Sony’s Next-Gen VR Controllers Are Packing Some Major Upgrades

Sony’s Next-Gen VR Controllers Are Packing Some Major Upgrades
Image: Sony

Even though Sony has already said its upcoming VR headset won’t be available until sometime next year, the company is already showing off teasers of its new controllers. Based on what we’ve seen so far, the next version of Sony’s PS VR tech looks to be packing some serious upgrades.

Unlike the old PlayStation Move controllers (which are basically holdovers from back when console makers thought standalone motion controls were going to be the next “big thing”), Sony’s new VR controllers have an orb-like design that’s supposed to make them easier and more natural to hold while also supporting better motion tracking.

Sony says its new headset will have built-in motion tracking, instead of requiring a camera, that will detect a “tracking ring” positioned on the bottom of the controllers, so motion tracking should be more accurate and easier to set up with one less component to worry about.

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On top of that, Sony is borrowing some tech from the current DualSense controller for use in virtual reality, with its VR controller also getting adaptive triggers that can change their tension on the fly and more sensitive haptic feedback. And Sony is also adding support for finger touch detection that lets you make gestures and commands simply by touching parts of the controller’s grip.

Image: SonyImage: Sony

And because it wouldn’t be a PlayStation controller without Sony’s classic face button, you also get circle and x buttons on the right controller along with an analogue stick, a grip button, and a shoulder button, while the left gets a mirrored setup with triangle and square face buttons instead.

In a lot of ways, it seems like Sony has been taking notes and learning from the designs of other VR controllers, most notably the Valve Index’s finger-sensing controller and the Oculus Quest 2‘s controller, which is similarly shaped though has a slightly more minimalist design.

Image: SonyImage: Sony

Unfortunately, because Sony has already announced that its new VR headset won’t be arriving this year, at least for now, we’re going to have to be content with this slow drip of teases while we wait for more concrete info in the future.

However, Sony’s VR controller does appear to be off to a promising start, and if Sony can nail the optics on its accompanying headset, PS5 owners should be in for a treat when the devices officially launch sometime in 2022.