The review embargo has lifted for PSVR 2 (PS VR2?) with outlets getting hands-on with the new device from Sony, the sequel to the mega-popular-for-VR original PSVR, though it enters the market at very different point in time, with a different slate of rivals.
The reviews for the tech itself are almost all overwhelmingly positive. Testers describe PSVR 2’s comfort, its level of immersion and some of its new features as big draws.
Axios: “Older VR tech could induce nausea or just uncomfortably warm the user’s face, but even my two-hour sessions with PSVR 2 were pleasant. That’s probably thanks to a combination of its lower latency in tracking movement and refreshing its graphics, plus advances in VR game design.”
Washington Post: “Its technical feats are notable, with 2000 x 2040 pixel resolution per eye. That’s basically a 4K resolution screen pressed right up against your face. That means it offers a more pristine image than the $1,500 Meta Quest Pro. Paired with OLED technology that brings out sharp blacks, as well as high-dynamic range colors, this is probably the most visually impressive VR device on the consumer market.”
The main issues that come up with the device is the fact that it’s still tethered to the PS5, meaning you must both own a PS5 in the first place, almost doubling the effective cost, and you’re still wired into something, which Meta’s main headsets are not anymore.
There’s also a conundrum here where the price, at $550, is really solid for the technology integrated into the unit, which as mentioned, may be more impressive in many ways than Meta’s stupidly expensive $1,500 Quest Pro. But that’s a separate question as to whether there’s a huge marketplace for a $550 VR headset attached to a $400-500 PS5 in 2023. The tech is good, but the VR market is still something of a question mark. If you are into VR, however, this sounds like at truly excellent device to use that furthers the medium in important ways.
Software is another question. There has been a lot of high praise for Horizon: Call of the Mountain, the immersive Horizon Zero Dawn VR game that is the flagship offering of PSVR 2, with some comparing it to even Valve’s Half-Life Alyx in terms of its VR virtual fidelity. But a constantly complaint and caution in all these reviews is that there simply do not appear to be enough worthwhile games on PSVR 2 yet, in part because you cannot use any of your existing PSVR 1 library.
So, I keep reading things like “It’s fantastic, but you probably don’t need it” or “the tech is amazing, but you may want to wait to get one.” If I had to guess PSVR 2 will do pretty well…for a VR headset, and with how much Meta has been struggling lately, seems poised to eat Mark Zuckerberg’s lunch. But larger questions remain about the health of the VR industry, and the long term prospects of the hardware and its audience.
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