Sony’s PSVR for PlayStation 4, the console’s first serious virtual reality add-on, has done well for itself. It was reasonably affordable, well received by gamers and critics alike, and received far more post-launch support than many previous PlayStation hardware efforts (RIP, dear Vita). Now, several outlets have had their first hands-on sessions with an early release of Sony’s upcoming PSVR2 for the PlayStation 5. The expected new VR doesn’t have an official price or release date (just “early 2023”), but it’s based on those impressions. They are already making waves with critics.
A variety of outlets that have earned these hands-on demos describe the experience as being on par with the more powerful PC VR offerings from Valve or Meta. However, Sony and other developers have yet to create compelling games, and for now, the only exclusive experiences for the new platform are horizon Occasional and last year’s VR version Resident Evil Village. The latter can be played for the first time in VR on a Sony headset. There is, too walking dead game and star Wars VR experience, both port of the previous PC/Quest VR games.
In general, critics seemed impressed, even impressed, by the experience. Among the qualities mentioned are the overall build quality and comfort, which seem to compete well with existing headphones. It’s still restrictive, but the cable length seems adequate enough. The quality of the charts and the overall “immersion”, in particular, get a great deal of attention. One of the more bleeding edge features is the headset’s eye tracking, which allows the unit to optimize the view based on where you’re looking, or in the future, lock gazes with other players. There is also haptic feedback in the headset itself. ribbed Note that both features are used in horizonwhich is the most advanced offering of hardware to date.
Basically, it just needs a few killer apps, and the current demo quartet looks like a solid start. Here are some highlights from practical impressions of each port:
“Last week I tried out Sony’s new headphone for the first time and was surprised at how great two of its standout games are, The call of the horizon from the mountain And the Resident Evil Villageseem. They did not rely on particle or stylized artistic direction; They looked like the AAA console games you happen to be in VR. The past few years of playing Quest have recalibrated my expectations of what VR games should look like, and it’s been great to see games progress visually again without the need for elaborate setup.”
“But what does it feel like to actually play games on the PSVR2, with all of its new bells and whistles? The actual PSVR2 hardware was a joy to use. Like most modern VR headsets, it lets you adjust the head strap to make sure everything rests comfortably on your noggin, and you can tweak the inter-pupillary distance (IPD) so that the actual lenses inside the headset are the right distance for you. The screens looked great, though things sometimes felt just a little bit hazy at the edges, which could also happen with the first PSVR.”
“Wow. Wow, wow, wow. That’s the word that keeps springing to mind when I try to sum up my time with PlayStation VR2. As a fervent fan of VR for many years now, it’s safe to say that my first hands-on experience with Sony’s upcoming headset wowed my VR-loving socks off. This sleek and stylish unit was all I could have wanted for an upgraded PSVR headset and much, much more.
“In terms of technological and visual quality, this feels like one of the more memorable generational console leaps. Experiencing the difference in visuals between the PSVR1 and the PSVR2 brought back memories of graduating to the sparkly, sharp, high-definition games of a PS3 after spending years playing games on the PS2 in standard definition.”
“Sony has touted much higher visual fidelity for PSVR2, which, for the tech-spec obsessed people out there, amounts to an OLED display that offers a resolution of 2000×2040 per eye, HDR, refresh rates of 90Hz and 120Hz, and a 110-degree field of view. This is all impressive on paper, but when you experience it with the headset on, it’s a bit of magic.
“The level of detail on display was genuinely overwhelming, mostly because I didn’t expect it from a VR game. I know how dismissive that sounds of all the VR games out there, of which there are certainly more than a few impressive-looking ones. However, there’s a clear line between the way a VR game and a non-VR game look—there’s a level of richness, detail, and polish that separates the two. Horizon Call of the Mountain blurs that line on PSVR2.”
“PlayStation VR2 thankfully feels like a modern entry into the VR landscape, with top-notch visual fidelity and comfortable ergonomics. Its haptics and adaptive triggers, if implemented well, will be a welcome addition to the immersive experience. As with all new pieces of hardware, the question now falls to whether there will be enough games to make the investment worth it. First-party games like Horizon Call of the Mountain certainly help assuage those fears, and while nothing has been announced yet, I would be shocked if the outstanding Half-Life: Alyx didn’t make its way to the platform.”