PlayStation VR2 is Sony’s new big bet in the field of virtual reality. The second generation of the VR helmet from the Japanese company promises a great leap in terms of power and innovation. But, more importantly, it comes at the right time, when PlayStation 5 – the console it depends on – can finally be found in stores.
After our first contact during the last Tokyo Game Show, now that the device is on sale worldwide, we can compare these impressions by fully immersing ourselves in its proposal. Does it offer an experience up to the 599.99 euros it costs? We will try to answer this question by reviewing the main features of the device point by point.
One cable and you’re done
One of the main criticisms that the first model of PS VR received was its cumbersome installation, a process that involved a multitude of cables, an extra processing unit and the PlayStation Camera. PS VR2, on the other hand, vastly improves in this regard, as it connects to the console via a single USB-C cable.
The first thing we see after connecting and turning on the helmet is a tutorial that explains in simple steps how to put on the visor, configures the eye tracking (more on that later) and scans our game area —a surprising moment that It looks like something out of a sci-fi movie. This last step is important, since the experience we have with PS VR2 varies depending on the space we have to move around.
There are three types of play areas: to play sitting, standing or moving. The latter is the most immersive way, since it allows us to move slightly while we play, but obviously requires having at least 2×2 free meters. This playing area does not need to be square, since the device allows us to very easily draw the area in which we will establish the limits in which we can move, something important so as not to accidentally hit ourselves.
Design and ergonomics
The design of the helmet is in line with that of the rest of the products in the PlayStation 5 ecosystem, that is, it stands out for its stylized forms, for the predominance of white and for its construction mainly in plastic. More important, however, is the feeling one gets when putting it on. The helmet feels light thanks to its lower weight (560 grams compared to the 600 of the previous model) and a headband shape that distributes the weight naturally. Likewise, it is easy to put on, to adjust by means of a small wheel and also to remove.
Special mention for those who wear glasses, as they can be used without problems. Something to which we must also add a very useful wheel that regulates the horizontal distance between the lenses to adapt it to each user. The rubber that covers the eyes is also key, which here perfectly fulfills its function of adapting to the user’s face and preventing light from entering the viewfinder.
Before moving on to the technical details, another relevant feature when it comes to talking about comfort is the ability to see outside without having to remove the helmet. This functionality is becoming more common in VR headsets and it is appreciated that Sony thought of it. Thanks to some cameras on the outside of the helmet – the same ones that scan the playing area – the user can see their surroundings (in black and white) with the push of a button and without removing the helmet.
Inside the helmet we have one of the most outstanding elements of PS VR2: its OLED screen capable of offering a resolution of 2000×2040 per eye, four times more than the previous model. Added to its 120HZ refresh rate, its 110-degree field of view and its compatibility with HDR, the result is one of the best panels that we can find today in this range of products.
Devices like the HTC Vibe Pro 2 have higher resolution, but on an LCD screen that doesn’t offer the vibrant colors of an OLED panel. The result is images with a visual quality that achieves the great objective of VR, which is none other than tricking our minds and making us believe that we are in another place.
PlayStation VR2 has very good technical specifications, but also offers a great experience in terms of comfort and stability.
As far as sound is concerned, PS VR2 incorporates a standard 3.5mm connector (stereo jack), but no built-in speakers as other viewers like Meta Quest 2 do. However, it is not a problem, since the sound that is obtained through headphones is of higher quality. A headset type is included in the PS VR2 package. ear bud that offer an adequate answer, but the experience gains a lot of integers if we use other closed types. Unsurprisingly, Sony’s Pulse 3D – the official PS5 headset – fits the bill.
On the other hand, a unique feature of PS VR2 is the inclusion of haptic vibration in the helmet itself. This functionality that until now seemed relegated to the controls has also been incorporated into the viewer itself, something unique to date in a device of this type. This vibration serves both to provide additional sensory feedback in games, as well as a more than useful indication of turning the helmet on and off.
One of the most striking features of PS VR2 compared to the previous model is eye tracking, that is, the device’s ability to follow the movement of our pupils. It is not the first helmet that implements this technology, but it is one that uses it in a particularly effective way. It works through sensors installed inside the headset and has several uses, such as interacting with games through the direction of our gaze, something that is not only surprising, but also allows us to explore innovative (and accessible) ways to play.
It is not the first helmet that implements eye tracking, but it is one that uses it in an especially effective way
While not all games support eye tracking, titles like Horizon Call of the Mountain They do implement it for navigation in the menus and for another use that will give much to talk about: the device’s ability to adapt the pixel density of the image depending on where we look, with which more fluid games can be achieved. Although more surprising is the use that makes Rez Infinitewhich incorporates a mode that allows you to play with your eyes, allowing you to play in an innovative and accessible way for players with mobility problems.
Some real VR controllers
Another of the outstanding novelties of PS VR2 are the two controllers that are included in the pack along with the helmet. The PS VR2 Sense controllers stand out for their spherical design and are largely reminiscent of those that incorporate other virtual reality devices, such as the Oculus Touch or Valve Index. Unlike the old PlayStation Move for PS3, these new controllers represent a great advance in things as basic as the incorporation of a stick analog for each hand, or cutting-edge technologies such as haptic vibration.
The PS VR2 Sense controllers represent a great advance in the gaming experience, but they have very little autonomy
As is already the case with the PS5 DualSense, PlayStation VR2-specific controllers include adaptive triggers that offer different levels of pressure depending on the game situation, for example, to transmit the tension of a bow when shooting an arrow in Horizonor when firing a firearm in the action title After the Fall. In addition, they have the same haptic feedback that the console controller enjoys, which translates into vibrations that offer a more nuanced tactile sensation. Their only negative point is that they also share a poor battery life with the DualSense. All the cables that the device does not incorporate end up becoming charging cables around the console.
Varied catalog, but without big surprises
PlayStation VR2 has arrived in stores with a considerable catalog of games, but it still lacks an exclusive title that surprises with capital letters, that represents a turning point. Sony has promised that during the first month more than 30 references between new games and updates will be available and, for now, it is complying when it comes to nourishing the device’s catalog with a selection of varied experiences and titles of interest.
Horizon: Call of the Mountain it is the best technical demonstration of the device. This new adventure set in this popular Sony franchise stands out for its spectacular visual finish and for how it uses many of the features of PS VR2, but it does not measure up when it comes to offering a memorable gaming experience. Even so, it is a more than recommended title to release the device.
Horizon: Call of the Mountain stands out for its spectacular visual finish and is the best technical demo of the device
We will dedicate another article to explain in much more detail the games that have surprised us the most, but as a preview we can mention the update of the driving simulator Gran Turismo 7the new editions of Tetris effect and Rez Infinitethe two installments of the adorable adventure Moss, the adventure of Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge or the simple but addictive music game Drums Rock.
An important detail: PS VR2 is not compatible with virtual reality games on PS4. This limitation is a major setback for those people who opted for the previous model of the device, since they will not be able to take advantage of the games they already had. On the other hand, in its basic pack of the device –which we remember costs 599.99 euros– it does not include any game or demo, something that the previous model did incorporate.
A good base for a future experience
PlayStation VR2 is a device with a lot of potential, but right now it is still far from essential
This good technical base with which the second generation of Sony’s virtual reality helmet is released makes you want to play, you want to get the most out of it. However, this great expectation has not yet been fulfilled with the games available today. It is a set of good and varied experiences, but none of them are really surprising. PlayStation VR2 is, therefore, a device with a lot of potential, but right now it is still far from being essential for video game fans.
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