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Sony Playstation VR2 official photos reveal potential problem

Sony Playstation VR2 revealed (official photos)
Sony Playstation VR2 revealed (official photos)

Sony posted photos of the much-anticipated Playstation VR2 (specs here).  Here’s what the photos show about what the Playstation VR2 can and cannot do.

 

Sony Playstation VR2 rear view
Sony Playstation VR2 rear view

Just as I had stated in my preview, the Playstation VR2 is a wired headset, and looks both sleek and comfortable.  In my opinion, it looks somewhat similar to the Samsung Odyssey (reviewed here).

Samsung Odyssey (left) and Oculus Rift S (right)
Samsung Odyssey (left) and Oculus Rift S (right)

One surprise to me was the arrangement of the cameras.  It has four cameras, and all the cameras are forward facing.  Even assuming that the cameras are ultrawide or even fisheye lenses, it seems that the headset would not be able to see more than about 270 degrees in total.  By comparison, the Oculus Quest has cameras on the corners of the headset facing outward diagonally. The Quest 2’s upper row of cameras is almost turned sideways.

From left to right: Oculus Quest, Quest 2 and Rift S
From left to right: Oculus Quest, Quest 2 and Rift S

How will the PSVR2’s camera placement affect its tracking performance?  When the original Oculus Quest was first released, I noticed that its hand tracking performance wasn’t as good as that of the Oculus Rift S, which has five cameras, two of which are aimed directly to the side.

The Samsung Odyssey, which has 2 forward facing cameras, had significantly worse hand-tracking performance compared to the Oculus Quest, Quest 2 or Rift S.  The PSVR2 has two extra cameras, and the upper ones are at least aimed a little bit farther to the side than the bottom row of cameras, which should help increase coverage.  However, I am guessing that the hand tracking will be noticeably worse than that of the original version of the Quest when it first launched.  That is to say, the hand tracking might not be as good as that of the Quest 2.

However, there is a silver lining.  Months after the Quest was released, there were firmware updates that improved the Quest’s tracking performance so that its hand tracking became about as good as that of the Rift S.  This suggests that it is possible, with clever AI, for the PSVR2 to have good hand tracking.  Whether that will actually happen though, is anyone’s guess.  In any case, I look forward to the PSVR 2 if I can somehow find a PS5 without paying insane prices…

Playstation VR2 (side view)
Playstation VR2 (side view)

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Mic Ty

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