New Patent Filing Shows PSVR Controller With Inside-Out Tracking
Should PlayStation VR 2 see the light of day, it will most certainly come with a new tracking system and virtual reality controllers. A newly discovered Sony patent filing shows what the successor to the Move controllers could look like.
A History of VR Controller Patent Filings
Sony has been patenting virtual reality controller designs for years now. The PSVR 2 controllers appear to be gradually taking shape.
The newly-discovered patent gives us a glimpse of the new PSVR controllers for the yet to be announced PSVR 2 headset but it is not the first Sony patent on VR controllers. A patent was published in early 2019 which showed a controller design that has an analog stick and wrist strap.
In early 2020, Sony also won a patent for virtual reality controllers with finger tracking. A research paper published in May 2020 and which describes AI-supported finger tracking further lends credence to the reports that Sony is working on precise finger tracking.
New PSVR Controllers Discovered September 2020
The latest Sony patent filing was discovered by the Let’s Go Digital website and was published on September 24, 2020. The parent shows virtual reality controllers with crescent-shaped tracking rings which look like Valve’s Index controllers.
The text is in Japanese but the designs shown in the diagrams are consistent with the various other patents and research filings that have emerged over the past few years. The patent includes detailed diagrams of the devices showing different angles of the device.
The controllers in the diagrams in the latest patent filing look like Valve’s Index Controllers and feature a side-mounted ring that will likely hold the sensors for 6DoF tracking. The controllers’ main grip also looks similar to Valve Index’s finger-tracking technology. A Sony research video emerged early this year which confirmed that the tech giant was indeed working on such a technology.
Users frustrated with the current PSVR Move Controllers will be pleased to hear that the new controllers also feature analog sticks. The diagrams also show what appear to be two face buttons as well as two smaller buttons which could perhaps be the equivalents of the PS5’s ‘Share’ and ‘Options’ buttons. Overall, the patent shows that the new controllers will have fewer buttons than those on the original Move controllers so it is still a mystery if and how these new controllers might be compatible with the old PS4 VR games.
The diagrams also appear to show that the new controllers might have triggers and that the PSVR headset might in itself be able to track the position of the controllers. This implies that Sony’s new PSVR 2 headset is likely to use the inside-out tracking system that is similar to what is in the Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift S but different from the tracking in the original PSVR that leverages a user-facing camera.
Patent filings may ultimately not amount to much but this filing is promising and significant as it is consistent with the other Sony patent filings that have emerged over the past year or so. PS5 will be launching in November and will support the original PSVR headset. However, PSVR 2 or any other iteration of the original PSVR won’t be releasing alongside the next-generation console. Hopefully, the new year might come with more promising Sony news on its future VR plans.