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PlayStation VR2 PC support

PlayStation VR2 Review – A Huge Improvement In Every Way

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When it comes to PlayStation VR2 there are two comparisons that can be made which are vastly different. There’s the Meta Quest (and Meta Quest 2) which have largely brought virtual reality to the mainstream at a small cost and continued to get better. There’s also the comparison that can be made between PSVR2 and the original model.

Whilst the original PlayStation VR showed us that affordable VR in the home was achievable, that’s where the similarities between these two experiences end with the PlayStation VR2 being far superior in every way. The original model was great for its time, but it quickly became outdated and clunky with its breakout box and messy setup that became even more complicated when the PlayStation 4 Pro released and HDR was no longer an option.

PlayStation VR2 Review

Thankfully, that is no longer a thing with the PlayStation VR2 and that couldn’t be clearer from the moment that you take it out of the box. There’s still a wire, but it is one single wire that runs from the unit to the console, and whilst it still can occasionally get in the way, what happens inside the headset is more than the small compromise. The headset itself is super light and has a great amount of customisation. What I love most is how much light it locks out. Going back and forth between the unit and my Quest 2, PlayStation VR2 places you in complete darkness with no light being let in at all thanks to the soft rubber that is used to surround your face.

PlayStation VR2

The setup for PlayStation VR2 is extremely simple. Much like with the recent DualSense Edge, there’s a custom experience that pops up as soon as you plug the headset in that guides you through each component of the headset from pairing your controllers to plugging in the included headphones. There are two key areas during the setup (that you’ll continue to use throughout the life of PlayStation VR2) that just blow away any other experience that I’ve used.

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Firstly, the way that PlayStation VR2 automatically scans the space around you, showing you any objects such as couches or ottomans and instantly creating a usable play space for you in seconds is just unlike anything I’ve seen in this space. It’s super accurate, never needed any alteration and unlike the Meta Quest 2, I actually trusted the boundaries that it put in place, with it warning me subtly when I was getting close to the edge and then taking me back into the real world when I’d overstep those boundaries. It felt safe, without getting in the way of gameplay.

PlayStation VR2

Secondly, if nothing else, the eye tracking goes a long way to making sure that you’re going to get the clearest possible image. With the PlayStation VR2 cleverly able to detect the position of both of your eyes, it can actually guide you to set the lens distance that is perfect for your eyes, rather than just rely on you knowing when it’s at its sharpest, and this goes a long way to improving the VR experience.

Just on eye tracking, this does feel like the game-changing experience and big tech wow moment. Even during setup, you get a sense for how accurately it can track both of your eyes independently with it even picking up my slightly lazy eye (for better or worse). I get the sense that a lot of the reason that Sony introduced eye tracking to PlayStation VR2 was more for foveated rendering, which renders objects in a more detailed manner when you’re looking directly at them.

PlayStation VR2

It is used for navigating menus in games such as Horizon Call Of The Mountain (read Kieron’s Press Start review here), which is a small, but nice touch, but other games like Tetris Effect also use it to let you clear the zone (by closing your eyes for a brief second). I’m really excited to see how developers use this, even if in gimmicky ways going forward.

There’s three different play styles that you can setup. Roomscale which requires a 2 x 2m playing space, sitting which requires a 1 x 1m playing space and standing which requires a 1 x 1m playing space. I’d say my living room space (when cleared) is about 1.5 x 1.5 m and there was only one or two games that just flat out wouldn’t boot until I made my area larger, which is understandable given that they required swinging my arms about in a violent manner. Cinematic mode is also still featured in which you’re able to create a massive virtual screen for playing games that aren’t VR optimised. It’s definitely clearer and the options more flexible, but I still wouldn’t say it’s an ideal way to play any game.

PlayStation VR2

You’re able to use a pass through button on the bottom of the headset at any time to look at the world around you in grayscale. It’s a lot clearer than what’s available on the Meta Quest 2 and really good to quickly get your bearings. A small niggle is that I wish this was a bit easier to access, or maybe accessed with a controller shortcut, but it’s super handy to have. 

With the headset on, the other big noticeable improvement is clarity and the wider field of view. at 2000 x 2040 per eye, it’s technically a 4K experience, which is 4x that of the original PlayStation VR and even a marginal improvement over the Meta Quest 2. Things definitely looked sharper and crisper, especially when they were directly in front of you, which really helps the overall experience, especially when playing graphical masterpieces like Horizon Call Of The Mountain. There were still moments when things looked slightly out of focus or a little fuzzy, but it felt much more enjoyable and immersive as an experience.

Something that really stands out is the headset haptics, which ranges from the slightest touch, to full-on rumbling when something is flying over or happening in-game. It’s just another level of immersion.

PlayStation VR2 Sense Controllers

Really, the biggest improvement though is the controllers. If you’ve used any other VR headset between now and the original PlayStation VR, you might have forgotten about the PlayStation Move controllers and how limiting they were as VR controllers. Sure, they looked cool and were great for any on-rails experience, but it was impossible to have a normal gaming experience with them.

The PlayStation VR2 Sense controllers are exceptional in design and feature-set. They have all the features of the DualSense controllers including the full suite of buttons (although getting used to the new layout takes a bit of getting used to), haptics, adaptive triggers and having analogue sticks on both controller just makes the world of difference.

PlayStation VR2 Review

This was most evident in first-party launch title and absolute showpiece, Horizon Call of the Mountain which fully makes use of the controllers in everything from walking around the world, to climbing rock-faces, to swinging on vines. It just makes the entire experience feel natural in its approach. Having proper AAA experiences like Horizon feel like an actual possibility now, and this is shown in Horizon that lets you freely walk around with the analogue sticks, or for a more comfortable approach, mimic a walking action with both controllers to get around the world.

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PlayStation VR2

Finger touch detection is also used, and whilst it’s a little bit gimmicky in how I’ve seen it used so far, it does absolutely make you feel more apart of the world and I’m excited for how it could be used in the future. Much like the DualSense controller, the battery life of the PlayStation VR2 Sense controllers sit at about the four hour mark, so the PlayStation VR2 Sense Controller Charging Station is a must-have as charging the two controllers separately after each time you play gets tedious fast.

PlayStation VR2

The unit uses four cameras on the outside of the headset to track your controllers, so no external camera is necessary this time. Tracking was much improved from the original PlayStation VR, but not without issues. There were still times that my hands would get away from me, or another weird issue where the unit wasn’t happy with the amount of light (too little or too much), but it never got in the way of my experience. There were a few times where PlayStation VR2 would kick me out of the experience as well, with not really giving me a whole lot of information on whether this was due to the nearby window, or looking in a certain direction that meant my controllers were out of reach.

PlayStation VR2 Review

The only other thing worth mentioning is the set of headphones that comes with PlayStation VR2. I’d absolutely recommend at least starting with these as it’s very clear that they were a big part of the design process of this headset. They integrate perfectly into the headset locking into place with two ports at the bottom, and there’s even two holders on each side of the headset to put the buds into if you’re not using them. The sound is more than serviceable and highlights the use of 3D audio within the headsets. Sure, you might get a bit more bass with a pair of over ears, but I don’t think the added weight and pressure around the head around would be worth it.

PlayStation VR2 Headphones

THE GAMES

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind at this point that if you owned the original PlayStation VR and loved that experience and are deep within the PlayStation ecosystem and hungry for another VR unit, then you should purchase PlayStation VR2, as it is an incredible VR experience. If you own a Meta Quest 2, things are a little bit tougher at the moment due to the launch lineup, at least from what I’ve tested.

There’s no doubt that all games that are available on both platforms run and look better on PlayStation VR2, but for games such as Tetris Effect or many of the other games already available on the Meta Quest 2, the differences wouldn’t be worth upgrading if you’ve got them already. This changes drastically for games such as Horizon: Call of the Mountain which just wouldn’t be possible on the Quest 2 without a gaming PC, and I can only assume that it’d be the same for Gran Turismo 7 and Resident Evil Village, although we weren’t able to test either of those before this review going live.

PlayStation VR2 Games

I really hope we see more games at a the calibre of Horizon, Resident Evil and Gran Turismo, otherwise I worry that even with the improvements that PlayStation VR2 sees over the likes of the Meta Quest 2, there won’t be enough of a reason to make the jump over the cheaper, standalone, wireless headset that is the Meta Quest 2.

I’ve played about 20 of the 38 (or so) games available at launch for PlayStation VR2 and there’s a really, really good mix of games if you’re new to the VR space or have been out of it for a few years.  Honestly, all of the games that I played are good, but these are my recommendations:

  • Horizon Call Of The Mountain: It’s the flagship title (read Kieron’s review on Press Start here), it shows how beloved PlayStation franchises can make the jump. It’s largely a game about exploration and climbing, but features some of the well-known machines of the world of Horizon. A great use of all the PlayStation VR2 features.
  • Pistol Whip: It’s Superhot meets Beat Saber in this title where you don one or two pistols and make it through a number of levels dodging bullets and taking down baddies that pop up all over the place. A great showcase of Adaptive Triggers.

Pistol Whip

  • Moss/Moss II: These are very beautiful games where you’re looking at a world in front of you and have to help a mouse navigate through a number of levels. The headset haptics really come through in this one.
  • Job/Vacation Simulator: If you’ve somehow missed these gems, they are virtual reality essentials and improved on PlayStation VR2 with faster loading and great use of surround sound.
  • What The Bat?: A very silly title that is a great follow-up to What The Golf? You’re literally using a bat in hundreds of levels that range from mimicking video games to other sports.

What The Bat

  • Tetris Effect/Rez Infinite: Both VR staples, and have new modes and features on PlayStation VR2. Tetris in particular is a must-own for all fans of the game, and VR totally breathes new life into this classic. Eye tracking is cleverly used.
  • Kayak VR: This is a really great showcase of the increased visual fidelity of PlayStation VR2. Also a really good showcase of the haptics in the controllers as you guide your way through the water.

Kayak VR

  • Resident Evil Village/Gran Turismo 7: Whilst I haven’t played either of these, they’re both great games and also free updates if you already own the games, so I don’t doubt they’ll both be jumping into and they’re not available anywhere else currently.

There’s already so many more games that have been announced for PlayStation VR2 that I can’t wait to sink my teeth into, and I can only hope that continues into the future.

PlayStation VR2 PC support
CONCLUSION
PlayStation VR2 is a massive leap ahead of the original in every way and up there with the best virtual reality experiences to date. The headset and controller come together to compliment the PS5 feature-set which will hopefully result in some fantastic AAA virtual reality games that match the quality of PlayStation's exceptional first party offering.
Loved
The Controllers Are A Massive Improvement
Increased Fidelity In The Headset
Eye Tracking Will Be A Game-Changer
No Extras Needed
AAA Gaming Possibilities Are Endless
Didn't Love
Tracking Still Has Its Little Quirks
On The Expensive Side When You Factor In PS5 Price Too
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