I’m glad the current PlayStation VR headset works on PS5, but I’m ready for the next step beyond backward compatibility
How early is too early to start thinking about what’s next for PlayStation VR on PS5?
Not that I’m looking forward to dropping hundreds more on a new headset so soon after buying a PlayStation 5, but I am excited by the potential leap forward for console-based VR. We’ve seen such great strides in the PC VR space, and as an avid PSVR supporter, I’m waiting for it to catch up.
While PlayStation VR is supported on PS5, things have been fairly muted so far, all things considered. For one, the hardware doesn’t just work out of the box – you need to request a free adapter (mine showed up this morning) before you can revisit your old PS4 VR favorites on PlayStation 5.
On that note, while we’ve heard a lot about PS5 boosts for PS4 games, there hasn’t been much to say about PSVR games being substantially better on PS5. One exception: Blood and Truth. On PS5, it’ll support a higher resolution and framerate (“up to 90FPS”) and better asset and texture details.
Our latest update means you already have the new enhancements for next gen to make the experience
— PlayStation London Studio (@LondonStudioHQ) November 9, 2020
Another point worth bringing up: Hitman 3 and No Man’s Sky are getting PS5 versions, but when it comes to the VR modes, you’ll need to stick with the PS4 versions even if you’re playing on PS5. In other words, the current PlayStation VR model is supported on PS5 as a backward-compatible device.
Hideaki Nishino, PlayStation’s Senior Vice President of Platform Planning & Management, recently spoke with AV Watch about this topic. The interview sheds light on why things are the way they are.
“For those consumers that purchased a PSVR and own a PS5, the idea of not being able to connect a piece of software is ludicrous,” Nishino told AV Watch in an interview translated by Video Games Chronicle. “And we are thinking there is merit in [PS5’s] performance boost too.”
As for what the future holds for PlayStation VR as a platform, Nishino said his current answer would be that he’s “looking forward to VR games that truly make the best use of the PS5.”
Nishino said that he “can’t comment any further than that,” but he does have “high expectations.”
What does that mean from a timeline perspective? When could there be a PS5-only headset? (We’ve seen the patents.) In late October, PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan told The Washington Post that “Sony believes in VR” – but he thinks “we’re more than a few minutes from the future of VR.”
“We definitely believe at some point in the future, VR will represent a meaningful component of interactive entertainment,” Ryan said. “Will it be this year? No. Will it be next year? No. But will it come at some stage? We believe that. And we’re very pleased with all the experience that we’ve gained with PlayStation VR, and we look forward to seeing where that takes us in the future.”
I’d like to see them knock it out of the park. If that takes a couple more years, I’m ready to wait.