Released on Feb 22nd after much anticipation, Sony’s Playstation VR2 was met with swaths of praise and appreciation. “Here,” many said, “is a worthy follow-up to an excellent original and a way to enjoy PC-level VR without a PC.” Does the unit, the basic package of which retails for $549, withstand closer scrutiny? Will PSVR2 deliver years’ worth of compelling, advanced VR gaming to its buyers?
Combing the Catalog
Arguably the most immediate obstacle to instant adoption of PSVR2 is the modest line of launch titles. Horizon: Call of the Mountain, Gran Turismo 7, Resident Evil Village, No Man’s Sky, Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy, Zenith: The Last City and a handful of other titles may look like they deliver powerful VR gaming experiences, but many critics have called the launch range too limited. Time will tell whether PSVR2’s catalog will significantly improve, but it does seem likely. Horizon, for its part, is already being called a landmark VR game and a very promising indication of where the medium is headed.
In use, however, PSVR2 is already proving quite capable of impressing even seasoned VR gamers. Strong tech specs, ease-of-use, a comfortable design, brand recognition, and Sony’s powerful reputation all align to make PSVR2 a highly desirable VR device for its generation.
Under the Hood
Connected to PS5 via a front-panel mounted USB-C port and cable, PSVR2 features four cameras for headset and controller tracking as well as one IR camera to track the user’s eyes, a 4K display (when treating both eyes as a combined display), and the power of the PS5 to run everything smoothly. Although already known to be a little less comfortable than the first-gen PSVR, this iteration of PlayStation’s VR add-on does however feature advanced controllers that should be easily adopted by both PlayStation veterans and newcomers alike.
Modeled on a classic DualSense joypad split in two (à la Nintendo Switch’s JoyCon controllers), PSVR2’s newly designed controllers are curved to the shape of right and left hands while featuring all the buttons one would expect from an evolved DualSense. A clear improvement over the original PSVR’s move motion wands, the Sense controllers were well received industry-wide. The ergonomic design, finger touch detection, and adaptive triggers were noted to be especially satisfying in-use.
Next Gen’s Next Steps
With Horizon: Call of the Mountain being cited by many who tried it as a powerful pitch for VR’s realism and immersive potential. Playstation VR2 is bound to earn more praise as more advanced games are released and truly show off its potential. Resident Evil: Village is already proving a powerhouse showcase of PSVR2’s graphic capabilities and Gran Turismo 7 delivers genuinely remarkable realism in a high-speed environment; not an easy accomplishment for any VR device. Bolstered by Sony’s global brand power and the strong sales of PS5, PSVR2 is posing a major challenge to other gaming-focused VR hardware creators.