PlayStation unveils next-gen VR controller—and it’s a huge change

Sony still isn’t ready to show off its next-generation PlayStation VR headset just yet, but the company has now revealed something almost as cool: the new VR controllers that will pair with the headset.

The details outlined in today’s blog post match up closely with a patent uncovered earlier this year—give or take a banana—so there’s nothing too shocking here. Still, it’s neat to see official product shots and a detailed description of how the controllers will work.

Unlike the current PSVR, which relies on PS3-era Move controllers, Sony’s next VR platform will use controllers designed from the ground up to work in virtual reality. In essence, they look to be a merger of ideas from Oculus and Valve’s solutions with elements of the PlayStation 5’s DualSense gamepad.

The controllers sport an orb-like form factor, with two face buttons, an analog stick, and a trigger on each. Like on the DualSense, the triggers will be adaptive, allowing games to dynamically adjust the tension when you pull. The equivalent of the R1 button has been moved to the inside grip, meaning you’ll be able to squeeze your hand to more naturalistically grab things in VR.

The controllers will also feature advanced haptic feedback, which Sony says has been “optimized for its form factor.” You can probably expect this to feel quite a bit like the DualSense’s high-resolution rumble effects.

The VR controller will also be able to track three of your fingers—thumb, index, and middle—even when they’re not pressing buttons, thanks to the addition of “touch detection.” Sony says this inclusion will allow for “natural gestures” with your virtual hands.

Finally, you might have noticed that the controllers don’t have the big glowing balls on the end that the Move controllers do. Instead, they’ll use a “tracking ring” on the bottom to allow the headset to their movement in 3D space.

There’s still no word on when the next-generation PlayStation VR will launch for PS5, but it may yet be some time before it’s ready to launch. Sony said in the blog post that it’s just now getting ready to send out controller prototypes to developers.

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