Sony looks to the future with VR.
Everyone has their focus on the PlayStation 5 on the Sony front in regards to next generation console talk, so it can be easy to forget that Sony is really crafting two different systems for next gen. It’s understandable, since the PlayStation VR kind of inhabits its own little bubble for now, but there’s no denying that, slowly but surely, VR is becoming more standard other companies are jumping into the space. For the next iteration of PS VR, Sony is thinking pretty big to continue competing.
Speaking at Collision 2019 in Toronto (via VentureBeat), Dominic Mallinson, senior vice president of R&D at Sony, talked about a new version of the VR headset, and how they are thinking of having multiple models. He especially thinks there’s value in a wireless version, which would be a more powerful, high-end wired alternative, since the mass of wires that comes with PSVR for now has been a stumbling point for many casual audiences.
“I talked about wireless, for example,” he said. “That’s one easy way to do it. Here’s a wired headset. You can take the wire and replace it with wireless. And then you can have a range. So you can have an introductory model and a high-end model. That’s something we’ve done with PlayStation 4. We could do that with PSVR.”
Mallinson also talked about improvements to the technology, and how gaze tracking could be one of the things that really helps launch VR to the mainstream and improve the immersion to the next level.
“So what do I mean by gaze tracking? I mean the technology to understand where you’re looking in this virtual world,” he said. “What is your attention point? And then on top of that, we can then layer extra things. We can understand perhaps your attention by measuring pupil dilation. We can do biometrics to understand who you are looking at. … And we can measure your IPD (interpupillary distance) — the distance between your pupils. This is very important to VR because it allows us to accurately set up the optics and the rendering to give you maximum comfort, and to really get the correct sense of distance and scale in VR. So fundamentally, with this technology, we know what you’re looking at in VR. And this allows for countless user interface and user experience possibilities.”
With so much changing in the industry, in regards to how games are made and consumed, it’ll be quite something to see where we are with these budding technologies within the next few years. It’ll certainly be interesting to see how the PS5 weaves PS VR into its whole outlook on the industry.