PSVR 2 future looks pretty bleak — is this the next Vita?

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This week marks 13 months since the PSVR 2 was released in February 2023, and this week also saw me switch on my PS5 virtual-reality headset for the first time in months (and even then I only used it for roughly 30 minutes for testing purposes). 

Since spending $599 on PSVR 2 last year, I’ve found myself increasingly neglecting the device. This is partially because in late 2023 I got access to a Meta Quest 3 and can’t stop playing the Quest-exclusive RPG Asgard’s Wrath 2, but it’s also because I don’t feel like Sony is doing enough to incentivize me to use my PSVR 2 right now.  

The PSVR 2 is a fantastic VR headset. I’ve written about that in the past, and I still believe it now. But it’s starting to draw unwelcome parallels to the PlayStation Vita, another excellent piece of technology that Sony launched to much fanfare, and then seemingly forgot about. 

Show me the games 

Horizon: Call of the Mountain image

(Image credit: Sony)

In my opinion, PSVR 2 has one major flaw: A lack of compelling exclusive games. While the PSVR 2 continues to be supported by a wealth of third-party and independent developers, many of these games are available on the rival Meta Quest and Valve Index platforms. 

Where’s the PSVR game set in the world of God of War or The Last of Us, or even a wholly original new IP for the VR device?

What the PSVR 2 really needs to sell itself to more PS5 owners is exclusive software from Sony’s own PlayStation Studios stable. To date, the only title that fits that mold is Horizon: Call of the Mountain, and that was a PSVR 2 launch title. Where’s the PSVR game set in the world of God of War or The Last of Us, or even a wholly original new IP for the VR device? 

There have been further PSVR 2 exclusives over the last 13 months including Synapse (which is a must-play), The Dark Pictures: Switchback VR (which is super fun) and Firewall Ultra (which is a technical mess), as well as impressive VR modes for PS5 games like Gran Turismo 7, Resident Evil 4 and No Man’s Sky, but it already feels like Sony itself isn’t all that interested in further supporting its own product.

Synapse screenshot

(Image credit: nDreams)

Even when the PSVR 2 took the spotlight during Sony’s most recent State of Play showcase in January the games showcased were Legendary Tales and Metro Awakening VR. While I’m especially hyped about the latter as a fan of the Metro franchise, both are cross-platform releases, and will be playable on VR devices that don’t require a $499 console to operate. 

Yes, the list of upcoming PSVR 2 games is lengthy enough, but without wanting to be disrespectful to the developers currently working on games for the PSVR platform, it's lacking any flagship games that can be considered true system sellers. 

PSVR 2 is still a fantastic device 

The PlayStation VR 2 on our reviewer, Roland Moore-Colyer

(Image credit: Future)

My frustration with Sony’s lack of first-party support for the PSVR 2 primarily stems from the fact I believe it’s a seriously good piece of gaming kit, and I want more reasons to use it. 

I had my issues with the original PSVR. Its setup was cumbersome, its low resolution made my eyes hurt and its light-based tracking was imprecise at the best of times. The PSVR 2 fixes all of these problems, and then some. Its single-cord setup is a breeze, its 4K OLED display panel is stunning, and I love the orb-shaped PSVR 2 Sense Controllers a great deal. 

Even with the option of going wireless via the Meta Quest 3, I still prefer the PSVR 2. Granted, I’m very invested in the PlayStation ecosystem (I’m embarrassingly obsessive about my Trophy collection), but my love for the PSVR 2 primarily persists because I believe it offers the best gaming experience in the VR space right now. 

I just wish Sony would give us more first-play games to play on the device. I want my Astro Bot Rescue Mission sequel, and I want it now!

Does the PSVR 2 have a future?  

PSVR 2 listing

(Image credit: Future)

A recent (unconfirmed) report from Bloomberg suggests that Sony is halting PSVR 2 production due to a backlog of unsold units, and the article even notes that “the accessory has suffered from a lack of compelling content” as part of the reason sales “have slowed progressively since [PSVR 2’s] launch.” If this scoop is accurate, this isn’t a great sign for the PSVR 2. 

The same Bloomberg report claims that “PSVR2 shipments have declined every quarter since its debut” (citing IDC data) and the publication spoke to an analyst named Yijia Zhai, who argues that “The high price of VR hardware acts as the main hurdle for its expansion." And it’s hard to argue with that logic. After all, the PSVR 2 headset costs more than a PS5 console, and that's a tough sell in this economy. 

Sony recently confirmed that it’s “testing the ability for PS VR2 players to access additional games on PC” via the PlayStation Blog, which could breathe new life into the device, and ensure its longevity, but as it stands, the PSVR 2 appears to be less of a priority. It’s a niche, and very expensive, accessory that may never get Sony’s full support with flagship software and an aggressive marketing push. 

A similar fate befell the PlayStation Vita. The handheld was launched with several notable exclusive games (including a new Uncharted game), but over time, as sales dwindled, Sony focused on PS3 and then PS4 software and the Vita began a slow spiral into irrelevancy. It was always a fan-favorite device but never a big seller.  

It’s disappointing to see the early signs of a similar trajectory for PSVR 2. It’s a brilliant VR headset, and I would love to see a slate of compelling PlayStation Studios-developed games hit the platform over the next few years, but the odds of that are looking increasingly remote.  

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Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team. 

  • psychot
    Hard to get behind anyone suggesting that exclusive games are needed to sell hardware (or at all).

    For a start, it's generally a BS market manipulation which offers only artificial benefits. It allows companies to compete not on what you're getting, but on what other people aren't getting. PSVR2 is a worthwhile purchase without those nonsense tactics, and probably would be selling more if for example Asgard's Wrath 2 was available on it. Hell, I got AW2 with my Q3 for free and didn't even know about the offer...

    Perhaps more importantly, why should developers disadvantage themselves by only serving a subset of an already niche market? Plenty of companies just don't bother with VR because of low sales (and have publicly stated this). Cross play is also super important when you have a relatively low overall base and could be the difference between success and failure. Sony I think is coming around to this realisation.

    Exclusively is not good for devs, VR, PSVR, or consumers. It's kinda sad to see fans asking for it, and even sadder to see journalists doing it.