Just hours after Sony announced the final name and release window for the PlayStation 5, LetsGoDigital unearthed a patent filing for what might be the next PlayStation VR headset. You may remember LetsGoDigital as the site that first publicized the PS5 dev kit patent, which, based on Wired’s recent report, is an accurate representation of the device that developers are receiving. As for this patent, it was just made public this week.
Images in the filing show a familiar-looking head-mounted display, but with a few key changes. For one, there are four cameras in all — two on the front of the HMD, one on the back, and one on the PlayStation Move controller. There will be LEDs installed on the headset to track movement as well, and a built-in microphone.
A separate camera (like the PlayStation Camera that ships with the current model of the PSVR) can be used as well for more precise tracking, but it’s unclear if this will be necessary to operate the device. Virtual reality headsets have made significant strides in the three years since the PSVR hit the scene, so it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see the device pick up a wide range of new features and abilities by the time it launches in late 2020 or beyond.
LetsGoDigital also notes that Sony discusses making the headset wireless in the patent, but this would require Sony to include Bluetooth connectivity and build in a power source and video and audio signal source.
Finally, Sony also mentions a “transparent mode” in the patent, which seems to imply that you will still be able to at least partially see the outside world while wearing the headset and navigating menus or sitting on the home screen before you actually jump into a game. A mirror is apparently how Sony will make this work, and it also opens up the possibility of augmented reality (AR) applications and games on the PSVR 2.
It’s worth noting the wait between the launch of the PS4 and the launch of the PSVR was three years, but now that Sony has established itself in the VR marketplace, perhaps the PSVR 2 will arrive more quickly.