Sony has contributed significantly toward the growth of VR gaming, and from the day the original PS VR came out, the company has been a staunch supporter of the medium, niche though it may be. With PlayStation VR2 launching soon, there’s plenty of excitement surrounding how Sony is going to support the machine, what sort of games the new hardware will enable, and what sort of an impact it will have on VR gaming as a whole. With a launch date of February 22, the PS VR2 isn’t too far away from release now, and as we count the days down to its release, here, we’re going to go through a few key details you should know about it.
JUST ONE WIRE
One of the biggest issues most people had with the original PS VR was how unnecessarily complicated it was to set it up, and how inconvenient it so often felt to use. The PS VR2 is attempting to address those issues in a number of ways. For starters, rather than coming with a hell mess of necessary wires and connections like the original headset did, the PlayStation VR2 will require just one single wire to be set up and connected to the PS5. Sure, one wire is still not as good as what some other virtual reality headsets offer, but it’s a huge improvement nonetheless.
Sony is attempting to make the PlayStation VR2 experience more comfortable and convenient in other ways as well. The overall size of the headset itself may not have been radically reduced from its predecessor, but supposedly it’s slightly lighter and slimmer and was designed “with comfort in mind”. Meanwhile, the headset will also come with an integrated vent for extra air flow to prevent overheating, an adjustable headband, as well as a lens adjustment dial.
This is one of the areas where Sony has made some pretty significant upgrades. The PlayStation VR2 boasts some impressive specs- it will come with an OLED screen and feature support for 4K and HDR, with a specific resolution of 2000×2040 per eye and refresh rates of 90/120Hz. The field of view has also been kicked up from the original PS VR’s 100 degrees to 110 degrees. Support for 3D audio has also been confirmed, while interestingly enough, the headset itself will also implement haptic feedback. That could either be extremely distracting or extremely immersive, so we’re curious to see how developers implement the feature.
Another major new feature that’s been implemented in the PlayStation VR2 is foveated rendering. In simple terms, foveated rendering refers to the headset tracking your eyes and their movements so that it looks exactly what you’re looking at at any given time. As a result, whatever you’re looking at specifically will be rendered with much greater and sharper detail, which results in both increased performance and better visual fidelity.
INSIDE OUT TRACKING
The PS VR2 also boasts inside out tracking. Rather than requiring the PlayStation Camera like the original PS VR did (which was another thing that contributed to how inconvenient using it so often felt), the PlayStation VR2 instead comes with four cameras on the headset itself, which are used to track both the headset and the controllers. Interestingly, players will also be able to use a mapping system to mark their own custom play areas.
Sony has also revealed a few other PlayStation VR2 features that have caught the eye. For starters, there’s See-Through View, which will allow you to use the headset’s external cameras to show you what’s around you. Players can switch back and forth between gameplay with the headset’s function button, or by using the Control Center. Though See-Through View won’t allow any recording, PS VR2 will also allow you to broadcast yourself playing VR games as long as you have a PS5 HD Camera. Meanwhile, there’s also Cinematic Mode, which owners of the original PS VR will be familiar with- it essentially lets you use your PS5 and play all of its games on a giant virtual screen while wearing the headset.
Moving on from the headset itself, another area where the PS VR2 is looking to make big (and much-needed) strides is with its controllers. The new Sense controllers are designed from scratch specifically for the PlayStation VR2, each controller is designed to be held in one hand, with an orb-like design wrapping around your grip. The left controller will have one analog stick, the Create button, and the triangle and square buttons on its face, and the L1 and L2 buttons on the grip, while the right controller will come with another analog stick, the X and O buttons, and the Options button on its face, and the R1 and R2 buttons on the grip.
SENSE CONTROLLER FEATURES
So what exactly will the Sense controller boast in terms of gameplay features and specs? A lot of that overlaps with what the DualSense already offers on the PS5. That means the Sense controller features support for haptic feedback – which, according to Sony, has been “optimized for its form factor” – and adaptive triggers. Additionally, the Sense controller also boasts finger touch detection, which will allow for more natural gestures with your hands during gameplay.
SENSE CONTROLLER CHARGING STATION
We don’t yet have any official word on what sort of battery life the Sense controller will have, but if you are nonetheless looking to optimize the charging, Sony seems to have you covered. Alongside the PS VR2 itself, the company is also launching the Sense controller charging station, which is exactly what it sounds like. It has a simple click-in design and will let you charge your controller without having to connect it to your PS5, and will cost $49.99.
NO BACKWARD COMPATIBILITY
The original PS VR doesn’t have what you might call a killer library, but it does nonetheless have quite a few excellent games that would have bolstered the PS VR2’s library nicely. Sadly, that won’t be possible, with Sony having confirmed that the PlayStation VR2 will not be backward compatible with its predecessor. Given its significant hardware improvements and its thoroughly redesigned controllers, that doesn’t come as a huge surprise- but it’s disappointing nonetheless.
Sony has made more than a few pricing decisions over the last couple of years that have rubbed many people the wrong way, with both software and hardware, and the PS VR2 very much seems to be falling in that category as well. It will be available at a price of $549.99- which is a bit too steep according to many, especially when you consider the fact that it’s somehow costlier than the costliest version of the PS5 itself.
Steep prices are easier to swallow when new hardware launches with several exciting games, but the PlayStation VR2’s launch lineup is looking a bit light. There is, of course, Horizon Call of the Mountain, which has looked promising in all that we’ve seen so far, while Resident Evil Village is another major title, but beyond that, there isn’t an awful lot to be excited about. Across its launch lineup of over a couple dozen games, there’s plenty of ports, as well as PS VR2 updates for previously released titles like No Man’s Sky and Gran Turismo 7.
OTHER CONFIRMED TITLES
Beyond its launch lineup, what else can PS VR2 owners look forward to? That’ll obviously become clearer as time goes on, but a few notable titles have already been announced. The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners – Chapter 2: Retribution launches in March, while Capcom is also working on PS VR2 content for the upcoming Resident Evil 4 remake. Ghostbusters is also in development, as is Among Us VR. Other notable titles include Firewall Ultra, The Dark Pictures: Switchback VR, Crossfire: Sierra Squad, After the Fall, and more.
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