The original Playstation VR came out a time where VR headsets was the big thing and nearly even the PC market was going all-in in marketing the experience. But this was also a time where the technology meant bulky headsets with cumbersome cables dangling everywhere. Not to mention the simplicity of VR experiences back then on top of lower resolutions, Sony’s original attempt would fall into the trappings of VR in the mid-2010s. That changes today with the Sony PSVR2.
Sony has just released the PlayStation VR2 for PlayStation 5 and it brings with nearly a decade of development that many virtual reality headset available today enjoy. But the kicker here is that this is a Sony PlayStation 5-exclusive.
We’ve had a good couple of weeks a bunch of game to try with the PlayStation VR2 and in this I’m gonna share with you how I feel about the PlayStation VR2 and is it a worthy pickup and if so, would it be seeing some action or will it sit on a shelf. While there’s a lot of ifs and buts to answer those question, let’s first get everything out of the way and share with you the details about the PlayStation VR2.
Available now for PHP 34,790, the PlayStation VR2 launches alongside a list of PlayStation VR2 games and experiences.
A quick note as well, we’ll be keeping it simple and focus on this review from the perspective of someone who has a PlayStation 5 and wants to try VR but has never done so on any other platform. That being said, we will be limited comparison with other available VR headsets in the market.
PlayStation VR2 Headset
- 2000 x 2040 per eye
Panel refresh rate
- 90Hz, 120Hz
Field of View
- Approx. 110 degrees
- Motion sensor: Six-axis motion sensing system (three-axis gyroscope, three-axis accelerometer)
- Attachment sensor: IR proximity sensor
- 4 embedded cameras for headset and controller tracking
- IR camera for eye tracking per eye
- Vibration on headset
Communication with PS5
- USB Type-C
- Input: Built-in microphone
- Output: Stereo headphone jack
PS VR2 Sense Controller
PS button, Options button, Action buttons (Circle / Cross), R1 button, R2 button, Right Stick / R3 button
PS button, Create button, Action buttons (Triangle / Square), L1 button, L2 button, Left Stick / L3 button
- Motion Sensor: Six-axis motion sensing system (three-axis gyroscope + three-axis accelerometer)
- Capacitive sensor: Finger touch detection
- IR LED: Position tracking
- Trigger effect (on R2/L2 button), haptic feedback (by single actuator per unit)
- USB Type-C
- Bluetooth Ver5.1
- Type: Built-in lithium-ion rechargeable battery
Sony ships the PlayStation VR2 in their signature PlayStation style packaging: full-colored print with colored shots of the products on the sides. There is a quick spec sheet on one of the narrow sides while a multi-language marketing list is on the back along with key features.
Unboxing the PlayStation VR2 is quick and easy with the top-flap opening up to reveal an accessory box. Underneath the accessory box is the PlayStation VR2 headset itself along with the PSVR2 Sense controllers.
The accessory box contains a USB-C cable, custom-fit earphones, replacement tips for the earphones and lastly, some manual and documentation.
Here’s a shot of the original PlayStation VR set alongside the brand new PlayStation VR2 set. One thing worth noting is that the PlayStation VR2 in the photo is the complete set already while the original PSVR has a DC-powered processor unit and a very thick and lengthy HDMI cable.
This unwieldy setup was a limitation of the past and all of the processing is done onto the actual PlayStation VR2 headset itself. The cable itself is 4.5 metres long while being slimmer and flexble then the PSVR headset. This is the only cable you need to play and power the PlayStation VR2 headset and the USB-C connection makes a quick and fumble-free connection as USB-C itself is reversible.
Going over the PlayStation VR2 headset, Sony seems to be confident on their original design as many of the design language is subtly retained on the new PSVR2 headset. It does receive a massive slimming with the visor scope going more “inward” towards the user.
The headband also receives a new mechanism to secure it on the user’s head while also making a one-touch affair when releasing the lock and loosening the headset.
The dots on the front of the scope are the IR cameras that the PSVR2 uses to scan the area and also to track your head position.
Thanks to the graphical horsepower of the PlayStation 5, Sony is now able to push resolution on the OLED displays on the PSVR2 from the older 1080 reso. At 2000×2040 per eye, the perceived image hits 4K but of developers can utilize techniques like foveated rendering to maximize performance.
Speaking of foveated rendering, Sony now implements gaze tracking on the headset, following and tracking the users gaze to use that in-game. With the headset running at up to 120hz, the display is smooth and responsive and input lag is very negligible.
Sony has improved on the light-blocking design with a rubber flange to seal the user’s vision and block out outside light. Once sealed, users can align the OLED via dial on the headset and increase or decrease distance with a button on the bottom of the visor. The middle button is the power-on button of the headset and the other button activates the IR cams so you can see what’s going on around you.
Before wearing the PSVR2 headset, Sony suggests loosening the front visor and extending the headband by pressing the button on the back. Once worn, the dial can be twisted to adjust the tightness of the headband.
The Sense controller for the PSVR2 is a big evolution from the original sticks used by original PSVR. The new Sense controller has a larger area than the old sticks but its pad buttons are fairly closes to the DualSense in terms of layout. The Sense VR2 controller has straps to secure them in place but I don’t agree on the placement as they are located on the inside.
Setup and Usage
To set up and use the PSVR2, you will need the following components: a PS5 console, a PSVR2 headset, a PS5 controller or a pair of PSVR2 Sense controllers, and a compatible PS5 game. Follow these steps to get started:
- Connect the PSVR2 headset to the USB-C port on the front of the PS5 console.
- Turn on your PS5 console and TV. Put on the PSVR2 headset and adjust the headband and eye distance settings for a comfortable fit.
- Turn on your PS5 controller or PS Move controllers and pair them with the PS5 console. Hold them in front of the camera and follow the on-screen instructions to calibrate them.
- Insert a compatible PS5 game disc or launch a downloaded game from the home screen. Select the VR mode if prompted and enjoy your virtual reality experience.
To exit VR mode, press and hold the PS button on your controller and select Close Application from the quick menu. To turn off the PSVR2 headset, press and hold the power button on the headset until you hear a beep.
Games are the key movers when when it comes the VR experience and Sony is hoping to see the release of various titles during the initial year of the Station VR2. For the launch, we have a couple of games including Gran Turismo 7 support for the PSVR2 as well as stand-alone games like the heavily marketed Horizon: Call of the Mountain as well as ports of other titles like Moss Book 1 and Book 2 as well as Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge.
Gran Turismo 7
This racing game is one of the flagship titles for the PS5, and it looks stunning in VR. The VR2 version of Gran Turismo 7 offers a full 360-degree view of the cockpit and the track, as well as realistic head movements and eye-tracking. The game also supports the PS5’s DualSense controller, which provides adaptive triggers and haptic feedback to simulate the feel of driving a real car.
The game features a huge variety of cars and tracks, as well as a career mode and online multiplayer. If you are looking for a high-end racing simulator in VR, this is the game for you.
When a PSVR2 headset is connected, the game automatically detects it and works in first-person mode with no setup needed. The update for PSVR2 support rolled-out just around the launch of the PSVR2 and comes absolutely free for owners of Gran Turismo 7. If you play serious Gran Turismo and want a more realistic sim experience than just looking straight at your screen but don’t want to splurge on multi-screen setup, then a PSVR2 may be a better option.
Horizon: Call of the Mountain
This action game is a VR spin-off to the critically acclaimed Horizon franchise, both games hallmarks of the PS4 and PS5 era. In Call of the Mountain, you play Ryas and you need to atone for your sins for beign a Shadow Carja. You’ll meet many new and returning characters including Aloy, the hero of the Horizon franchise plus some of the machines that entangle themselves with Aloy.
Horizon Call of the Mountains is a polarizing experience but technologically superior as a demo of what the PlayStation VR2 can do. The game is a stunning visual feast that immerses you in the rich and diverse environments of the Horizon universe. You will encounter various machines, wildlife and human factions as you explore the lush forests, snowy peaks and ancient ruins of the mountain. The game uses ray tracing and dynamic lighting to create realistic shadows and reflections, and the PSVR2’s OLED display delivers vibrant colors and sharp details.
The game is one of the first titles to showcase the capabilities of the PSVR2, Sony’s next-generation VR headset that promises higher resolution, wider field of view, improved tracking and haptic feedback. The game also supports the new PSVR2 controllers, which feature adaptive triggers and finger tracking.
Horizon: Call of the Mountain is a must-play for fans of the Horizon franchise and VR enthusiasts alike. It is a showcase of what VR can achieve in terms of graphics, gameplay and immersion. It is also a testament to Guerrilla Games’ talent and vision in creating a captivating and expansive world that invites you to explore and discover. The game is available now for $39.99 on the PlayStation Store.
Moss Book 1 & Book 2
Moss Book 1 and Book 2 are two VR games that follow the adventures of Quill, a brave mouse who fights against an evil force called Arcane. The games are available as a bundle for PSVR2, and they offer a stunning and immersive experience that combines platforming, puzzles, combat, and storytelling. Here is a brief review of both games.
Moss Book 1 introduces us to Quill and her world, where we play as the Reader, a mysterious entity who can interact with the environment and help Quill along the way. The game has a charming fairy tale vibe, with beautiful graphics and music that create a magical atmosphere. The gameplay is simple but engaging, as we control Quill with the controller and use the Sense controllers to manipulate objects, enemies, and even Quill herself.
The game is not very long or challenging, but it has a lot of personality and charm that make it a joy to play.
Moss Book 2 continues the story of Quill and the Reader, as they face a new threat: Tylan, a winged tyrant who wants to destroy Quill’s kingdom. The game expands on the gameplay of the first one, adding new weapons, abilities, puzzles, and enemies. The game also has more variety in its environments and characters, as we explore different locations such as a castle, a garden, a mountain, and a foundry. The game is longer and more complex than the first one, but it also has more emotional moments and twists that keep us invested in the story.
Both games are enhanced by the PSVR2 technology, which makes them look sharper and smoother than ever. The games also take advantage of the Sense controllers’ haptic feedback and adaptive triggers, which add more realism and immersion to the gameplay. The games also support 3D audio, which makes us feel like we are really inside Quill’s world.
Moss Book 1 and Book 2 are two of the best VR games available for PSVR2. They offer a captivating and immersive experience that blends gameplay and storytelling in a unique way. They are also suitable for players of all ages and skill levels, as they are easy to play and understand. If you are looking for a VR game that will make you feel like you are part of a fairy tale, you should definitely check out Moss Book 1 and Book 2.
Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge
Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge is a VR adventure game that lets you explore the planet of Batuu and interact with iconic characters from the Star Wars universe. The game is compatible with PSVR2, the new virtual reality headset from Sony that offers improved resolution, field of view, and tracking.
The game consists of two main modes: story and tales. In story mode, you play as a droid repair technician who crash-lands on Batuu and has to survive the dangers of the Outer Rim. You can customize your appearance, choose your weapons, and engage in combat with enemies such as stormtroopers, pirates, and creatures. You can also visit the famous cantina and meet characters like C-3PO, R2-D2, and Yoda.
In tales mode, you can experience standalone stories that are inspired by classic Star Wars lore. You can play as a Jedi Padawan in a temple on Coruscant, or as a smuggler in a heist on Corellia. Each tale has its own gameplay mechanics, puzzles, and challenges.
The game is a must-play for Star Wars fans who want to immerse themselves in the galaxy far, far away. The graphics are stunning, the sound effects are authentic, and the voice acting is superb. The PSVR2 headset enhances the experience with its high-quality display and smooth motion tracking. The game also supports the PS Move controllers and the PS Aim controller for more realistic interactions.
Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge is a fun and engaging VR game that offers hours of entertainment and exploration. It is one of the best titles available for PSVR2 and a worthy addition to any Star Wars collection.
User Experience & Conclusion
The PSVR2 is the second generation of Sony’s virtual reality headset for the PlayStation 5 console and is a true generational leap in every imaginable way from the original PSVR. It offers a significant improvement over the original PSVR in terms of resolution, field of view, tracking, audio, and comfort. The PSVR2 also supports a new controller that features adaptive triggers, haptic feedback, and finger tracking.
The PSVR2 is compatible with a wide range of VR games and experiences, both exclusive and cross-platform, that showcase the potential of immersive gaming. Horizon Call of the Mountain as mentioned is one of the most “must-try” games for the PSVR2 as it offers an excellent experience from start to end that fully showcases the capacbilities of the PSVR2.
The PSVR2 is not without its drawbacks, however. It still requires a wired connection to the PS5, which can limit the freedom of movement and create cable clutter. This does feel like a nitpick though as we are no tethered by 3 cables or a single fat cable. We have a single slim USB-C cable which is fairly long and can be kicked to the side fairly easily. One doesn’t really have much opportunity to do 720-degree spins that would require the need to be completely wireless so its not a deal breaker for me.
Back to critcisms, the PlayStation VR2 also has a relatively high price tag compared to other VR headsets on the market, especially when factoring in the cost of the PS5 itself. Now this, is a bit more layered and is sometimes not detailed by most reviewers. Simply put, if you didn’t have a PlayStation 5, you wouldn’t be looking at PSVR2. At this point in time, the marketing for the PSVR2 is simply an extension of the PlayStation 5 itself, and shouldn’t be treated as an entire package.
Sure, the idea of kids wanting a PSVR2 by seeing at the mall comes to mind for products like this but at the end of the day, the same can be said for VR headsets for the PC or heck even a mobile phone.
You can have a $2 mobile phone VR headset but at the end of the day, a $100 phone won’t be able to drive the same level of experience that a PSVR2 can and the same goes for a PC-based VR headset and the cost of the PC itself. So ultimately the $550 or PHP34,790 is the barrier of entry for an accessory that uniquely does what it does, and does it very well. Do you need it? Likely not. Will you enjoy it? That is for you to decide.
Which leads me to our final point: Should you buy it before trying? I say absolutely not. Unless you have tried a VR-headset of sort before, I highly urge you to visit a Sony concept store or a dealer that has a PSVR2 demo. It has been reported that some users have experienced motion sickness, eye strain, or discomfort from prolonged use of VR.
And this is a general limitation for some people and not limited to the PSVR, the PSVR1 or any other headsets. Its purely how the VR experienced is delivered that some people take time to acclimate or just entire can’t to this experience.
Ultimately, the PSVR2 is a worthwhile investment for gamers who want to experience the next level of VR on the PS5. It delivers a high-quality and immersive user experience that enhances the gameplay and storytelling of VR titles. It also offers a competitive edge over other VR headsets in terms of performance, features, and content. The PSVR2 is not perfect, but it is one of the best VR headsets available today.
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