Industry Analysis

How the PlayStation VR 2 Will Innovate the VR Landscape

The official PlayStation VR 2 product page is up, and there’s a lot to unpack. In some ways, Sony is playing catchup, and adapting their next VR product to the landscape of the market. In other ways, the PlayStation VR 2 will offer new innovations that users have yet to see from its competitors. 

Sony has finally made the switch from traditional lenses to Fresnel lenses. Fresnel lenses are already standard for VR headsets, but this change is significant for Sony’s product. PlayStation VR 1 featured traditional lenses with a smooth circular design. Fresnel lenses utilize short, clipped ridges that negate the warped light produced by smoother edges, and create a clearer resolution. On top of that, Fresnel lenses are lighter, cheaper, and more flexible.

Fresnel lens left, Traditional lens right

Despite being the more practical option, Fresnel lenses have their own flaws. They can sometimes produce an optical artifact known as God Rays. This is when light rays bounce off the ridges of the lens into unwanted directions. As a result, small shimmers of light appear in the peripheral of the user. There has yet to be a VR headset that corrects this light distortion… until now.

An example of God Rays on the Oculus Quest via Reddit

Sony seems to have invented a way to counteract this effect according to a recent patent filing. The tech giant claims that new innovations for the PlayStation VR 2 will combat God Rays by adding light-absorbing sections of each lens. These sections will be incorporated as a mask that covers the entire panel, or be built directly into the ridges themselves. If Sony succeeds with their new idea, other VR developers will likely look to play catchup and find their own workarounds. Fans have yet to see what the PlayStation VR 2 looks like, yet they can already expect a whole new experience upon its release. 

Notable upgrades include an increase in per-eye resolution from 960 x 1080 panels up to 2000 x 2040 4k. Users of the first PlayStation VR will be able to switch on the new one and immediately tell the difference. As it stands, the PlayStation VR 2 will have a higher resolution screen and wider field of view than its lead competitor, the Meta Quest 2. Sony has also confirmed that the new headsets will indeed have eye-tracking. This should make things interesting when Horizon Call of the Mountain makes its way to PlayStation VR.

There is zero news regarding the PlayStation VR 2 release date, though many have speculated it will arrive during the 2022 Holiday season.