The PlayStation VR 2 has more to it than its name. It’s a more powerful version of Sony’s original virtual-reality headset. The PS VR 2 recreates console VR from top to bottom by learning a lot and improving upon some of its shortcomings.
The PlayStation VR 2 has the same design as the PS VR 1 except that it uses a white color scheme to match its PS5 console. It uses a similar headband system that secures the headset to the head and slides the VR goggle piece back to secure it in place before the eyes. Because it doesn’t apply pressure to the eyes, it’s much more comfortable than other virtual reality headsets. It’s also easier to wear glasses when using the PS VR 2 thanks to the sliding mechanism.
It’s easy to put the PlayStation VR 2 helmet on. First, the user adjusts the headband’s back to fit their head. The user will then tighten the band and secure it by turning a knob in the back. Finally, they press a button to align the visor with their eyes by sliding it back. A knob located on the headband allows for easy removal of the headset.
The PS VR 2 feels snug but isn’t too restrictive. The PSVR 2 is comfortable and secure. It does not slip or loosen the tension when the user moves around. The headset is lightweight and light, which makes it possible to engage in VR gaming sessions for a longer period.
Although the PlayStation VR 2 is quite familiar, this is where most similarities stop. This VR headset has an inside-out tracking system, meaning that it does not require cameras or trackers to determine user or controller movements. Instead, four cameras are located on the headset’s front to register head movement and decide how to adjust the image in-game.
The greatest thing about the inside-out track is that it eliminates any limitations regarding a play area. Instead of standing in front of a TV or mounting a camera, users can search for the right area of the room to allow them to move around. VR games that allow seated gameplay can be played without the user having to be in a particular place. They can tell/show the headset how much space they have and then create the play area.
The PS VR 2 headset includes two 4K OLED LCDs that support up to 120Hz. Immersion is the key selling point for virtual reality. The displays bring incredible clarity and provide an amazing experience. The headset displays provide a level that is immediately awe-inspiring, as long as the design supports it.
You can get the most immersive experience possible with some hardware and software bells. Eye-tracking software can be astonishingly useful and will bring into focus any objects the user is viewing. The wide angle of these displays makes it look like the user is looking through a pair of binoculars. The headset has an easy-to-access lens adjustment wheel at the top that allows you to adjust the spacing between your eyes.
The PS VR 2 headset boasts rock-solid tech that delivers stunning visuals. Virtual reality headset users are often required to make adjustments to their experience to maximize the benefits of the headset. Sony has made the PS VR 2 flexible enough to accommodate any head shape or eye spacing.
The headset also offers haptic feedback for extra immersion. It is subtle but highly effective, and it is supported where possible. The headset would send a slight pulse to the player character if it was passing by or interacting with them in-game.
True virtual reality immersion requires more than visuals. Sound is also crucial to achieving that sense and feeling of space and place. The PS VR 2 headset also comes with a special earbud attachment that connects to the headset’s backband and keeps it in its place. The earbuds drop from the left and right sides of each headset’s headband and can then be secured in each ear. The PS VR 2 is available in three sizes, but they aren’t foolproof for getting the perfect fit. The arrangement is great for plugging in or unplugging earbuds.
Tempest 3D tech, which is part of the PS VR 2, makes for a remarkable improvement in audio quality. The headset’s tracking can determine the position and direction of the user’s ears. It’s not the best audio experience on the market, but it’s more than enough to complement the headset’s visuals.
Two other very important pieces of PS VR 2 are located on the undersides. Although we didn’t use the microphone in our testing, Call of the Mountain did make use of it to create the illusion that we were blowing into objects like a panpipe while playing the game. Pass-through is a boon. It uses the headset’s camera to show what is right in front of you. It can be confusing to play VR games for only a few moments. But the pass-through buttons allow you to quickly pause the game and show the user exactly where they are within a room.
PS VR 2 controllers are a big leap forward
Sony also completely revamped its control system for PS VR 2, replacing the Move controllers with a set of controllers more in line with those found on the Oculus Quest. The controllers feature cool features such as round hoops that are placed at the bottom to protect hands from bumping into objects while playing.
However, they are similar to two flight sticks that have a joystick as well as a set of buttons on each end. They also come with an adaptive trigger to simulate the tension involved in performing certain actions.
The controllers work perfectly, regardless if you’re using traditional joystick control as well as motion control. The headset registered where each person was in relative spaces, save for one case where it lost track of its left controller. Importantly, the controllers are more realistic and allow for real-life interactions like grasping a ledge to firing a weapon.
The PlayStation VR 2 controllers generally perform at the same level as the top virtual reality controllers. The controllers also have finger touch detection. This allows avatars to make gestures such as pointing, making a “peace sign”, or rolling up their fist. It’s an interesting detail that gives the feeling that the user is doing much more than just waving static hands around the air.
The 2nd step is easy: Setup
The PS VR 2 setup is fast and easy, even though it does not allow for wired VR headsets. The software will guide users through a series of steps that will assist them in everything from setting the lens spacing to fine-tuning their eye tracking. The software uses the cameras to measure the space available to the user for virtual reality gaming. It can locate the contours and dimensions of any obstruction that might be in the user’s path and create a playable area. The user can also adjust what the tracking does, although it was very accurate in our testing.
The PS VR 2 will require a space of 6’7″, X 6’7″, to be able to provide room-scale experiences. People with smaller rooms will be able to create as large a space as they want and still have a good VR experience. A quick settings menu appears whenever you press any button. It is easy to switch between standing and seated VR. Even though the headset is in one room, it can keep track of the area that it created.
Although the VR headset wire can sometimes get in our way, it’s much less cumbersome than its bulkier counterpart. No matter whether we were performing a room-scale experience such as What The Bat or sitting to play, our movements and controllers were recognized by the PS VR 2 without any problems. VR’s inability of fitting in any given space is one of the main problems. However, the PS VR 2 has all the settings and options you need to make VR work wherever you are.
VR Game Testing for PS5
Horizon – This is the main attraction for PS VR 2 and takes advantage of every aspect of the headset. It’s a VR experience like no other, adapting the main game’s traversal and combat to a more constrained setting. Combat is where this game differs from its predecessors. It places the player in a “circular area” that allows them to dodge around a robotic animal and fire arrows at its weak points.
However, Horizon Call of the Mountain offers a stunning imitation of the real experience. Players will reach out to grab different handholds and pull themselves up cliffsides. Although this is an extremely simple gameplay mechanic, it is executed so well that it’s easy to get lost in the action. Climbing also offers a lot of exercises.
Call of the Mountain: This game is the best for PS VR 2 and shows off the incredible capabilities of the headset. Many VR titles have been converted to PS VR 2 which makes extensive use of the system’s core components. Most of the titles do not use finger tracking and support for room scales. But, the most important thing about the porting is that there is no loss in functionality. Each game felt as if it were a lower version of its Quest/Vive/Index sibling; the gaming experience is just as intense and complex.
We tested Horizon: Call of the Mountain (VR), Kayak Mirage; VR, Tentacular, After the Fall, Moss Books 1 and 2, What the Bat, Star Wars Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge (VR), and Jurassic World Aftermath (VR). Each offers a different VR experience. All work very well with the PS VR 2 and they are all worth checking.
Developers will need to be patient for the PS VR 2 to work as Call of the Mountain. But eventually, features such as eye tracking and finger touch will become part of the experience. Just as Sony put a lot of focus on Dual Sense’s features during the PS5’s launch period, developers will also need the PS VR 2’s unique features to make games stand out.
Virtual reality isn’t a popular choice for gamers. Many see it as a gimmick. It’s an expensive proposition, and it’s not going to work for everyone. A headset/controller pair that is suitable for VR will be available to those who are willing to try it out, whether they’re trying it for the first, second, or third time. The launch lineup offers a range of titles to highlight the best of VR. Call of the Mountain is an example of the full potential of the device.
Sony’s main obstacles to selling PS VR 2 are price and interest. However, it’s made great strides. Sony’s headset stands out thanks to its simplicity, ease of use, and clever control functions.
PlayStation VR 2 release on February 22, 2023. Game Rant was provided a prerelease unit retail unit for this review.