling went from 15 seconds to 0.8 seconds). Again, assuming these benefits extend to PSVR, we’ll hopefully enjoy faster loading on existing VR titles. No more lengthy waits between deaths in Skyrim VR, perhaps?
Furthermore, we all know that Sony actually released two consoles this generation; PS4 in 2013 and then, in November 2016, the upgraded PS4 Pro. The latter allowed developers to offer their games in higher resolutions and faster framerates. In the case of PSVR, it often resulted in sharper visuals and better performance. Again, there’s been no confirmation, but we’re hoping that PSVR titles running on PS5 will play like the PS4 Pro versions rather than the standard editions.
One of the more exciting aspects of PS5 is its new controller, for which we have a few details. Sony Interactive Entertainment President, Jim Ryan, last year confirmed the kit will feature new haptic feedback technology and adaptive triggers that apply resistance to every click. Features like these obviously hold lots of promise for VR, though there’s no confirmation that this new controller could work with old PSVR games.
A Potential PSVR2
Of course, while we’re glad to hear PS5 will support VR, what we all really want to know is if Sony will release a potential PSVR2 for the platform. Signs spread over the past year are promising, though nothing’s been confirmed yet. Head of R&D Dominic Mallinson confirmed that work on such a device was underway in a presentation last year. He teased exciting updates like improved screen resolution and a wider field of view.
But, around a week later, another interview with Mallinson suggested that any potential PSVR2 won’t launch alongside PS5 this year. We wouldn’t expect, then, to hear about the new device in 2020. Just how long into the PS5’s lifecycle we finally see PSVR2 — if we see it at all — remains to be seen.
So, will PS5 support VR? Yes it will. But, beyond support for the original PSVR, there’s still plenty to learn about Sony’s plans for the future of VR. Make sure to stay tuned to UploadVR over the next year as we follow PS5’s VR story in detail, and let us know what you want from VR on the new console in the comments below!