Why You'll Want to Get the New PS5 VR Headset

Better resolution and controllers could make it worth your while

Key Takeaways

  • Sony’s newly announced virtual reality headset could make playing games on the PS5 a lot more realistic, observers say. 
  • The Sony headset will have better resolution, more accurate head-tracking and a wider field of view.
  • Details on the gadget are slim, but Sony said its new VR headset will launch sometime after 2021.
Someone wearing a VR headset.
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Sony’s newly revealed virtual reality (VR) headset for the PS5 could make gaming a more immersive and vivid experience, experts say.

The new Sony headset will have better resolution, more accurate head-tracking and a wider field of view. Like the previous Sony headset, it still will be tethered with a single wire to the console.

The tethered option is a compromise in terms of freedom of movement; however, the physical connection to the PS5 console could allow for greater computing power.   

"Although many of the specific details of the new headset have not been made public yet, we expect that the new Sony headset will at least be on par with the latest competitor performance specifications," DJ Smith, co-founder and chief creative officer of virtual reality company The Glimpse Group, said in an email interview.

Coming Soonish?

Details on the gadget are slim, but Sony said its new VR headset will launch sometime after 2021. "Players will feel an even greater sense of presence and become even more immersed in their game worlds once they put on the new headset," Hideaki Nishino, Sony’s senior vice president of platform planning and management, wrote on the company’s website in announcing the gadget.

"With both PlayStation VR and the next-generation VR system we’re building, our commitment to virtual reality as a medium for games is stronger than ever."

PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan told The Washington Post that development kits for the PS5-specific VR headset will be sent out soon. Ryan declined to discuss the device’s horsepower or specifications, but said it would be less cumbersome than a previous version. 

Two people sitting on the couch playing VR games with controllers.
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The controller on the new headset will be vital to enhancing the experience for users. "One of the innovations we’re excited about is our new VR controller, which will incorporate some of the key features found in the DualSense wireless controller, along with a focus on great ergonomics," Nishino wrote.

"That’s just one of the examples of future-proof technology we’re developing to match our vision for a whole new generation of VR games and experiences."

The original PlayStation VR headset was released for the PlayStation 4 in 2016. PlayStation VR is currently supported on PlayStation 5, but requires an adapter to use. 

"In the years since the release of the PSVR, the VR industry has made huge strides in terms of hardware improvements and adoption," Smith said. "The new PSVR for PS5 will do its best to catch up to the current day competition in terms of technological features."

Great VR is Here If You Can’t Wait

If you can’t wait for the new Sony headset, you might want to consider another virtual reality setup that’s already available. First, you’ll have to choose between a tethered or untethered headset, depending on if you’re ok with the device being hooked up to your PC with a cable. 

If you are going with untethered VR, your best bet is Facebook’s Oculus Quest 2, Smith said. "This device offers a convenient and powerful experience at a low entry point cost," he added.

“Players will feel an even greater sense of presence and become even more immersed in their game worlds once they put on the new headset.”

"The untethered devices do make some sacrifices in terms of computing power, however Oculus’s platform has a large community of users, as well as a great library of content."

Tethered PC solutions such as the HP Reverb and Valve Index most often are used by those willing to trade better for specs for less mobility.  

"These devices can leverage the most amount of computing power possible based on today’s PC technology and, therefore, have amazingly rich environments and experiences," Smith said.

"The downside of these systems, however, is that they are expensive and difficult to set up."

Smith said the PS5 VR headset, which will be connected to a console rather than a PC, is "a decent compromise between untethered and tethered PC solutions in terms of cost, performance, and convenience."

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