Sony Unveils Orb-Shaped Controllers for Next-Generation PlayStation VR System

Image: Sony

Sony has lifted the curtain on what its next-generation PlayStation VR controllers will look like. The reveal came from SIE Senior Vice President Hideaki Nishino this morning, who published an article on the official PlayStation blog containing the first images of the peripheral and a list of its unique features. These include adaptive triggers, haptic feedback, finger-touch detection, and more.

“The first thing you’ll notice with our next-gen VR controller is the unique design, which takes on an ‘orb’ shape that allows you to hold the controller naturally, while playing with a high degree of freedom,” Nishino wrote. “There are no constraints with how you’re moving your hands, providing developers with the ability to create unique gameplay experiences.”

“We also designed the new controller with great ergonomics in mind, so it’s well-balanced and comfortable to hold in each of your hands. We applied learnings from testing users with a range of hand sizes, as well as the decades of insights from controllers across all PlayStation platforms. The result is an iconic design that will change how VR games are played.”

Next-Generation PS VR Controller Features

  • Adaptive triggers: Each VR controller (Left and Right) includes an adaptive trigger button that adds palpable tension when pressed, similar to what’s found in the DualSense controller. If you’ve played a PS5 game, you’ll be familiar with the tension in the L2 or R2 buttons when you press them, such as when you’re drawing your bow to fire an arrow. When you take that kind of mechanic and apply it to VR, the experience is amplified to the next level.
  • Haptic feedback: The new controller will have haptic feedback optimized for its form factor, making every sensation in the game world more impactful, textured and nuanced. When you’re traversing through rocky desert or trading blows in melee combat, you’ll feel the difference, magnifying the extraordinary visual and audio experience that’s so central to VR.
  • Finger touch detection: The controller can detect your fingers without any pressing in the areas where you place your thumb, index, or middle fingers. This enables you to make more natural gestures with your hands during gameplay.
  • Tracking: The VR controller is tracked by the new VR headset through a tracking ring across the bottom of the controller.
  • Action buttons / analog sticks: The Left controller contains one analog stick, the triangle and square buttons, a “grip” button (L1), trigger button (L2) and Create button. The Right controller contains one analog stick, the cross and circle buttons, a “grip” button (R1), trigger button (R2) and Options button. The “grip” button can be used to pick up in-game objects, as one example.

Nishino didn’t provide any clues as to when he’ll unveil the next-generation PlayStation VR headset, but he did confirm that the new VR controller will be sent to the development community soon for testing. Sony revealed that it was working on a PS VR successor last month with improved resolution, field of view, tracking and input, and a single-cord setup.

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