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Games: Sony gears up to launch its latest virtual reality system, PlayStation VR 2

Gamers are itching to strap on the new PlayStation VR 2 headset
Neil McGreevy

PlayStation VR 2

AS A kid of the 80s, I enjoyed a veritable explosion of 3D virtual reality. From donning blue and red cardboard glasses to watch Jaws 3D (I begged for a box of Shredded Wheat just for the free specs, and Mum made me scoff every one of those poisonous pillows) and clicking through slides on the View-Master to 1983's Tomytronic gaming binoculars – the source of envy in many a playground.

But it was 2016's PlayStation VR that finally made me feel like I was truly 'in' a virtual world. While it didn't become the game-changing tech The Lawnmower Man promised, Sony's first toe-dip into virtual reality became the most successful VR headset on the market, shifting over five million units.

Last week, the company officially revealed its latest treat for your eyeballs. At CES 2022, Sony yanked the shroud off PlayStation VR 2, set for release this year. Now, more than ever, we need to shut the world out, and Sony's attempt to pull the tool over your eyes takes VR gaming to a new level, allowing players to escape into game worlds like never before.

Powered by the PS5, Sony says, "with the headset on and controllers in hand, players will feel a heightened range of sensations unlike any other – thanks to the creativity of the game worlds being built by our world-class developers, and the latest technology incorporated into the hardware."

What this means is your peepers are treated to 4K HDR visuals, with a 110-degree view and higher frame rates on its OLED displays. Stuffed with eye-tracking, a microphone and four cameras to track the user and controllers, it'll even fondle your noggin with vibrating feedback.

Sadly, it's not wireless, but while the original PSVR had players plugged into more wires than an ICU patient, its successor tethers users to their PS5 with just one cable.

While there's no official peek at the headset yet, we got a glimpse of the Sense controllers, which are a far cry from the glowing pastel pipes of the PS4 effort. The black orbs, featuring adaptive triggers and haptic feedback, look like futuristic medical devices, and Sony claim they're more natural to hold.

But it's all about the games, and after the launch deluge, things slowed to a trickle for the original PSVR. Sony say they have plenty of PSVR 2 experiences lined up, and revealed their marquee title – Horizon Call of the Mountain.

A spin-off from the upcoming Horizon Zero Dawn, gamers play a new character who meets franchise star Aloy and a host of familiar faces, pootling about in the series' robotic dinosaur-infested apocalypse.

With the mighty PS5 powering their new doodad, PlayStation VR 2 is sure to spank the senses of those blessed with two eyes, but while Sony hasn't released pricing, it won't come cheap. Given the first doohickey was 350 quid, it could end up costing as much as the PS5 itself.

While it won't replace your living room's 42-incher, PlayStation VR 2 will hopefully have enough long-term support to gather less dust than the original.

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