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PS5 New VR Controller’s Design and Features Add a Stronger Sense of Immersion to VR Play

Updated: Aug 10, 2021

Sony recently revealed the design for the PlayStation 5’s (PS5) virtual reality (VR) system along with its features, some of which come from the PS5’s DualSense controller.

ps5 vr controller with hands

Credit: PlayStation Blog

Hideaki Nishino, Sony’s Senior Vice President, Planning Planning and Management, stated that Sony Interactive Entertainment’s Product, Engineering and Design teams collaborated to build the controller from the ground up with the goal of “making a huge leap from current-gen VR gaming” in mind. He also mentioned that the controller is expected to provide a much deeper sense of presence and a stronger feeling of immersion in VR experiences, reiterating his statement in February 2021 when he announced the development of the PS5’s VR system.

The design for the controller of the PS5’s VR system takes on an “orb” shape similar to those of the Oculus Rift’s. It allows the user to hold the controller naturally while playing with a high degree of freedom. The controller will feel comfortable in anyone’s hands regardless of their hand size. The development team also took feedback and sight from users of old PlayStation controllers to develop the new controller’s design.

Oculus Touch Controllers

A pair of Oculus Touch controllers for the Oculus Rift Credit: Samwalton9 via Wikipedia

As previously mentioned, the controller of the PS5’s VR system includes some features of the PS5’s DualSense controller; haptic feedback and adaptive triggers, features that are present with the DualSense controller, are included in the PS5 VR system’s controller. These features from the DualSense controller are said to enhance the user’s experience by adding a realistic sense of touch to the otherwise visual-and-audio-only experience in VR.

The new controller has finger touch detection that will enable the user to make more natural gestures during gameplay. The controllers equally divided the various buttons of the PlayStation’s controller to both of them: the left controller contains the triangle and square buttons as well the appropriately placed L1 and L2 trigger buttons. The right controller gets the circle and cross buttons and the R1 and R2 trigger buttons. Additionally, the “Create” button goes to the left controller and the Options button is on the right. Both controllers have a grip button that allows users to pick up in-game objects.

Both left and right controllers will have joysticks attached to them, but it was not stated if these joysticks are the same ones used for the DualSense controller. You might recall that there have been cases reported of joystick drift on the DualSense controllers after only four months of intensive use, so if Sony will be using the same joysticks, it could affect the longevity of the VR controllers.

Hideaki didn’t mention how much the PS5’s VR system will cost nor did he share when the VR system will be released; he previously said that the VR system won’t be available in 2021. However, he stated that prototypes of the VR controller will be sent to the development community soon, which might mean that the VR system could come out in 2022 at the soonest.


Written by John Paul Joaquin

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