PlayStation VR 2 | REVIEW
We’ve known the Playstation VR 2 has been in the works for a while, but we actually got to have some hands-on time with the headset and demo a few upcoming games, like The Walking Dead, Resident Evil Village, and Sony’s own big launch title, meant to show what the Playstation VR 2 is capable of, Horizon: Call of the Mountain.
But first, let’s go through the hardware. The Playstation VR 2 keeps a lot of the original’s adjustable design. It’s easy to put on, and there’s a knob in the back that you turn to adjust fit.
That’s great, as you can easily accommodate a lot of different head sizes. And I like that it didn’t snag on my hair like some other VR headsets I’ve tried. And of course, you can also adjust your IPD so you get the best image possible. As far as design goes, It’s been updated to match the look of the PS5, and altogether, it’s pretty slick. The headsets, headphones, and new Playstation VR 2 sense controllers, just look like they fit together. Compared to the original, the Playstation VR 2 is also way more streamlined.
For starters, you don’t need to set up a finicky camera stand. Instead, there are four cameras embedded directly into the headset that tracks your movements. And in the games, I played, it actually worked pretty well. You also don’t need a ton of cords or the extra processing unit like before. You can just plug in a single USB-C cable into your PS5, which is helpful since you’re not as likely to get tangled up in cables, but a part of me still wishes this wasn’t a tethered device.
So is it immersive?
That depends a lot on the game, but Sony’s added a lot of little touches here and there to help you feel like you’re in another world. The headset now has 4K HDR,
a 110-degree field of view, and something called foveated rendering using eye tracking. Basically, it’s a rendering technique where you reduce image quality in your peripheral vision while enhancing it in the direction you’re actually looking. And I gotta say, it works pretty seamlessly.
As for image quality, Sony says you can get 90 hertz to 120-hertz refresh rates on a 2,000-by-2,040 OLED display. And while a lot of the games look great, it did feel like there was a bit of a textured layer between you and the game. The best way I can describe it is if your contacts get dry. You can still see clearly, but everything is just a tad hazy around the edges. If you’re familiar with VR, you’ll know what I’m talking about. I didn’t think it distracted me from the gameplay.
Trust me, I was plenty immersed when some Resident Evil zombies got all up in my face. That was really good. Overall improvements in the displays do make the whole experience a lot more enjoyable and far less tiring. It didn’t feel like I needed a long break before jumping back into the frame, massacring hordes of walkers with a chainsaw.
My favorite part was actually the haptics. There’s now a motor in the headset and the new controllers also vibrate during the game, and not just when you stab a katana into a zombie’s head, which is really fun, by the way. But when I was rock-climbing in Horizon: Call of the Mountain, you could feel little vibrations when you grip the rocks. Just added an extra layer of physicality that was really neat. Speaking of the controllers, I really liked them once I figured out which way to hold them.
The controls are easy to use, and it borrows a lot of the DNA from dual-sense controllers, like the adapted triggers. The sense controllers also have finger detection,
so your character can do a lot more than just grab onto items or weapons.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t available in every demo we tried, but it worked fairly well on Horizon. That was definitely the most technically sound game of the four that I had the chance to try out. It felt like the world was more interactive and less pre-scripted, making it a much more immersive experience.
For example, you can feel your hand bump into virtual objects instead of just getting lost in an invisible wall of pixels. You can break plates, toss boxes, and chuck apples around you if you want. Hell, you can bang a gong if you want, just for the heck of it. When using a bow and arrow, I kept one eye closed like I presumably would in the real world. So to answer the question, “Is it immersive?” Well, it depends on the game, but my answer would be a big yes.
The virtual world was loading seamlessly, parallax effects felt true, physics in the games also felt real, and even the sense of height felt terrifying. Overall, the Playstation VR 2 isn’t revolutionizing VR gaming, but it’s miles better than Sony’s first stab at VR gaming in 2016. You’d expect and hope a lot of things would change in nearly six years, and they do, all the way from the simplicity of the hardware to performance. We don’t know the pricing or availability just yet, but color us intrigued.
PlayStation VR 2 | Best Review