Sony’s PlayStation VR 2 headset arrives Feb. 22, turning the PlayStation 5 into your own home virtual reality game system. Our complete review is coming, but in the meantime we’re unboxing the gadget and setting up the hardware. After our initial hands-on with the PSVR 2 headset back in the fall, we really wanted to know what was in the box.
To our pleasant surprise, the $550 (£530, AU$880) PSVR 2 feels less cluttered than the first PlayStation VR did, and it’s sort of shocking when you unpack the box. There’s the headset with a single USB-C cable, a pair of PlayStation Sense controllers, a USB charge cable for the controllers, a pair of earbuds — and that’s it.
You probably wouldn’t expect much more than that if you’ve bought a modern VR headset like the Meta Quest 2, but it’s so much better than the tangle of breakout boxes and cables that the first PSVR required. The original 2016 PSVR needed a webcamlike PlayStation camera to attach to the TV for tracking, a breakout box with its own power supply, and cables you’d snake between the PS4, the headset and the box.
Now forget all that: All you need here is that one built-in USB-C cable.
The PlayStation VR 2 headset is lightweight and not all that different in feel from the original. It slides over glasses easily and has a rubberized eye mask, but this time you can adjust how far apart the lenses are for different eye needs, in addition to sliding closer or farther away for comfort. There are four cameras on the outside of the headset that handle all the room tracking, similar to how VR headsets like the Quest 2 work. There’s nothing else you need to plug in.
The visor design tightens in the back and stretches to fit heads, making it less constricting than elastic face straps like the Quest 2 has. But it also means a larger design that feels bulky, and you might want to make sfure you find a place to store it safely (and away from sunlight so the displays don’t get damaged).
There’s a small headphone jack along the top edge of the headset, where a customized pair of earbuds on a plastic rail plug right in. The buds can drop down and pop in your ears, and pop into little holders on the side when not in use. There’s no ambient speakers here like the Quest 2, so you’ll need headphones on. You could also plug in another pair, like Sony’s over-ear Pulse headset. There are a few extra bud tips included for various ear fits.
The USB-C cable is permanently attached to the PSVR 2, but it’s long. Long enough that I could easily snake it across a living room, at least. Is it long enough to feel like it’s not getting in the way, or too limiting? Stay tuned.
Controllers: Sleek and light
The controllers are super lightweight, as I mentioned back in the fall. Their ring design is elegant. And they feel almost like spheres I lower my hands into. The controls and triggers are very much like the DualSense controller, but split in two. They have USB-C charging ports and rechargeable batteries, and adjustable hand straps to stay on tight for active games.
Sony also sells a separate controller charge dock that was sent along with the headset for us to check out.
The dock is simple and flat, and comes with tiny dongles for the USB-C ports that add charge pins to dock with the charge base. It makes the charging feel almost contactless, and seems like a useful add-on. The tiny dongles, however, look like something you’d better keep in the controllers, otherwise you might lose them.
Review to come
We’ll have more impressions soon, so stay tuned for a full review. But we can say, at least, that the PSVR 2 package already feels like far less of a headache than the original was in 2016.