Home Gadgets PSVR 2: Everything We Know About Playstation VR2 & PS5 (Updated January 2023). Sony ps VR

PSVR 2: Everything We Know About Playstation VR2 & PS5 (Updated January 2023). Sony ps VR

PSVR 2: Everything We Know About Playstation VR2 PS5 (Updated January 2023)

Playstation VR2 or PSVR 2 is officially confirmed and it’s not long before you can finally get your hands on it.

We originally published this overview of PS5-powered VR all the way back at the beginning of 2020 and have been updating it periodically. This latest update in late January 2023 comes just a few weeks before the headset’s release on February 22, 2023.

Following the PS5 launch in November 2020, Sony confirmed its future plans for VR in February 2021. Very little was known at the time, but Sony gave us our first look at Playstation VR2 (PSVR 2) at CES 2022, alongside an announcement trailer for Horizon Call of the Mountain. A gradual trickle of new information followed and since then, we’ve now got the full rundown on specifications, pricing, the controllers and more, alongside a large list of confirmed PSVR 2 games.

There’s a lot of information to get through, so we’ve rounded up these details and other bits of info to help fill in the picture. PSVR 2 is shaping up to be a key aspect of Sony’s plans for 2023 and beyond, so here’s everything we know about Playstation VR2.

PSVR 2: Everything We Know About PS5 VR

PSVR 2 Design Revealed

After a year on from its initial announcement, we finally know what PSVR 2 actually looks like. The headset boasts a sleek white look with a white shell similar to the PS5 console’s faceplates (and not too far off from a Meta Quest 2). Take a look below.

Not bad, right? We’re keeping the halo strap design from the original and you can see four front-facing cameras on the visor for inside-out tracking. The motion controllers also now have the same white shell (you can see the initial designs in black below). But let’s get into what all of this actually means.

PSVR 2 Release Date

PSVR 2 will release on February 22, 2023. Confirmed through a Playstation Blog post last November, there had previously been considerable speculation about whether it’d launch in 2022 or 2023.

In a separate Playstation Blog post in February 2021, CEO Jim Ryan confirmed a new headset is in the works. Then, at CES in January 2022, Ryan confirmed the device would be called Playstation VR2 (it had previously been referred to as ‘the next-generation of VR on PS5’). During a recent developer conference, the company reportedly codenamed the headset NGVR, or ‘Next-Generation VR’.

There was some uncertainty about if PSVR 2 could ever happen. In the weeks leading up to launch of the PS5, Sony delivered some mixed messages about the future of VR. In an interview with The Washington Post in October 2020, Playstation CEO Jim Ryan said the future of the platform was “more than a few minutes away”, and the recent closure of Sony’s VR-dedicated studio in the UK didn’t inspire much confidence. Now, we can rest easy that those fears were unfounded: PSVR 2 (or PS5 VR) is nearly here.

PSVR 2 Specs: Near-4K Resolution, Wider Field Of View And A PSVR vs Quest 2 Comparison

Official PSVR 2 specs have now been announced and confirm UploadVR’s report of the first reveal details in May 2021.

The headset features a massive jump in display resolution over the original with 2000×2040 per eye and retains an OLED display with HDR support. It’s also got a 110 degree field of view and new features like eye-tracking and in-headset vibration. Below is the spec sheet stacked up next to the original PSVR’s specs and a comparison to Meta’s Quest 2, too. You can also read a much larger comparison between Quest 2 and Meta Quest Pro right here.

Specs PSVR 2 PSVR Quest 2
Display Per Eye 2000×2040 960×1080 1832×1920
Display Type OLED OLED LCD
HDR? Yes No No
Refresh Rate 90Hz/120Hz 90Hz/120Hz 72Hz/90Hz/120Hz (limited to only some apps)
Field of View 110°, direction undisclosed Estimated around 95 degrees horizontal, 111 degrees vertical Up to around 96 degrees
Lens Separation Adjustable and fit can be guided by eye tracking Yes 3-point adjustable
Eye Tracking? Yes No No
Hand Tracking? No No Yes
Headset Vibration Yes No No
Microphone? Yes Yes Yes
Audio Headphone jack Headphone jack Built-in speakers, headphone jack
Controllers Bundled Sense controllers with buttons, sticks, capacitive touch sensors, high fidelity haptic feedback, trigger resistance Support for DualShock 4, PS3-era Playstation Move controllers and rifle-shaped Aim controller Bundled Oculus Touch controllers with buttons, sticks and capacitive touch sensors

PSVR 2 Will Run On PS5 Via A Single Wire

This one’s a bit of a no-brainer but, just in case you didn’t know; PSVR 2 will run on PS5. Sony’s latest console saw a global release in November 2020 and, although supply has been an issue due to the semiconductor shortage, stock levels have since improved.

In February 2021’s blog post, Ryan confirmed that the new headset connects to the console via a single cord, meaning a much simpler setup than the mess of wires included in the original PSVR. There’s no confirmation of any possible wireless connectivity just yet, but we’ll come to that in a bit. Either way, the added processing power of the PS5 should go a long way to improving the PSVR experience. Again, more on that further down.

PSVR 2 Has Inside-Out Tracking – You Won’t Need A Camera

The original PSVR had a camera-based tracking system that required you to place a Playstation-branded camera in front of your play area. It allowed for full positional tracking when facing the lens, but there was a lot of drift and motion controls would be lost if their lights were obscured from the camera, so no turning your back around. PSVR 2 won’t have this issue – cameras on the headset will track the controllers and thus give you a much easier setup and a much greater degree of freedom.

PSVR 2 Features Include Eye Tracking, Foveated Rendering And

Beyond the PSVR 2 specs, the headset will have some big new features. The kit will be able to track the direction of your eyes, for example, to use a technique called foveated rendering. This is when an experience only fully renders the area of a screen you’re looking at; the rest isn’t fully rendered but this should be noticeable in your peripheral vision. This should help dramatically improve performance on PS5. It can also be used to mimic your eye’s gaze on a virtual avatar. It’ll also have a lens separation adjustment dial for people to find the clearest image possible with.

Eye Tracking Comes From Tobii

In 2022, Tobii confirmed it was in negotiations with Sony to be the eye tracking supplier for PSVR 2. In July, the company confirmed a deal had gone through and that the company’s eye tracking tech will be integrated into the headset. Currently you can find the company’s solution in other headsets like the HP Reverb G2 Omnicept Edition and the Vive Pro Eye.

It’s Got Haptics… In The Headset

Another interesting feature is the haptic feedback within the headset itself. This apparently isn’t as advanced a sensation as the haptic feedback seen in the new DualSense controllers. We’ll need to test out the effect it has on immersion and comfort across a number of apps to really get a good sense of how important it is to VR gaming.

The First PSVR 2 Game Has Been Announced

Sony’s CES announcement wasn’t just for a name – we also saw the first-ever PSVR 2 game confirmed. That game is Horizon Call of the Wild, a spin-off to Sony’s popular open-world series set in a post-apocalyptic world with robot dinosaurs. It’s been developed by Firesprite, the studio behind The Persistence that Sony acquired in 2021, with help from Horizon developer Guerrilla Games. You can see the first trailer for the project above – you won’t be playing as series protagonist Aloy but you will meet her as you take on the role of an entirely new character. It should be out at launch on February 22, 2023.

…And Others Have Been Confirmed

We’re keeping a list of all confirmed and rumored PSVR 2 games and right now, over 30 titles have been confirmed for the launch window alone.

Alongside Horizon, that includes a Firewall Zero Hour sequel, Firewall Ultra, Gran Turismo 7, Beat Saber, Resident Evil Village, Among Us VR and plenty more. Rumor-wise, Half-Life: Alyx leads the charge, but no official confirmation yet.

PS5 Specs Show Promise For PSVR 2

The PS5 is an absolute powerhouse, capable of delivering native 4K games with stunning graphics. Meanwhile, the specs promise PC-like power in console VR. Here’s a chart outlining the specs for the console stacked up against the PlayStation 4 and enhanced PlayStation 4 Pro, whipped up by our own David Heaney.

Based on these specs, PS5 is comparable to Nvidia’s RTX 2070 Super in terms of GPU power, and six times more powerful than the standard PlayStation 4. That will enable a huge leap forward for console VR games; hopefully no more blurry PSVR ports at the very least. In fact we’ve already seen as much; while No Man’s Sky is getting a native PSVR 2 port, the PlayStation 4 version can tell it’s running on PS5 via backwards compatibility and delivers much clearer visuals than on PlayStation 4 (see below).

Plus the console boasts an on-board solid-state drive (SSD) that Sony says reduces load times to near-instant. Again, that could have a big impact on crafting believable virtual worlds.

Playstation VR 2 Sense Controllers Are Inspired By DualSense

Another piece of official information Sony has revealed about PSVR 2 so far is for the controllers. Earlier in 2021, it revealed these orb-shaped devices, which look like a huge step up from the now decade-old PS Move controllers used with the first PSVR. Sony has since revealed these are officially called the Playstation VR 2 Sense controllers.

Sony confirmed the Sense controllers will even implement features seen in the PS5 DualSense controller. This device iterates on the DualShock 4 with advanced haptic feedback technology and trigger resistance, two features that seem ideal for future VR support. If you haven’t, give Astro’s Playroom a try and marvel at the feel of Astro’s footsteps across different surfaces, or the push-back you can feel when controlling him in spring mode. They give you plenty of hints about what to expect from the VR controller.

Finally, no more Move controllers.

Wireless, Resolution And : Sony Research Suggests Possibilities For The Future

Sony’s research into a successor headset for PSVR 2 dates back years. In mid-2019, Sony’s Vice President of RD, Dominic Mallinson gave a talk outlining what to expect from the next generation of VR headsets.

He outlined devices that boast ‘roughly double’ the pixel count of then-current headsets (PSVR, Rift, Vive) and support for high dynamic range, which brings a wider array of colors to the screen. Plus Mallinson pointed toward a wider field of view to see more of the virtual world, and optional wireless support.

Granted, PSVR 2 connects to PS5 via a single cord, but that might not be the whole story. Mallinson’s quotes pointed toward the possibility of two models, or maybe that wire being an option. This was just a prototyping phase, of course, and there’s been no indication of a wireless model coming anytime soon.

There’s also been a steady stream of revealing patents for a potential PSVR 2 over the past few years. We’ve seen filings for new tracking tech, systems for local multiplayer VR and more.

While You Wait, PS5 Supports PSVR For Backwards Compatibility

Not only is PS5 backwards compatible, but the console also supports the original PSVR, too. That means you can play original PSVR games on the headset, but you’ll need a special adapter to attach the PlayStation 4 Camera to your PS5. You can’t use the new HD Camera for PS5 with the headset, but Sony is sending out the adapter for free and bundling it in with new units. You’ll need to use all of your existing controllers for PSVR on PS5, though gamepad-supported games that don’t use tracking like Resident Evil 7 can use the next DualSense controller.

We also know that PSVR developers can update their titles with PS5-specific features, perhaps improving the visuals and performance of existing games. Along with the No Man’s Sky visual upgrades, Blood Truth has improvements as does Firewall: Zero Hour. Bear in mind that not every PSVR game is compatible with PS5. Sony says the ‘majority‘ of PlayStation 4 games will work on PS5, but we do know Robinson: The Journey from Crytek isn’t compatible with the new console.

…But PSVR Can’t Be Used With New PS5 Games

While backwards compatibility support for PSVR seems robust, one thing you can’t do is use the headset with new PS5 games. That means cross-generation games with PSVR support on PlayStation 4 like Hitman 3 and No Man’s Sky don’t support PSVR on PS5. You need to run the old versions via backwards compatibility for it to work.

What’s your take on PSVR 2? Are you looking forward to the headset? Let us know in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев below!

Note: This article was originally written and published by former UploadVR Editor Jamie Feltham. It has since been updated and maintained by UploadVR Staff Writer Henry Stockdale.

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PSVR 2 vs. PSVR – How Far Has Playstation VR Come Since 2016?

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Playstation VR 2 is just around the corner, and by this point Sony detailed all of the headsets core specs and features. Comparing PSVR vs. PSVR 2 specs side-by-side shows us how much has changed since Sony’s first consumer headset released in 2016.

Update (February 6th, 2023): With PSVR 2 launch day just around the corner, we’ve updated this spec sheet and commentary with the latest info, now including PSVR 2’s weight and cable length.

Among the major players in the VR space, Sony has bided its time on a follow-up to the original headset. By the time PSVR 2 releases on February 22nd, 2023, it will have been six years and four months since the original PSVR released back in 2016.

The original PSVR was released about six months after the first major consumer VR headsets—HTC Vive and Oculus Rift—hit the market back in 2016. However HTC, Oculus, and others have released many new headsets in the interim. To its credit, PSVR managed to feel competitive for many years after its release, but eventually began to feel dated as the rest of the pack charged ahead into VR’s ‘gen-2’ epoch.

Now here we are in 2023 with PSVR 2 on PS5 set to bring new life to Sony’s VR ambitions. Let’s take a look at how PSVR and PSVR 2 specs compare:

PSVR 2 Specs Features – Beyond the Numbers

It’s easy to get lost in the numbers so let’s really break down the major changes between the headsets.

Resolution, Field-of-view, HDR

For one, PSVR 2 has about four times the pixel count of PSVR. All things being equal, that means images inside the headset would look about four times sharper, which is a substantial improvement.

However, we know that all things won’t be equal. Sony quotes the field-of-view of PSVR 2 at 110° compared to 100° for PSVR 1. That means that while PSVR 2 has many more pixels, they’ll be stretched over a slightly wider area. Overall the sharpness of the headset should still be substantially better, but not quite as much as the sheer increase in pixels would suggest.

As for the field-of-view itself, 100° to 110° isn’t a huge leap, but you’d surely notice it if you compared the headsets side-by-side.

Unless a surprise headset beats it to the punch, PSVR 2 will be the first commercially available VR headset to launch with an HDR (high-dynamic range) display. That means it’s capable of a much wider range of brightness than a typical headset. Functionally this means the headset will be able to produce scenes with more life-like brightness which in theory could improve immersion considerably.

Granted, in our PSVR 2 preview we didn’t clearly notice the headset’s HDR capabilities, though it isn’t clear if the games on display had been optimized for the feature yet. Another possibility is that the HDR mode simply may have the kind of peak brightness you’d see from an HDR TV. So at this point it’s unclear if HDR will be a ‘nice to have’ feature, or something that defines the headset compared to its contemporaries.

Lenses IPD

The original PSVR was for a long time the only major headset on the market that didn’t use Fresnel lenses, which are known to cause glare (in exchange for other benefits). PSVR 2, on the other hand, will be following the rest of the industry which has long moved to Fresnel lenses as the industry standard.

The lenses in the original PSVR had a large enough eye-box that Sony didn’t feel the need to include an IPD adjustment (which adjusts the lenses to match the distance between your eyes). However, PSVR 2 does have an IPD adjustment which is a good idea for many reasons, so we’re glad to see this addition. Meanwhile, PSVR 2 retains the eye-relief feature found on the original PSVR, which is useful for dialing in the most comfortable view and to make room for those with glasses.

Ease-of-use Tracking

Even though this reads minimally on a spec sheet, this is a huge deal for PSVR 2—no more breakout box and no more external camera.

PSVR 1 ships with a large breakout box that accepts two plugs from the headset that run along a thick cable. The breakout box has to be connected to the host console by a USB cable and an HDMI cable (and also has to be plugged into the TV). And don’t forget that it needs its own power supply. That’s six… yes, six, individual plugs running into and out of the box.

Needless to say, the breakout box was a bit of a pain. Not only did it complicate the user’s A/V set up, in some cases it even created resolution and HDR issues for certain TVs; this was partly fixed with a later revision to the PSVR hardware, but even so the breakout box was a hindrance to the overall experience.

Oh and don’t forget about the camera. PSVR 1 required the PlayStation 4 camera for tracking, which meant having another peripheral plugged into your console. Not only that, but the camera was never made for VR in the first place and it suffered from poor tracking accuracy and limited coverage.

Sony has identified and eliminated these issues for PSVR 2. The breakout box is completely gone; the headset will plug into the PS5 with a single USB-C cable through the USB-C port conveniently placed right on the front of the PS5. That’s great news but we surely hope that little connector can hold the cable in tightly enough to not get yanked out if the cord gets tugged during intense VR sessions!

And the PlayStation 4 camera is gone too. Instead of using ‘outside-in’ tracking with a camera that sits on your TV, PSVR 2 has on-board cameras for ‘inside-out’ tracking. That means the cameras on the headset itself are used to track the player’s head movements. This eliminates another extra peripheral compared to PSVR 1.

But there’s a risk in Sony’s move to inside-out tracking. The quality of inside-out tracking varies greatly between headset makers. While the inside-out tracking on Quest 2, for instance, is very good, the inside-out tracking on Windows VR headsets leaves much to be desired. Only a handful of companies in the world have shown that they can deliver top-tier inside-out tracking for VR.

Granted, the bar is pretty low in this case. Tracking on PSVR 1 was arguably the worst among major headsets on the market, but it still sold very well regardless. Even if PSVR 2 has just ‘ok’ inside-out tracking, it could still be an improvement over the poor tracking of the original.

psvr, know, playstation, updated, january

All that said, Sony tends to be pretty serious about VR, and I expect they’ll have a decent solution for inside-out tracking, if not a very good one.

Pushing Buttons: The Playstation VR 2 might be the next big thing, if you can handle the nausea – and the cost

I n 2016, when the first wave of virtual reality headsets hit the market after years of hype, I was sceptical. I was totally sold on VR, having had my mind blown playing a space dogfighting SIM the previous year at internet-spaceship convention Eve Fanfest. But the original Oculus Rift and HTC Vive were just so unwieldy. They needed too many cables and so much space to operate that you had to dedicate a small room to them (which some of my more techy friends happily did). They were expensive, as were the PCs that you needed to run them. And having already played with VR several times at trade shows, the novelty was wearing off fast. Cool, sure, but the future of gaming? Nah.

The original Playstation VR headset was the least technically powerful of that first wave of home VR tech, and also the least annoying to use. I was obsessed with Tetris Effect, which is a transcendental experience in VR, and its music-game cousin Rez. I played Moss, a charming storybook-style adventure about a mouse. But then PSVR went back in my Bottomless Drawer of Video Game Peripherals, and I never felt the urge to get it out again.

I’ve been playing around with Playstation VR 2 this week, and it’s been so long since I played VR games that the novelty is kinda back. In some ways, gaming VR is a world away from where it was in 2016. The headset is lightweight, attractively futuristic, fits well and is tethered by only one, relatively unobtrusive cable. Setting it up took maybe five minutes. It plugs right into the Playstation 5, without a power brick or extra cables or a camera. The motion controllers look nice and work well. It’s got 3D audio with built-in earbuds, and eye-tracking so that you can select things in menus by looking at them. I was straight into a game 10 minutes after taking the thing out of the box. (If I were using my Meta Quest 2 headset, I wouldn’t need any cables at all.) The convenience of home VR is finally where it needs to be.

But in other ways VR is exactly where it was in 2016. Over the years, very few VR games have been worth playing. Most of the ones that Playstation VR 2 is launching with have been out for years – and you can’t play your old PSVR games on the new headset. Speaking of money, the PSVR2 costs more than the Playstation 5 that you need to play it: £529.99. Its flagship launch game, Horizon Call of the Mountain, is £60. Have you not heard that we’re in a cost of living crisis, Sony? I’m having fun with PSVR2, but I wouldn’t buy one – it has done nothing to change my feeling that this is a niche technology for wealthy nerds.

The thing is, no matter how good a VR thing is, I just don’t want to play in VR. I don’t like being unable to see what’s happening around me when I’m playing a game, because I have two small children and a cat, and in the 10 minutes I spend playing Gran Turismo in VR, the entire house could be collapsing around me.

Also – and six-plus years of using VR headsets has not changed this – it makes me feel sick. After about 20 minutes, sensory overwhelm kicks in and I get a headache and feel nauseous. I suffer from motion sickness – if I look at my phone in the car I risk throwing up. Although this isn’t a problem that affects everyone, it affects enough people (between 40% and 70%) to make VR a tricky proposition as a mainstream technology. Studies have also found that it affects women more than men, partly because, as this researcher suggests, VR headsets were designed by and for men.

Years ago, when I wrote about the first wave of VR headsets, a well-meaning reader outlined all of the things I might do to alleviate my discomfort, including taking travel sickness pills, building up my tolerance with incrementally longer sessions and blowing a fan in my face. Sound advice, perhaps, but if I have to medicate myself and spend weeks acclimatising myself to be able to use VR without wanting to vomit, I might reasonably ask myself whether it’s worth it.

93 Confirmed PSVR 2 Games In Development Right Now. New PSVR 2 Releases and PSVR to PSVR 2 Upgrades

Most of the practical annoyances of early VR are gone now – all of the cables, the fiddly setup, the awkward controls, the heavy headsets. The lightweight, cable-free Meta Quest 2 and high-end Playstation VR 2 headsets offer us an experience that’s about as good as in-home VR’s ever going to get, for the foreseeable future. The fact that I still don’t particularly want to use it raises questions for me about this technology’s viability outside of its niche. VR is novel, and thrilling for short periods, but like 3D cinema, it’s inessential. Long-term readers will know that I’m no fan of big tech’s conception of the metaverse, which is informed entirely by capitalist greed and not at all by what actual people want; I am sceptical of companies like Meta trying to persuade us that we need VR in our lives. It is a technological solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.

I don’t think Sony is trying to sell us on the metaverse, though – I think it’s trying to sell us on a cool, expensive toy. And PSVR2 is super-impressive as a cool, expensive toy. But does it have much of a future? The original PSVR only sold to 5% of the Playstation 4’s total audience, and that was before the pandemic ransacked the global economy. Can PSVR2 do better?

What to play

If you are tempted by a Playstation VR 2 headset, and you have the disposable income for it, the first game you should pick up is Horizon Call of the Mountain, a very confident virtual-reality adventure within the glorious-nature-and-robot-dinosaurs Horizon universe. You spend most of your time climbing, shooting a bow and arrow, or watching people talk, three activities that are well-suited to VR. It looks truly wonderful, and it’s full of those jump-out-of-your-seat rollercoaster moments that work so well when you’re fully immersed. It’s replete with playful touches: a paintbrush and paints left lying around so you can daub your name on a rock face, plates and cups that you can pick up and throw around just because, lots of tactile objects to grab. It’s relatively short, but I couldn’t hack it for more than 20 minutes at a time, so it’ll last me a while.

Available on: Playstation 5Approximate playtime: seven hours

What to click

This week’s question comes from reader Tombo_h:

“How do you go about reviewing an open-world game? You can watch a movie all the way through, read a book to the end, but how do you get a handle on something designed to be enjoyed over hundreds of hours?”

It’s a difficult skill, this. About three or four times a year, I drop everything and spend eight hours a day playing a gigantic flagship game to meet a review deadline. Sometimes this is an enjoyable way to earn a living. Other times it’s horrible, because open-world games aren’t supposed to be played in a week; it makes you hate them. When I reviewed Grand Theft Auto V (above) back in the day, I played it for 50 hours in five days, and then had to think and write about it critically while my mind was so scrambled that I was hallucinating about breaking car Windows with my elbow whenever I went outside.

Every review is the product of an individual’s unique experience with a game; but reviewers’ experiences rarely mirror those of people who are going to buy it and play it like a normal person. So, you have two ways to approach it: try to bludgeon your way through the main story as fast as you can, or chill out and play the game for as long as you’ve got without worrying about finishing it. These days I go for the second approach, and I take my time; if I’m not done with a game, I put the review up late. Usually, there’s not much you don’t know about a game after playing it for 25 hours, even if it’s mammoth. Once I feel like I can give people a good steer on a game’s nature and quality, and talk about my own experiences with it confidently, I’m ready to review it.

This article was amended on 22 February 2023 to remove incorrect information about Job Simulator and Beat Saber and to give the correct price for Horizon Call of the Mountain.

If you’ve got a question for Question Block – or anything else to say about the newsletter – hit reply or email us on pushingbuttons@theguardian.com.

Sony Playstation VR 2 Review: Blockbuster Virtual Reality Gaming is Back

This headset is a return to form for high-fidelity graphics and full-scale worlds in VR.

Virtual reality has come a long way in the six years since Sony released its original Playstation VR headset. In that time VR has gone mainstream thanks to wireless, standalone systems powered by mobile chipsets. While these make room scale VR experiences accessible to more people, their weaker computing power holds the VR game industry back to simplistic 3D graphics and worlds limited in scope.

Sony’s Playstation VR2 rectifies this with a massive leap in power that supports 4K HDR visuals and newly integrated eye tracking technology to deliver the next generation of high fidelity VR. At 549, its the best value for playing triple-A VR games and boasts some of the most powerful performance of any headset. This is made possible by tapping into the Playstation 5’s beefy hardware for rendering lifelike graphics and expansive open worlds.

Key Specs. History of Playstation VR

Back in 2014, the budding consumer VR scene kicked into high gear when purchased the VR hardware startup Oculus. Two years later the first generation of devices launched with the Oculus Rift in March 2016, HTC Vive in April, and Sony’s original Playstation VR in October. The former two headsets not only cost more than PSVR but required expensive additional hardware to function. This included powerful gaming computers and room tracking sensors.

Meanwhile the combined cost of PSVR and a Playstation 4 console powering it came out to less than a PCVR headset and its accessories, not including the separate 1K computer needed to run it. On top of that, more than 50 million PS4s were in use by the time of PSVR’s release, meaning higher potential sales. The PSVR’s accessibility and lower price made it the preferred high-end headset for most people.

Sony came out with a formidable game library made up of huge exclusives that worked around the consoles limitations—Resident Evil 7’s VR mode and Astrobot Rescue Mission both hold up well today. On top of that it hosted retail demos to show just how immersive PSVR could be. It was there that a 17-year-old me found how capable PSVR held up compared to PCVR—computer connected VR headset like the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive—that I had tried in the past (pictured here). Sony understood games and hardware better than the competition and made PSVR the place to live through experiences from major properties like Star Wars. Immediately after that demo I hopped on Craigslist and made my way to a Target parking lot in Long Island’s sketchiest neighborhood to buy a PSVR for 900 from a scalper.

“I hopped on Craigslist and made my way to a Target parking lot in Long Island’s sketchiest neighborhood to buy a PSVR for 900 from a scalper.”

Within a month of purchasing the original PSVR, I found myself going all-in on virtual reality—I even started a marketing job with a local indie VR game developer. If I wasn’t testing game builds across the higher end PCVR systems and PSVR, I was on the road showcasing them across the country. While PSVR had its drawbacks, namely in its poor Move Wand motion controllers and lack of room scale tracking, it delivered graphics and a level of immersion nearly on par with the higher end Rift and Vive PCVR systems for a fraction of the price. Out of the three first generation headsets, the PSVR stuck around the longest because it had a better library of content stemming from Sony’s own developers.

Over the years I’ve tried every major consumer headset release from the Rift onward. I was in the crowd at Oculus Connect in 2018 when Mark Zuckerberg took the stage to unveil the original Oculus Quest standalone headset—a pivotal moment which ushered in today’s mainstream era of low-cost, low-spec portable systems. I know the VR landscape and what you’re looking for in a virtual reality headset. And I can say with full confidence that the PSVR 2 is the best headset you can buy in terms of performance and value. Here’s why.

PSVR 2 Makes High-Fidelity VR Easy and Accessible

Pulling the Playstation VR 2 from its box reveals a comfort-centric design with a FOCUS on ample padding and ease of jumping in and out of the headset on the fly. It looks similar to its predecessor, however the PSVR 2 weighs slightly less—560 grams vs. the original’s 600—despite adding technology like built-in tracking cameras and a haptic feedback motor. Plus the new headset has refined embellishments like a physical IPD (interpupillary distance) adjustment dial on the top, upgraded plush silicon light blocker, and a grooved tightening knob for a more-premium feel. The PSVR 2 retains the original’s iconic halo strap system (copied by competitors as a separate enhancement accessory like Meta’s 60 Elite Strap), which pulls out over your eyes then ratchets inward for a secure, tailored fit. This ensures PSVR 2 isn’t front-heavy like competing devices with built-in batteries. It’s the most comfortable headset I’ve tested to date. You’ll also find shiny new Playstation Sense controllers in the box, which we placed aside during setup.

There’s a single 14 foot USB-C cable that comes neatly coiled up and attached to the PSVR 2, so you can pair it to the Playstation 5. This streamlined connection makes it easy to unplug the headset from the system when you’re not using it—a major hassle of the original PSVR was that it required a separate processing box and nest of cords (shown in the image above). This wire is a small compromise, but keep in mind that it can potentially wrap around your leg while playing room scale games. Once you plug the PSVR 2 into the front of the PS5, the console recognizes that you’ve attached the system and walks you through an initial set up process that takes less than five minutes. To get started, simply click the Playstation button found on both Sense VR controllers to pair them with the console, look around the room for the PSVR 2’s external cameras to map out a 3D mesh of your playspace, and calibrate eye tracking.

The room calibration process is completely automated and eliminates the need to stand directly in front of a camera to track your motions; the original PSVR required you to do so, severely restricting your play space. You can adjust your play style for sitting, standing, and full room scale VR, so you can physically walk around mapped out digital environments. Once the initial setup is complete, your headset boots you to the PSVR 2’s main menu—a version of the Playstation 5 console interface. This shows you all of your apps and you can launch or jump into an activity with a single click. Frictionless navigation such as this is refreshing when rival headset’s menus have separate app and game drawers, burying content. Anybody can throw on a PSVR 2 and understand how to launch into a title without being bombarded by notifications or app discount pop-ups.

PSVR 2’s Advanced Tech Bests Any Other Headset Today

Once you load into a game, the OLED panels show exceptionally vibrant colors and a sharp picture—2040×2000 resolution per eye. That not only doubles the sharpness of the original PSVR, but bests the Meta Quest 2, the most popular headset on the market. On top of these gains, PSVR 2 has a higher refresh rate (120 hertz) for less blur and has a fuller, 110-degree field of view for expansive, detailed visuals. When you remove the headset and look around the edges of the lenses, you’ll find that there are cameras built into them for eye tracking capabilities—the biggest advantage of the PSVR 2.

No other headset is equipped with eye tracking. As soon as you throw the PSVR 2 on, it uses the feature to perfectly align the distance between your pupils, helping you find the “sweet spot” and see the sharpest text and images possible. In games, you can use eye tracking to select items from a menu or make a decision by looking in a specific direction. Beyond this practicality, the technology enables the PSVR 2’s secret sauce: foveated rendering, a technique that processes rich 4K graphics wherever your gaze is focused in the digital world and lowers the resolution in your peripheral vision. This happens in real-time so you don’t notice any tearing and ensures you’re always seeing worlds at their best. But this process also affords developers much more processing power for better graphics or placing more assets in a space. Whether that’s extra foliage to make a jungle more lush or ridges on the sand of a beach, virtually all games on PSVR 2 are more believable and look better than they do on other headsets.

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Not only do titles look better on PSVR 2 but they feel better too thanks to advanced haptic feedback sensors embedded throughout the headset and controllers. Sony’s Sense controllers are equipped with the standard layout consisting of analog sticks, face buttons, and triggers. Plus, they have a cool grip that doesn’t retain heat over marathon sessions. The rings surrounding the Sense controller track hand and finger motions so you can see each digit reach out and grab virtual objects or push buttons. These adjustments alone would be a massive upgrade from the original PSVR’s Move Wands, which lacked analog sticks and had small face buttons.

The Playstation Sense controllers now set the standard for all VR controllers thanks to the inclusion of adaptive triggers. Developers can specifically tune tactile feedback for actions like pulling the weighted trigger of a firearm or adding a sense of resistance to digital items you touch. It may seem like a small addition but this greatly enhances your sense of presence in a space when interacting with virtual objects—and ultimately results in a superior VR experience. I rarely have “wow moments” in VR these days but, when the sensation of rain hit my face and hands in one 0f the titles I played, it dawned on me that the next generation of VR has arrived. Even though the tracking system relies on cameras that look ahead of you, it had no problem tracking my hands as I reached behind my 6-foot-2-inch frame to unsheath a virtual bow or grab arrows.

Playstation’s Game Developers and Robust Content Library is Unmatched

At the end of the day, content is king and Sony comes with decades of experience. Beyond well-designed hardware, Playstation’s greatest strength is its catalog of blockbuster franchises created by some of the most talented developers in the world. There’s no shortage of available and upcoming titles. Its debut first-party game, Horizon Call of the Mountain, signals that the system is headed for console-level experiences that don’t feel like glorified tech demos. When digital worlds are crafted with attention to detail you end up with unforgettable experiences that hold up years after release, as shown by Valve’s now three-year-old PC VR title Half Life: Alyx.

Virtual reality as a whole has long been missing triple-A titles. Big studios and indie developers alike are too risk-averse to develop higher-end experiences for such a small fraction of the market when users are primarily buying games for mobile systems. This has held back the industry and is one of the reasons that the more complete campaigns of games from the original PSVR like Resident Evil 7, Blood Truth, and Astro Bot hold up so well today. Below are just some brief impressions on the standout next-generation experiences I’ve tried that can’t be replicated as well anywhere else.

Horizon Call of the Mountain

Sony’s killer app for the device is its exclusive action adventure game Horizon Call of the Mountain, taking place in the post-apocalyptic setting of the Horizon game series. That’s a serious undertaking: The franchise is known for its massive environments that span for real-world miles and its robotic dinosaur enemies, which are extremely detailed and taxing on hardware. The PSVR 2 delivers a full campaign and massive world scale without so much as a stutter.

3 Things I HATE About The PSVR2!

From the game’s opening scene, you can stick your hands through water, swipe through foliage, and grab onto different objects. The world feels alive, as you can see fully explorable locations rendered in real-time from miles away. After a brief intro sequence, you’re free to traverse the jungle setting using realistic motion controls to climb, craft tools, and shoot a bow and arrow. As I scaled massive mountains and rode zip lines hundreds of feet above trees and water, I truly started to believe that I was in danger of falling. And with HDR effects in sun rays and enemy lasers, I could imagine the heat coming from an explosive blast or basking in the sun.

This game’s physics create a sandbox-like experience as you can freely grab and interact with nearly every object you see. For example, when I picked up a massive mallet to strike a gong, it required two hands and a strong swing to pound the bell. Later, I came across some paint and brushed drawings onto a rock wall. These little interactions are where Call of the Mountain takes VR immersion to the next level—these items aren’t part of the story in any way. The fact that what’s basically environmental set-dressing can still be played with and have an impact on the world is absolutely nuts. Most VR games let you interact with specific animated items that are usually indicated with a glow. Only a handful of game environments have truly felt as immersive as this level of interaction with digital objects. The care and polish further enhances a fulfilling campaign and makes worlds more lively.

Kayak VR: Mirage

This kayaking simulator is one of the few recent PCVR-exclusive games because it has strict demands for rendering its lifelike paddle and water physics alongside photorealistic environments. It’s jam packed with lifelike details like individual rocks and sand patterns lining a beach to lively animals like fish and turtles swimming in the water. While I’ve only stroked my way through a handful of hours with Kayak VR: Mirage, the realistic mechanics and graphics give Sony’s Call of the Mountain a run for its money—one hell of a tall order for a game made by three people.

You can explore four different locations including; Norway, Australia, Costa Rica, and Antartica. Each location can be customized with certain conditions like time of day and weather for an added challenge. There are two primary modes—you can paddle around and explore each locale in “free roam” or use the objective-based racing option. What stood out to me immediately is how it showcases all of the PSVR 2’s new tech, such as how its HDR pulls off dark scenes. While paddling around Norway in a nighttime free roam session, I could still make out individual raindrops as they fell and hit the water. Paired with haptic feedback I could feel these virtual drops spatter on my face and hands. And when a storm rolled in, lightning illuminated the different parts of the sky and I felt the resistance of the water against my paddle increase.

After The Fall

After The Fall is a zombie looter shooter that offers plenty of replay value as you upgrade your weapons, unlock new gear, and play with others in an online world. This title proves that existing VR games can be successfully ported and expanded upon for an even better experience. Although this game’s scope was originally built around mobile limitations, the PSVR 2 version has been upgraded to make the most of the wider field of view and 4K resolution.

My eyes were constantly drawn to new textures (on enemies and in the environment), lighting effects, and maps which are now much sharper than what I experienced on the Quest 2. Meanwhile the adaptive triggers provided different trigger weights for each gun I shot. This tension added to the dread I felt while strategically firing off rounds or reaching for a pistol clip. Unlike the Meta Quest 2 version, I can play for hours on end without worrying about battery life. Plus its more comfortable over extensive sessions.

The Verdict

Playstation is once again the best place to play the latest VR games. It has superior graphical fidelity in addition to adaptive controls and flagship titles you won’t find on any other platform. The PSVR 2’s arrival rings in a true return to triple-A VR gaming for hours-long campaigns and higher levels of interactivity with digital objects, giving you a greater sense of presence in virtual worlds. While I’ve long feared this higher caliber of VR projects was dead, Sony has what it takes to get big developers back on board for blockbuster VR games.

PSVR 2 is a massive generational leap from both the original PSVR and today’s hottest headset, the Meta Quest 2. Mobile standalone headsets still have a place as a portable console and for their suite of productivity apps for work, which PSVR 2 lacks. I don’t doubt that the PSVR 2 will sell well, but it will live and die by Sony’s content support and collaborations with other studios and properties.

Hunter Fenollol, our resident expert of all things consumer tech, from Smart home to VR gaming headsets, has years of knowledge creating product explainers, in-depth reviews, and buying guides to help you get the most from the latest electronics. Throughout college, he covered and reviewed the latest gadget releases for sites like Tom’s Guide, Laptop Magazine, and CNN Underscored. If he’s not elbow-deep in the latest hardware, you can find Hunter at one of Long Island’s many beaches, in Manhattan, or gambling away his paycheck.



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