PlayStation's new VR controllers look to be huge improvement

Dusty Ricketts
Northwest Florida Daily News

It was just a couple of weeks ago that I wrote about Sony announcing development of a next generation virtual reality headset to be compatible with the PlayStation 5.

I wasn't expecting a follow-up so soon, but Sony went and showed off the design of the new controllers being designed specifically for the new VR headset.

The new controllers being developed for PlayStation's next generation virtual reality headset have been revealed.

When Sony announced it was developing a new virtual reality headset for the PS5, it said new controllers were being developed for it. That alone was great news to me.

I've owned a PSVR headset since it released in October 2016. While I love the headset and completely immersive experience it provides, it absolutely has been held back by its reliance on the old PlayStation Move controllers that were designed way back for the PS3 as Sony's attempt to cash in on the popularity of the Nintendo Wii's motion controls.

The Move controllers were not designed to be virtual reality controllers. The PlayStation 4 Camera, required to use PSVR, tracks the movement of the headset and the Move controllers by reading the position of the LED lights on them. Unfortunately, it's easy for the tracking to become slightly off on the controllers.

The Move controllers also are missing analog sticks, the main way character movement has been controlled in console games for the past 20-plus years. To get around this, many games like "Batman: Arkham VR" and "Vader Immortal" have made you teleport around the level, completely breaking the immersion that VR creates.

The controllers being developed for the next gen VR headset appear to fix those issues, and they're essentially everything I was hoping for.

Each controller (there's one for the left hand and one for the right) has an analog stick, inside out tracking rather than relying on the LED ball the Move controllers use, haptic feedback for better rumble mechanics, adaptive triggers and touch sensors.

Sony has said prototypes of the new controllers are going out to developers soon to start using the near-final version of controllers when designing and testing their games.

Like the Oculus controllers, the next gen PSVR controllers have an orb design, each has an analog stick, one trigger, one action button on the side that will be pushed with the middle finger, two other input buttons (triangle and square on the left controller, circle and X on the right), and the Create button on the left controller and the Options button on the right.

The images released by Sony show the new controllers being all black, unlike the black and white design of the PlayStation 5's DualSense controllers. If that remains the final design, that would lead me to believe that PlayStation's next gen VR headset probably will feature an all-black look, unlike the current PSVR that is black and white.

While Sony hasn't announced any exclusives coming to its next gen VR headset, some developers have already announced games in development for it. One of those is "Low-Fi," a sci-fi adventure game from Iris VR Inc.

Dusty Ricketts

Dusty Ricketts can be reached at dricketts@thedestinlog.com. He is currently playing "Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury" and "Marvel's Spider-Man." You can find him to play online through his PlayStation Network ID: DustRAG316.