Sony Officially Working on a Next-Generation VR Headset
After more than a year of speculation, it is now official that sony is working on a next-generation virtual reality headset. A recently-posted job listing confirms that Sony is building a “next-generation VR head mounted display”.
The job listing was discovered by UploadVR yesterday. The listing states that Sony is indeed building a next-generation VR headset and the company is looking for about 15 people who will be “in charge of mechanical design of the lens barrel supporting the optical system” along with a small and lightweight housing, the radiation design and the development of a jig to be used for the optical system evaluation among others.
Could it be a PSVR 2?
It has been widely expected that Sony's next-generation VR headset would be a PSVR 2 so it is tempting to instinctively assume that the confirmation is for the much-anticipated PlayStation VR 2 headset for PS 5 but it isn't so obvious from the advert. Sony might as well be developing a completely different headset.
The job listing was posted by the larger Sony Corporation rather than the Sony Interactive Entertainment which is the Sony division in charge of the PlayStation operation. For starters, a part of the translated text (originally in Japanese) talks of the job posting as being that for the development of a mechanism for the headset “with a view to five years from now”.
While the translation from Japanese isn't clear, it seems to suggest that the role will entail working on a headset to be released in five years' time rather than the release of a new headset five years after the original PSVR as was originally intended. The original PSVR was released in 2016 so its successor, the PSVR 2, should have arrived by next year. Some have posited that this could mean Sony is working on an entirely new VR headset, a PSVR 3, that would succeed PSVR 2 and that the schedule for the release of PSVR 2 should remain unaffected. Perhaps it could even be an entirely new and non-PSVR headset, even a standalone or a PC-based virtual reality headset.
The job listing also mentions the delivery of “beautiful images and comfortable ease of use to customers”.
The job listing finally confirms that Sony is committed to and invested in the long-term future of virtual reality. The PS 5 is set to launch during the 2020 holiday season and will support the original PSVR. There is so far a lot of evidence to suggest that Sony's PSVR 2 is also in the works and that it will be released some time after the PS 5 launch or at least within the PS 5 generation.
The listing is listed as “New” on the Sony website although the posting date hasn't been listed. It is likely the page was updated between late July and early August.
For the VR community, it is certainly welcome news to learn that Sony is working on a next-generation VR headset and that a big tech corporation is still in play in the immersive hardware ecosystem. It could only mean some good tidings for the future of VR.