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Sony Patent Reveals New VR Headset Features

A recently-published Sony patent indicates that the company’s next VR device may include some major upgrades.

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As the next gaming generation nears, the once hushed plans about new hardware, video games, and marketing strategies have steadily begun to surface. Alongside its next-gen PlayStation, Sony is developing its next VR headset – the follow-up to a great accessory that gave the already-amazing PlayStation 4 an extra oomph. Surfaced patents have supposedly revealed a handful of important details and addressed previously surfaced rumors pertaining to Sony’s PlayStation VR successor including new headset features, more spec details, and the device’s price.

In May, in an interview with CNET, Global Head of Research & Development for PlayStation, Dominic Mallinson mentioned that wireless and eye-tracking capabilities were VR headset features that are of interest. Several VR-related Sony patents have revealed that the next PSVR will be completely wireless. Last month, Sony confirmed that it was working on eye and head movement tracking VR technology. The tech essentially guesses what the player is looking at to help provide a more responsive, less-nauseous experience. Working hand-in-hand with this new tracking tech is a graphics-rendering feature named “foveated rendering” which aims to shorten GPU load times by only displaying high-resolution graphics to what the player is looking at.

According to leaked specs recovered by Inverse, Sony’s next PSVR headset, which will reportedly cost $250[USD] (about R3,500), will support, “2,560-by-1,440 resolution, a stable 120-hertz refresh rate, provide a 220-degree field of view, five hours of battery life, and eye-tracking support.” To paint a picture of how much of a difference this is: the current PSVR model features 1,920-by-1,080 resolution, a refresh rate that wavers between 90 to 120-hertz, a considerably more limited 100-degree field of view, no eye-tracking capabilities, and the headset was wired so it wasn’t equipped with a battery.

The image below is from one of Sony’s recently published patents. It features an individual using a wireless VR headset and shows three components of the device’s Processing Unit.

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Mallinson revealed that PSVR’s next iteration will not be released with the PlayStation 5. Some leaks have pinned late 2020 and early 2021 as the release window for the next PSVR. As the next PSVR will only be compatible with the next-gen PlayStation console (at least, at first), this bit of info has added to the speculation that the ‘PS5’ will be released sometime before the final quarter of 2020.

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