If you’re trying to decide whether or not to buy a new PlayStation VR2 virtual reality headset, the decision probably comes down to comparison. Is it better than what you have, or is it a big enough improvement to finally get you started? So, instead of beating around the bush, we’ll get straight to the point: is PSVR2 better?
Is PSVR2 better than PSVR?
PlayStation VR2 is definitely a step ahead of the original PlayStation VR in terms of technology. This is the first attempt to cut as many corners as possible to keep prices down, such as using Move controllers and sticking to limited tracking options. PSVR2 supports room-scale tracking. Sense motion controllers are accurate and usually have the features you need. There’s no need to install a bulky box or camera, and it all goes through a decent length of cord to the front of the PS5. What it retains is the original comfort, a real selling point for Sony. Other companies’ offerings are getting better and better, but the feel and ease of use are hard to beat by Sony engineers.
However, this is not as straightforward a question as it might seem. For this first attempt, Sony invested heavily in software. There were prestigious in-house games like Astro Bot: Rescue Mission, as well as a seemingly generous amount of free funds to fund ports and third-party VR conversions. There’s Horizon: Call of the Mountain – we’ll be mentioning that name many times – but overall it seems like Sony is making less money to bring the experience to the new platform. At least as far as we know. And since there is no backwards compatibility with PSVR games, and efforts to fix compatibility with PSVR2 are limited, the second headset may not be better than the first for a while.
(Seriously, why not pin the astrobot to the top of your to-do list?)
Is PSVR2 better than PC VR?
It really depends on what you want from the VR experience. PC VR headsets offer a wide range of PC content and it’s second to none. There are fan projects, mods, and PC-exclusive versions that do far more than PSVR2 will ever do, not just in its launch lineup, but throughout its lifetime. This could be mitigated with PC headset support, and while Sony has shown no sign of officially doing so, fan work has closed the gap for the first PSVR and may do so for VR2. However, it can be difficult and we don’t expect it anytime soon.
But the console approach results in streamlined technology and much less time spent on setup. This is true of the entire PC console division, and is the reason behind many efforts like Steam Deck to make PC games more predictable and pre-configured. But this is especially important in VR because small glitches, stuttering and the like are less of a concern and more of an illness. Playing VR2 is simple and straightforward, and even launch issues are minor and fixes are quick.
We hope the updates will make VR2 even smoother. The problem we encountered most often concerns lighting and room definition. Sensors that know where you are in the room seem to be most concerned about midday lighting conditions, as we’ve had episodes of frequent stuttering and error messages that made games almost unplayable because they crashed every 30 seconds or so. Togo. However, when it didn’t, tracking worked fine.
At the moment, the usual console advantage of robust in-house development is not really there. Perhaps future announcements can fill the software gap and help sell the VR2.
Is PSVR2 better than Quest?
If you’re a fan of the pioneer headsets formerly known as Oculus, it’s probably because the hardware is wireless. The VR2 has seriously simplified the setup and equipment of Sony’s first attempt, but there’s still a cord that ties you in and sometimes confuses you. We sometimes felt a rope on our shoulders, that’s for sure. However, it’s a far cry from the hassle and confusion of last generation setups.
So again? PlayStation VR2 is much more powerful than the new Quest. The screen resolution helps a lot, and VR2 uses eye tracking to display in more detail what you’re looking at to maximize what it can squeeze out of the console’s processing power. Right now, the software lineup is mostly ports, which means there’s really no difference just yet, unless you like the world of Horizon.
And, oh yeah, it’s not part of some dystopian data-gathering monolith, which seems like an advantage.
Is PSVR2 better than $550?
This is perhaps the most difficult question. It’s early, and it doesn’t have software support yet, so any purchase is at least partly a play on Sony’s commitment to the platform. So far, you’re mostly getting ports that don’t take advantage of the platform’s strengths. Does it fill the library? Absolutely. But without solid exclusives, they are not suitable for system sellers.
However, we are definitely getting closer to the point where the problems of the first generation will be fixed. If you’ve been waiting for VR to get less challenging but don’t want a compromised experience, this might be the perfect place you’ve been waiting for. There are a number of fun – if not particularly reliable or cutting edge – games on this platform. We are optimistic about the future of PSVR2! But until we see more big games, any skepticism you have is justified.
The PlayStation VR2 is available now for $549.99 from PlayStation Direct. An optional charging station for Sense motion controllers is also available. To learn more about Siliconera’s PSVR2, check out our archive.