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Sony releasing updated PlayStation VR in Japan this month

Western release to follow, introduces stereo headphone cable support and new Processor Unit with HDR pass through

It's been a remarkably quiet first year for Sony's virtual reality offering, but a new model of the headset could indicate renewed support for the device in the coming months.

A post on the PlayStation Blog indicates an updated version of PlayStation VR is heading to shelves soon, with a few new features over the original model that launched last year.

This includes a slimmer, streamlined connection cable and a tweaked design that enables the integration of stereo headphone cables.

"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," writes SIE America social media director Sid Shuman. "This function can be used only when the VR headset is turned off."

Shuman stresses that the new, slimline cable means that current PSVR owners will not be able to simply swap their Processor Unit for the new one.

Naturally, all previously released PSVR games will be compatible with the updated model, and Sony has promised the price of official bundles will also remain the same.

According to Gematsu, the refreshed PlayStation VR launches in Japan on October 14th, with Shuman promising to share details on the launch timing for North America "at a later date". While there doesn't appear to be anything about the new model on the European blog yet, it's a safe bet this will be rolled out to Europe and other territories in due course.

Shuman notes that while there will be some slight changes to the packaging, the best way to identify the new device will be the model number: CUH-ZVR2, as opposed to the original's CUH-ZVR1.

Since launching last October, PlayStation VR has gone on to outsell both premium VR headsets for PC, with SuperData reporting an installed base of 1.8m headsets back in June (compared to 667,000 for Vive and 383,000 for Rift).

Last week, PlayStation boss Andrew House spoke about how uncomfortable he was with such a strong margin and wished for more competition.

The flow of new releases for PlayStation VR is slow but steady, with Sony showcasing several new titles back at E3. These ranged from recognisable names like Skyrim VR and a Final Fantasy XV fishing spin-off to a duo of new titles from Supermassive Games and highly anticipated adventure Moss.

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