The PS5 could support a new accessory for Sony's PlayStation VR headset, one which more authentically simulates the behavior of a virtual reality user from a remote location via telepresence technology.
As first discovered by LetsGoDigital, the device patent was filed by Sony Interactive with USPTO in October, but only become accessible to the public last month, revealing images and extensive descriptions of what's referred to as an "Actuator apparatus."
PS5 specs – what's inside the next-generation PlayStation console?
In essence, the apparatus is a spherical device with an attached camera that would simulate the VR user's head motions remotely in real time, while also providing a 360 degree view of the room it's situated in directly to the headset itself. This would enable those in proximity to the device to get a better idea of the user's body language, and the patent even suggests it could effectively convey their emotional states (depicting sadness, for instance, if the user - and thus the device - tilts its head down).
Naturally, this sounds like technology that's more useful for conference calls in Silicon Valley than anything else, with the best already available counterpart being Facebook's Portal infrastructure, which simulates a similar VR space for remote meetings. However, we could easily see this apparatus have its uses for multiplayer and party VR games on PS5, especially as Sony continues to develop a next-gen virtual reality headset for its upcoming successor to the PS4.
That console is due to release sometime in Holiday 2020 (around the same time as the Xbox Project Scarlett), so it's likely we'll hear more official info early next year, but a number of leaked Sony patents and fresh photos from developers of the PS5 devkit have given us a good idea of what to expect. Now all that's left is to sit and wait for the inevitable PlayStation Meeting invitations to start arriving.
For more, check out more upcoming PS4 games for 2019 and beyond, or watch our latest episode of Dialogue Options below.