While Sony has confirmed PSVR 2 (or whatever its next-gen VR will be called) is officially in the works, the only element of this new hardware that we’ve seen so far is the gamepads, and we’re already impressed. The PSVR 2 controllers look to enhance VR immersion with built-in haptic feedback, adaptive triggers and finger-touch detection, while sporting a more orb-like design that should make them more comfortable to hold.
In other words, it’s time for the PlayStation Move controller to move over; there’s a new controller making its way to town. Want to know more? Read on for everything we know about the PSVR 2 controllers.
PSVR 2 controllers: cut to the chase
- What is is? The next version of PlayStation VR’s input accessories
- When is it out? Potentially 2022 or later – Sony has yet to confirm a date
- How much will it cost? TBC – but a set will be bundled in with PSVR2
PSVR 2 controllers release date and price
Sony revealed the PSVR 2 controllers in a blog post in March 2021, just a month after the company published another surprise blog post confirming that the next generation of PSVR is in the works – which is expected to work exclusively with PS5 hardware.
The PSVR 2 controllers will likely launch alongside the PSVR 2 hardware, but Sony has confirmed we’re not going to see PSVR 2 in 2021.
If Sony mostly allocates its manpower to PS5 production (which seems likely given demand), then the PSVR 2 could launch much later than the console’s release date – perhaps even years later. PlayStation VR launched three years after the PS4, after all. But the relative success of PSVR means that Sony is likely to expedite the process this time around.
According to a report by Bloomberg, sources suggest Sony is aiming for a Christmas 2022 release date for PSVR 2. However, Sony hasn’t confirmed when exactly we’ll get our hands on its successor to PSVR and its controllers.
So how much are we expecting PSVR 2 controllers to cost? We’re expecting at least one pair to be bundled in with the hardware, but Sony will likely offer, much like with the PS Move controllers, standalone pairs for purchase, too. PlayStation Move controllers were initially available to purchase alone for £35/$35, or with the PlayStation Eye camera for £50/$50. The Navigation controller (the equivalent to the Wii’s nunchuck) attachment was an extra £25/$25. Given that the VR controllers share many technical elements with the PS5 Dualsense pads, which cost $69.99 / £59.99 / AU$109 each, these VR gamepads could get pricey.
It’s unclear whether the PSVR 2 controllers will come with additional attachments, but we expect that the price of the controllers alone will be slightly more than $35, with a pair costing more again, given the tech built in. It’s unclear if you will need to purchase these controllers as a pair or whether they work individually, but from the buttons that we’re seeing on the images it looks like they will need to be purchased in pairs which could see them costing at least £60/$60. Sony hasn’t confirmed pricing at this time so this is still speculation at this point.
PSVR 2 controllers design
The PSVR 2 controllers look considerably different to the PlayStation Move controllers. The controllers are black and have an orb-like shape which Sony claims makes them feel more natural to hold while offering a “high degree of freedom”. Sony also claims that this design means there are no constraints with how players move their hands, allowing developers to create “unique gameplay experiences”.
In addition, Sony has said that the controllers are built with ergonomics in mind, taking into account varying hand sizes and insights from previous PlayStation controllers, meaning that the controllers should feel well-balanced and comfortable to hold.
From the images we’ve seen, each PSVR 2 controller has two buttons (the left has Triangle and Square and the right has Circle and X), an analog stick, a “grip” button (L1 or R1, can be used to pick up in-game objects) and either an Options button (right controller) or Share button (left controller). Each controller also comes with an adaptive trigger and finger-touch detector (more on that below) and what appears to be a charging port on the bottom. A wrist strap can also be seen in some images.
PSVR 2 controllers features
The PSVR 2 controllers look to improve immersion with plenty of new features, some which we’ve seen in the DualSense PS5 controller, which were absent from the PS Move controllers.
The PSVR 2 controllers have adaptive triggers, similar to the DualSense, which add palatable tension when pressed. So, for example, when you draw a bow in a game, you should feel the tension of the string in the trigger, making it feel more realistic.
Another feature the PSVR 2 controllers take from the DualSense is haptic feedback. Haptic feedback uses touch to communicate with players, allowing you to feel sensations from a game through the controller itself. So, for example, in Astro’s Playroom for PS5, when you’re walking through sand, you can feel the texture difference reverberated through the DualSense controller.
The PSVR 2 controllers also have finger touch detection, allowing the controllers to detect where your fingers are without having to press a button. “This enables you to make more natural gestures with your hands during gameplay,” says Hideaki Nishino, head of platform planning and management at PlayStation.
The controllers will be tracked by the new PSVR 2 headset through a tracking ring across the bottom of the controller.
PSVR 2 controllers: what we want to see
A decent battery life
Despite the upgrade to a Micro USB connection in 2017, the batteries inside the PS Move controllers are still woeful, so this time around we would love to be able to use PSVR 2 controllers for an extended period of time before having to juice them up. Whether this will happen still remains uncertain as the DualSense controller doesn’t exactly hold it’s charge well and we often find ourselves having to have at least one on constant charging standby.
Developers utilizing the features
The PSVR 2 controller features sound impressive and we are excited to experience even more immersive VR thanks to haptic feedback and adaptive controllers. However, it’s up to developers to actually utilize these features. While we’ve been impressed by how the likes of Astro’s Playroom, Returnal and Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart utilize these features on the DualSense, we want to see more developers making use of them. Hopefully, they will with the PSVR 2 controllers.
Better accuracy and reliability
The PlayStation Move controllers weren’t always the most reliable or accurate controllers, sometimes dropping out mid-game or not doing exactly what you wanted. Hopefully, the PSVR 2 controllers improve on this.
Not too expensive
VR is great fun with friends so we’re hoping Sony is price-conscious with the cost of buying additional pairs of PSVR 2 controllers, especially if they have to be bought in pairs (which seems to be the case). While we’re not expecting extra controllers to be cheap, we’re hoping Sony doesn’t stray too far above the $70 mark (after all the DualSense retails for $70).