With PlayStation 5 just around the corner, it’s left a lot of questions about the next generation of PSVR. Though Sony’s new console is confirmed to be backwards compatible with current PSVR headsets, rumors about PSVR 2 continue to spring up. The latest evidence to show Sony’s next-generation VR technology is a new PlayStation VR controller patent that casts aside the ball-ended Moves for something more like the Valve Index or Vive Pro controllers.
Sony filed the patent in August 2018 and it was published on the 13th of this month. The controller straps around the palm of the hand players to freely using their fingers without needing to grip the controller. There’s a physical trigger button and a tracking sensor that detects individual finger movement. From the patent filing:
This controller device is worn on the hand of a user and includes: a plurality of sensor units that detect the fingers of the user; and a sensor support part that supports the sensor units. The sensor support part supports the sensor units so that the distance between adjacent sensor units can be changed.
This functionality is very similar to the Valve Index and Vive Pro controllers, a more granular control method that grants greater immersion than the current Move controllers. One of the biggest aspects that is regularly pointed out in the patent text is the ability to “adjust positional relationship” of the users fingers to the controller sensor based on various sizes of hands, rather than patenting the finger-sensing technology.
The simplified drawing isn’t expected to be what the final controller design looks like. Patent images often use rudimentary drawings to communicate the ideas within the patent before finalizing the actual visual design aspects of any device. The important part here is the general functionality and intent. Sony is continuing to support its VR initiative. Whether these controllers come standard for PSVR 2 or are upgrades for the current headset remains to be seen. Sony hasn’t even lifted the lid on the PS5 quite yet, so don’t expect news on the next PSVR for at least a little while longer.