We don’t have much to talk about in the way of new features, but Sony did manage to address some of the bigger annoyances we had with the release model. Notably, the lack of HDR pass through on the breakout box — the device that connects the VR headset to your PlayStation console — and less mess involved in the setup.
With the popularity of Ultra HD televisions with HDR, the inability for the breakout box to pass the signal with HDR to the television set is inexcusable. It still can’t do it while the PS VR is in use, but you no longer have to unplug the unit when it’s not being used to enjoy other games with HDR.
The mess of chords is another major gripe, as it both increases setup time (as it’s not something I’d leave plugged in before without HDR pass through), and the sheer number of them decreased the overall experience. It’s hard to imagine you’re Batman when Bruce Wayne can’t stop tripping over, or accidentally unplugging cables.
You’ll still have to contend with wires, but a “slimmer, streamlined connection cable” that includes integrated stereo headphone cables is a step in the right direction.
Here’s the entire Q&A, from the PlayStation Blog:
Is there a new PlayStation VR model? How is it different?
A hardware update to PlayStation VR is being prepared. The new version, model number CUH-ZVR2, features an updated design that enables the stereo headphone cables to be integrated with the VR headset and a slimmer, streamlined connection cable. There’s also an updated Processor Unit that supports HDR pass through, enabling users to enjoy HDR-compatible PS4 content on a TV without having to disconnect the Processor Unit in between the TV and the PS4 system. This function can be used only when the VR headset is turned off.
When will the new PS VR model become available in North America? How much will it be?
We will share details on the launch timing in North America at a later date. The pricing of the PS VR bundles will remain the same.
How can I distinguish between the old PS VR headset and the new one when I’m purchasing?
The packaging for PlayStation VR will change slightly when the new model hits stores. To differentiate, look for the model number printed on the box. The previous PS VR’s model number is CUH-ZVR1, and the new PS VR’s model number is CUH-ZVR2. Also, the product image on the packaging will be updated to show changes on the new model, like the integrated headphones on the VR headset.
If I already own a PS VR, can I swap out my old Processor Unit with the updated one?
Because the cables of CUH-ZVR1 and CUH-ZVR2 are different, you cannot swap the Processor Units.
Are the PS VR games I already own compatible with the new model?
Yes, all PS VR games are compatible with both PS VR models.
Sony didn’t share a release date for the PlayStation VR CUH-ZVR2 in the US, but did promise to “share details on the launch timing in North America at a later date.” In Japan, the new hardware comes out on October 14, and costs 44,980 yen ($398).