Hideaki Nishino, Senior VP of Platform Planning and Management revealed what the players will use to play games on Sony’s next-gen VR system on PlayStation 5 today. These new controllers will play a critical role for games that want to experience VR on their PS5. In short, these new controllers are mission-critical to achieving a deeper sense of presence and a stronger feeling of immersion in VR. By using the lessons learned when developing the DualSense controllers, and understanding how games ‘feel,’ gave developers new ways to tap into the sense of touch.
And while the shape of these new controllers feels out of this world, it’s actually due to being ergonomic to the player. The orb shape allows players to hold the controller in a more natural way while giving a higher degree of freedom. “There are no constraints with how you’re moving your hands, providing developers with the ability to create unique gameplay experiences,” says Nishino. The design is well-balanced and comfortable to hold and Sony conducted tests with a range of hand sizes (thank you!) and decades of insight from previous iterations of PlayStation controllers.
The new VR controllers give the player the ability to feel in games and interact with them in what is described as a ‘visceral’ way. The team working on next-gen VR included several key features of the DualSense controllers, including adaptive triggers, haptic feedback, finger touch detection, tracking, and action buttons.
● Adaptive triggers: Each VR controller (Left and Right) includes an adaptive trigger button that adds palpable tension when pressed, similar to what’s found in the DualSense controller. If you’ve played a PS5 game, you’ll be familiar with the tension in the L2 or R2 buttons when you press them, such as when you’re drawing your bow to fire an arrow. When you take that kind of mechanic and apply it to VR, the experience is amplified to the next level.
● Haptic feedback: The new controller will have haptic feedback optimized for its form factor, making every sensation in the game world more impactful, textured and nuanced. When you’re traversing through the rocky desert or trading blows in melee combat, you’ll feel the difference, magnifying the extraordinary visual and audio experience that’s so central to VR.
● Finger touch detection: The controller can detect your fingers without any pressing in the areas where you place your thumb, index, or middle fingers. This enables you to make more natural gestures with your hands during gameplay.
● Tracking: The VR controller is tracked by the new VR headset through a tracking ring across the bottom of the controller.
● Action buttons/analog sticks: The Left controller contains one analog stick, the triangle and square buttons, a “grip” button (L1), trigger button (L2) and Create button. The Right controller contains one analog stick, the cross and circle buttons, a “grip” button (R1), trigger button (R2) and Options button. The “grip” button can be used to pick up in-game objects, as one example.
Nishino confirmed that prototypes will be in the hands of developers soon and iterated how excited he is to see what the development community creates with the new equipment.