With CES kicking off tomorrow in Las Vegas, the rumors of what we could possibly see are swirling more than ever. PlayStation seems to be next in line for a big headset release, although they have stated many times that consumers should not be expecting a new headset with the release of the fifth version of the PlayStation that should be coming out in 2020.
Even if the newest console from Sony doesn’t launch with a second installment of virtual reality hardware, the community is expecting the VR hardware not too many months behind the console itself. The newest virtual hardware is expecting to come with a plethora of upgrades, something that has been in the works since the first release back in 2016.
Eye-tracking seems to be the biggest and most improvement on Sony’s mind right now. In their latest software patent around virtual reality for the PS5, eye-tracking takes the front seat. The exact quote can be found below.
“Player-to-player eye contact (300) is used to establish (308) a private chat channel in an augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR) setting. Since maintaining eye contact requires agreement from both parties, it allows both players an equal amount of control when performing the mutual action. Eye-tracking may be used for determining (300) whether mutual eye contact has been established. In the case of AR, “inside out” eye tracking can be used, whereas in a VR setting only inside eye-tracking need be used. Techniques are described (e.g., 318) to confirm and establish a channel once eye contact has been held.”
Facebook also believes virtual reality can improve communication, and eye contact is the common theme with both companies. Varjo and Vive have already taken their hardware to the eye-tracking level, although they haven’t used it for virtual communication yet. Whichever company can get eye-tracking for communication and for foveated rendering will likely have the next best headset. That is what Sony wants to do.
In the back end of 2019, Dominic Mallinson, PlayStation’s Global Head of R&D, talked about what PlayStation could possibly do with eye-tracking in their headset.
“That’s the one that excites me the most… I think there will come a point in time in the not too distant future when you cannot launch a VR headset without eye tracking. It could have practical benefits, too: eye tracking can help reduce graphics load to make games perform better via a technique called foveated rendering, which could help a game console perform more like a high-end PC. It’s a win-win in that respect, For me, it’s a pretty obvious technology.”
Its obvious that Sony is looking to be very inclusive with what their new eye-tracking tech can do, and it will likely pay dividends going forward. Not many companies have multiple uses for eye-tracking, and it is very helpful that Sony will be the first consumer-focused headset that is incorporating great eye-tracking.
When it comes to CES this week, you can expect a large release, or at least a peak of a release, from Sony. On their website, they say that “The future is coming – At CES 2020 Sony is unveiling a unique vision of the future, bringing creativity and technology together like never before, to unleash new sensations and emotions.”
Sensations? Could they possibly be releasing or showing some external hardware that will help consumers feel virtual reality? Its a long shot, but we are surely excited to see what they company comes up with during their presentations this week. For more VR news and gaming community updates, make sure to check back at VRGear.com.