PlayStation VR2: What you need to know about PS5 VR

It’s been a long six years since Sony released the PlayStation VR in 2016, but the PlayStation VR2 is finally here to elevate the finest console VR to the next level.

With the PS5 now available globally, it’s no wonder that fans have been anticipating a PS VR2 device to accompany the new home system. We now have it, but be warned: it costs more than a PS5.

If that’s too much for you, the current PSVR headset is still compatible with the PlayStation 5, but users must request a complimentary adapter to link the camera to the system.

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When was PS VR2 released?

The PS VR2 was released globally on February 22, 2023, with over 40 titles launching alongside it until the end of March.

How much does PS VR2 cost?

The bad news is that PlayStation VR2 is costly. The base package, which includes the headgear, a pair of controllers, and stereo headphones, costs $549/£529/€599, which is more than the price of the first PlayStation VR headset, and even more than the price of the PS5, which is currently $499/£479/€549.

That is the most cost-effective method to purchase the new VR device. A more expensive package includes the debut game Horizon Call of the Mountain for a total of $599/£569/€649, with an additional $49/£39/€49 for a controller charging station.

If you live in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, or Luxembourg, you can purchase either set from PlayStation Direct, Sony’s main webshop. For the time being, that is the only shop with supply in those nations, but for the rest of the globe, try your local electronics and gaming stores.

Unfortunately, there are some early indications that this starting fee may be too high for most people to bear. According to Bloomberg, Sony has already cut its expected sales for the console’s first three months on sale from 2 million to 1 million due to poor pre-order numbers and is now planning to send only 1.5 million devices during the headset’s first full fiscal year (from April 2023 to March 2024).

That may be good news for those who have been holding out on purchasing the hardware, as poor sales may push Sony’s hand into lowering the price sooner rather than later.

For comparison, the high-end Vive Cosmos costs $699/£699, and the new Meta Quest Pro costs even more at $1,499/£1,499, though the Meta Quest 2 is significantly less expensive at $399/£399.

What about the PS VR2’s design and specs?

Sony has now unveiled everything about the new VR hardware, including a look at the headgear and the Sense controllers as well as the majority of the hardware’s specifications.

We’ve gathered all of Sony’s formal material in one place.

  • Design

One of the last elements Sony withheld was the headset’s design.

PlayStation VR2

Senior vice president Hideaki Nishino explains in a blog post presenting the design that it was influenced by the PS5, but with more rounded edges and contours to symbolize the 360-degree perspective that players have within the Virtual environment.

Some details, such as the position of the earphone port and the adjustable scope and headband, have been intentionally kept unchanged so that returning players will find the experience familiar. Other components are novel, such as a lens adjustment dial to match the lens distance between the player’s eyes.

The redesigned headgear is both slimmer and lighter than the previous model.

Another significant change for comfort is a new vent along the front of the scope, which should help you stay cool (and perspiration less) during extended gaming periods.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, the small PlayStation symbols featured on the PS5 and DualSense are also present here, running along the front and rear bands of the PS VR2 headgear.

  • Sense controllers

The existing Move devices do the job of enabling you to engage with virtual worlds, but without 1:1 tracking, they simply cannot compete with the experience provided by Vive, Cosmos, or Oculus Touch controllers – and Sony is well aware of this.

Weeks after Sony revealed that it was working on new controllers for the PSVR 2 headgear, the company released a PlayStation Blog article giving our first good look at the forthcoming controllers – since confirmed to be dubbed the Sense controllers.

PlayStation VR2

Sony claims that the orb-like design, evocative of the Oculus Quest 2 controllers, “allows you to hold the joystick organically,” with no restrictions on how your hands can move and that the ergonomic design should transfer to a more comfortable experience than handling the aging batons.

The Sense controllers also include the adaptive triggers and tactile feedback found on the DualSense controller for PS5, which are undoubtedly Sony’s finest new controller features. Along with the normal ananalogticks and action keys, this is backed up by finger touch recognition, which allows you to make natural movements in-game.

Sony claims that the orb-like design, evocative of the Oculus Quest 2 controllers, “allows you to hold the joystick organically,” with no restrictions on how your hands can move and that the ergonomic design should transfer to a more comfortable experience than handling the aging batons.

The Sense controllers also include the adaptive triggers and tactile feedback found on the DualSense controller for PS5, which are undoubtedly Sony’s finest new controller features. Along with the normal analog sticks and action keys, this is backed up by finger touch recognition, which allows you to make natural movements in-game.

This time around, there are no large in-your-face LEDs to depend on for tracking, instead choosing for smaller tracking circles at the foot of each gamepad.

  • Connectivity

Let us begin with the negative news. Wireless connectivity was one of the most expected improvements to the second-generation PSVR, but Sony says the headset “will link to PS5 with a single cord to streamline setup and enhance ease-of-use while allowing a high-fidelity visual experience.”

The cord in issue is a 4.5m (14.7ft) USB-C lead, which makes sense given Sony’s placement of a solitary USB-C port on the front of the machine.

So far, the only VR devices that come equipped with wifi connectivity are standalone versions like the Meta Quest 2, which are, by definition, less potent. HTC has published wireless add-ons for the Vive and Vive Cosmos, but does not enable wireless play as normal; perhaps Sony will follow suit and release a wireless adapter after launch.

  • Core specs

Sony was secretive about the silicon inside the PlayStation VR2 for a while, but it was revealed in November 2022 that MediaTek is supplying the processors that power both the headgear and the Sense controllers.

These are both custom processors developed in collaboration by MediaTek and Sony, and neither firm has divulged much about the particular silicon, but at least we know what it’s called.

However, keep in mind that the majority of the computing capacity comes from the PS5, with MediaTek’s processor only managing things like displays, tracking, and connectivity.

  • Headset-based tracking

One of the most significant advancements for the new headgear is the use of “inside-out tracking,” in which cameras integrated into the headset itself record your position and motions.

Importantly, this eliminates the need for an external camera, resulting in one less costly item to purchase and one less piece of clutter and wiring taking up space in your living room.

  • Eye tracking

The incorporated cameras aren’t the only enhancements to monitoring in the PlayStation VR2.

The device also has eye tracking, so it can tell where you’re gazing even if you don’t move your head. According to Sony, this will enable you to “create an extra input for the game character” by gazing in particular areas.

Tobii, the market leader in eye-tracking hardware, confirmed the agreement in July 2022, predicting that it will account for more than 10% of its sales in 2022.

“PlayStation VR2 sets a new standard for realistic virtual reality (VR) entertainment, allowing millions of people around the globe to experience the force of eye tracking,” said Tobii CEO Anand Srivatsa.

“Our collaboration with Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) demonstrates Tobii’s world-leading technology capabilities to offer cutting-edge solutions at the mass-market size.”

  • Displays

The PlayStation VR2 has OLED screens with a resolution of 20002040 per eye, a total resolution of 40002040, and a 4K headset.

It enables HDR as well as foveated rendering, a rendering method that reduces picture clarity in peripheral vision to allow for better quality in areas where the player is looking.

A 110-degree field of vision is among the most expansive in the current VR headset market, and support for both 90Hz and 120Hz frame rates will result in a more realistic visual experience.

  • Haptic feedback

Sony has included tactile feedback in the headset itself, in addition to the haptic feedback incorporated into the new Sense devices.

A single built-in motor will move the headgear in reaction to in-game occurrences, which, when coupled with the Tempest 3D audio support on the system, could help make games much more realistic.

“For example, during tense times, players can feel a character’s elevated heartbeat, the rush of items moving close to the character’s head, or the thrust of a vehicle as the character accelerates forward,” according to Sony’s official blog.

  • Software features

In a blog entry, Sony also revealed a slew of new software tricks for the PlayStation VR2.

If you own a PS5 HD Camera, you can also use it in a new broadcasting mode, which is ideal for streamers who want to show off their responses to games in real-time without requiring a complex setup.

PlayStation VR2

A new see-through option, which utilizes the headset’s front-facing cameras to enable you to watch your surroundings without taking the headset off – to speak to pals or simply locate your controllers – is also included.

Even more remarkable, you’ll be able to use the cameras and devices in tandem to create a unique play area, designating boundaries to avoid furnishings, stairs, or other dangers. As a result, the headset will warn you if you get too near to the boundaries you’ve put up, potentially sparing you from a serious mishap.

PlayStation VR2

Lastly, Cinema Mode displays the PS5 operating system, non-VR games, and materials such as TV shows or films on a simulated cinema screen. In Dramatic Mode, the content will be presented in 19201080 HDR video format with frame rates of 24/60Hz and 120Hz.

  • Backward compatibility

The PS5 is directly compatible with almost the complete PS4 library, so we assumed the same would be true for the PlayStation VR catalog – but not.

“PSVR games are not compatible with PSVR2 because PSVR2 is designed to deliver a truly next-generation VR experience,” Hideaki Nishino, PlayStation’s senior vice president of platform experience, said in an interview with the Official PlayStation Podcast, adding that “developing games for PSVR2 requires a completely different approach than developing games for the original PSVR.”

According to PSVR Without Parole, Sony will prioritize remasters of first-gen PSVR games, so expect to see a slew of earlier titles re-released and optimized for the new technology.

Confirmed PS VR2 games

Now that the headgear is available, there are numerous verified PlayStation VR2 games, with over 40 games scheduled to be released during the debut timeframe – and more than 100 already in production.

Horizon Call of the Mountain, a Virtual spin-off of Horizon Zero Dawn and its sequel Horizon Forbidden West, is the major one.

 

The next major news is that horror favorite Resident Evil Village has gotten a patch to add PlayStation VR2 support for the entire campaign, with updated VR versions of No Man’s Sky, Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge, and Gran Turismo 7 also accessible.

Beat Saber will also be available, though not at debut, as will a VR edition of Resident Evil 4.

In terms of new games, The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners is receiving a sequel for PlayStation VR2, as are independent titles like Samurai Slaughter House, Firewall Ultra, and Among Us VR.

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