After all the hubbub last year and the relative quiet this year, it’d be easy to assume virtual reality is dying. But we’re right on the precipice of some huge VR games – Skyrim, Fallout, and Doom are all hitting VR headsets this year, with Skyrim and Doom both headed for PlayStation VR. Sony’s preparing for the rush of VR interest with an updated version of its headset.
The new headset isn’t a total overhaul, though. It’s more of a streamlining with some crucial new features.
If you have a 4K television, the big feature worth checking out is the new ability for the headset to pass HDR signals through. The previous version required you to swap cables if you wanted to play HDR-compatible games on your fancy 4K screen and then jump into VR for some Rez action or something like that. With this new version of the headset, that’s no longer necessary.
The model also features built-in earbud headphones and a slimmed down cable to make the experience of using the PlayStation VR that much simpler.
While the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift are arguably more powerful systems and can definitely attach to more powerful computers, there’s no bones about it – PlayStation VR is the simplest VR system and, even after this update, still the least expensive of the three major options, Sony confirmed in the PlayStation VR official FAQ.
The HDR passthrough ability won’t be coming to the original PlayStation VR headset, unfortunately – it seems like it’s a physical wiring thing, not a software update, so if you were an early adopter, you’d need to pick up a new headset. All games, though, are compatible with both the original – model CUH-ZVR1 – and the updated model CUH-ZVR2.
So if you were thinking of picking up a PlayStation VR headset, you might want to wait a bit. Sony hasn’t yet made available the exact timing on the release, though it can’t be long.