Editor's note: Our full PSVR 2 review is now live, so go and check it out to see why Sony's new virtual reality headset is brilliant.
The PlayStation VR 2 has been in the works for a while, and we know that it will come out early next year. Beyond that, though, Sony hasn’t shared a tremendous amount of information on its upcoming VR headset — until now.
Sony recently gave a handful of press outlets the chance to test the PSVR 2 for themselves, and while Tom’s Guide wasn't able to participate, we were just as eager as anyone else to read about what the hands-on testers thought.
To that end, we’ve read PSVR2 accounts from a variety of excellent tech news site, and compiled some of the common pros and cons. Generally speaking, the PSVR 2 made a big splash with these tech journalists, impressing them with a gorgeous display, a comfortable fit and accurate tracking. On the other hand, the PSVR 2’s wired design is still a drawback, and there’s still a lot we simply don’t know about the device, from its launch library to its price — two pretty important factors when determining whether or not to buy a VR headset.
Here's what some of our colleagues thought of the PSVR 2. Tom’s Guide will write up our own impressions once we get a chance to go hands-on (or heads-on) with the device.
Scott Stein wrote the PSVR 2 hands-on for CNET, and he said that the device makes a “great first impression.” The device’s lightweight design, subtle haptics and early game selection all seemed promising, but the wired design didn’t sit right with him, and the tracking wasn’t perfect.
“The PSVR 2 is light. Surprisingly light. If there's one thing that immediately hits me when trying on the PlayStation VR 2 – Sony's upcoming immersive headset for its still hard-to-buy PlayStation 5 – it's that compared with the popular Meta Quest 2, it feels like barely anything at all.”
“Even though this isn't a standalone headset, it's clearly the VR experience I've always wanted on a PlayStation. The new controllers and improved and advanced haptics and triggers alone push this hardware into new gaming territory.”
“The PSVR 2 does have a single USB-C cable that tethers it to the PS5, and it's unfortunate.”
“One other thing I noticed a handful of times was the headset lost tracking: either my headset, or the controllers. I'm playing on a very early version of the hardware, and a camera person filming me at close range while playing may have thrown off the in-headset tracking cameras. Still, any loss of tracking isn't ideal.”
At Eurogamer, Ian Highton tested the PSVR 2, and came away impressed. His headline declared that the device “is about to breathe new life into virtual reality gaming,” and his high praise continued throughout the whole article. In particular, he loved the sleek design and immersive graphics.
“The PSVR2 is much lighter than I expected and it's really comfy as well. Once on your head, it's pretty easy to forget it's even there, especially as there's hardly any light leakage from outside the headset.”
“In terms of visuals, the PSVR2 supports 4K HDR gameplay, with a 110-degree field of view that easily fills your vision. The twin OLED display lenses also give users a resolution of 2000×2040 per eye with smooth frame rates of between 90/120Hz depending on the game. In layman's terms, this means everything looks incredibly crisp and detailed, even at a distance, with lifelike coloring and lighting creating easily believable and immersive worlds.”
“I do suspect that the core combat [in Horizon Call of the Mountain] might be a little too on rails for some veteran helmet-heads though as, whenever I was facing off against a Machine proper, I was locked onto a circular path and had to dodge and circle-strafe along this track in order to defeat the enemy.”
“I feel like this [Sense Technology] feature might be a bit too much of a sensory overload for new users, and it may be a bit intrusive for veterans at times, but overall I enjoyed the extra sensation.”
Bo Moore tested the PSVR 2 for IGN, and reserved special criticism for the fact that the device still uses a wired design, well after many other high-end VR headsets have transitioned over to wireless functionality. Still, he appreciated the system’s excellent visuals and the headset’s haptic feedback.
“The OLED panels inside offer a 2000x2040 per-eye resolution at up to 120hz. This is the highest resolution available among the mainstream VR headsets, and provided an outstanding level of visual fidelity.”
“In addition to the controllers, the headset itself also has haptic feedback built in. Again this was most notable for me playing Horizon VR – either it wasn’t yet implemented in the other games, or wasn’t present enough for me to remember it. Either way, I found the feature to be a nice addition to the haptic landscape, though I mostly just noticed it when taking damage or otherwise being tossed around.”
“Like other PC-based VR headsets, the PSVR2 still requires a wired connection to your PS5. It’s a single thin cable that’s relatively uninhibiting, especially compared to the multi-cable clutter of its predecessor, but it could feel limiting for people who have gotten used to the tether-free experience of the Meta Quest 2.”
“The controllers also feature the same haptic feedback and adaptive triggers as the PS5’s DualSense controller. Unfortunately, neither really stood out to me during the game demos I played.”
At The Verge, Jay Peters and Victoria Song collaborated on PSVR 2 testing. They said the new hardware was “a joy to use,” especially since the device feels comfortable and employs upgraded controllers. However, the device seems to share a few technical quirks with its predecessor.
“The haptics were excellent, which may not be too surprising if you’ve felt Sony’s excellent haptics in the DualSense. The touch detection was a really handy way to interact with VR worlds.”
“Horizon Call of the Mountain was the most technically advanced — probably because it was built from the ground up for the PSVR2. The sense of scale in the game is amazing, and watching a gigantic mechanical dino walk directly overhead felt like visiting a post-apocalyptic Jurassic Park.”
“The screens looked great, though things sometimes felt just a little bit hazy at the edges, which could also happen with the first PSVR.”
“One thing we don’t know yet? The cost; Sony didn’t share that as part of the hands-on event.”
Boone Ashworth covered the PSVR 2 for Wired, and had a fairly neutral write-up of the device. He thought that Horizon Call of the Mountain was a particularly good showcase for the headset’s features, but found the device uncomfortable to wear after a while.
“The new VR2 Sense controllers are a big step up from PlayStation’s Move controllers that Sony paired with the first-generation headset.”
“Sony’s promise for PSVR2 is that the device will enable you to ‘escape into worlds that feel truly real.’ It’s your typical hyperbolic marketing statement, but it actually rang true at one moment in the Horizon demo.”
“But after wearing the headset on and off for about four hours, I really started to feel the physical strain. I could feel the divot in my skin where the headset had been pressing into my nose.”
“Developers still see it as a gaming novelty to be able to pick stuff up with your actual hands. And sure, such interactions ramp up the immersive factor and show off what the tech is capable of. But it also leaves many of the games feeling too samey, and you have to stretch a little to find potential beyond the gimmicks.”
Tom's Guide went hands-on with the PS VR2, and came away with both positive and negative impressions.