I ditched the PSVR 2 for the Meta Quest 3 — here’s what happened

Meta Quest 3 headset on table
(Image credit: Future)

I consider myself a VR enthusiast, but up until a couple of weeks ago, the only headset I’d used was the original PSVR and its successor the PSVR 2. However, my VR horizons were expanded when I was given the chance to try out the Meta Quest 3

Launched in early October, the Meta Quest 3 is an all-in-one mixed-reality headset. Not only is it completely wireless, but it doesn’t require pairing with a powerful PC. That stands in contrast with the PSVR 2 which needs a PS5 console to function and must be tendered via a single cable. The two headsets differ in other areas as well. 

These headsets hold the top spots in best VR headsets guide, and having now sampled the Meta Quest 3 for myself, I’m more excited than ever to see where the world of virtual (and mixed) reality is heading over the coming years. Here are my thoughts after my first few sessions with the seriously slick Meta Quest 3 headset.    

Total freedom 

Meta Quest 3

(Image credit: Future)

Right out of the box, the biggest difference I immediately noticed between the Meta Quest 3 and the PSVR 2 is the much smaller profile of the Quest 3. The PSVR 2, which I had always felt was a well-proportioned gaming accessory, now feels seriously bulky in comparison due to its large plastic halo strap, and its gigantic visor. 

Of course, the other instantly noticeable difference, as noted above, is that the Meta Quest 3 is a wireless device. And what an upgrade this has already proved to be in my relatively short time with the headset. While the PSVR 2 is only tethered by a single wire, a big improvement from the first-generation PSVR’s nearly unmanageable mess of cables and HDMI cords, the freedom offered by the Meta Quest 3 is highly liberating. 

Being unencumbered by wires isn’t just useful because it prevents you from having to worry about tripping over a cable, it also serves a more practical purpose of further immersing you in VR experiences. When using PSVR 2, often I’ll feel the wire pull or restrict my head movement, which pulls me straight out of the experience. However, with Meta Quest 3 that’s a non-issue. 

I’ve also been pleased with its solid battery life. So far, I’ve needed to recharge every 2-3 sessions, which feels like an appropriate trade-off for a wireless headset.  

Meta Quest 3 Touch Plus controllers

(Image credit: Future)

However, if there’s one thing I sorely missed about the PSVR 2’s design when using the Meta Quest 3, it’s the former’s massively superior VR Sense controllers. The Meta Quest 3’s Touch Plus controllers have been praised by my colleagues, but in my experience, they feel flimsy and akin to holding a cheap ping-pong bat in each hand. 

The PSVR 2’s Sense controllers not only offer next-gen features like haptic features and adaptive triggers, but the orb-like design fits comfortably and securely around my fingers. Whereas with the Quest 3’s paddles, even with the wrist straps tightly fastened, they're prone to flying out of my grip if I swing with too much force. Not to mention, the button layout is a tad unintuitive, and the triggers aren't tactile enough.  

Exploring new worlds 

Booting up the Meta Quest 3 and it’s instantly clear that it’s more than just a headset designed for gaming (although gaming is still a huge part of its pitch). While the PSVR 2 is a PS5 accessory and uses the console’s regular interface, the Quest 3’s UI highlights everything from messaging apps to video streaming on its homepage. 

Meta Quest 3

(Image credit: Future)

The very first time I strapped the Quest 3 to my face, I ended up spending my entire 45-minute session browsing VR-supported videos on YouTube and neglected to play a single game. I became particularly enamored with a series of virtual tourism videos that allowed me to explore places I’m familiar with like the Irish capital of Dublin, as well as far-flung locations that are foreign to me such as neon-lit Tokyo.

The Quest 3’s UI and menus are also intuitive. Even without any form of familiarity with the interface, I was immediately able to navigate my way around the app store and settings menus. Making adjustments like tweaking the display brightness or the volume of the built-in speakers — another nifty feature you’ll find on Quest 3 but not PSVR 2 — was extremely straightforward, and that made my first few minutes with the headset a real breeze. 

Show me the games 

Asgard's Wrath 2 screenshot

(Image credit: Sanzaru Games)

However, for me personally, the success of a VR headset is ultimately going to depend on the games, and in this area, the Meta Quest 3 also seems to excel. For starters, the Meta Quest 3 is backwards compatible with its predecessor’s library of more than 500 games, giving you access to a deep library of essential VR titles right out of the box. 

I’ve spent the majority of time so far playing the Quest exclusive, Asgard’s Wrath 2. This epic RPG is set in the world of Egyptian mythology and sees you explore ancient locations, battle all manner of mythical foes and solve puzzles that range from pretty simple to devilishly tricky. I’ll have a full write-up in the coming weeks once I’ve dived in further, but my initial impresses are hugely positive and I can’t wait to spend a large portion of my holiday break adventuring among the Gods.

Arizona Sunshine 2 is the other game I’ve been enjoying on the Quest 3 headset over the past few days, and it’s a delightfully mindless zombie shooter that has had me feeling like a true action movie star as I pick off shambling walkers with well-timed headshots. It’s not the deepest, or most original, VR game I’ve ever played, but it’s seriously good fun and another title that I’m looking forward to playing more of over the festive period. Plus, the dog companion named Buddy is adorable and I’ve already become fiercely protective of him.

Arizona Sunshine 2 screenshot

(Image credit: Vertigo Games)

While the PSVR 2 and Quest 3 share many of the same games, I would say the PSVR 2 has the advantage in this area offering up a larger slate of AAA experiences including Horizon: Call of the Mountain, Gran Turismo 7 and exclusive VR modes for both Resident Evil Village and the Resident Evil 4 remake. 

Not just a VR headset 

It’s important to note that the Meta Quest 3 is a mixed-reality headset that aims to blend your real-world surroundings with the virtual world. This happens in several novel ways, for starters, the home menu is imposed over a video passthrough of wherever you're using the headset, but the mixed-reality features are also used for some fun micro gaming experience. 

Meta Quest First Encounters screenshot

(Image credit: Meta)

One of these is called First Encounters and it sees an army of little alien blob creatures invade your surroundings. Armed with a ray gun, it’s your job to stop them swarming all over your living room, but the real kicker comes when the game scans the space around you and makes it destructible. For example, if you shoot at a wall, it will crack and break revealing an alien planet behind it. This small experience is particularly great for introducing first-timers to the Quest 3 as it’s extremely easy to pick up and demonstrates the impressive tech very well. 

While the mixed-reality experiences available right now are pretty novel, I do get the feeling Meta could do more with such advanced technology. So while I’m keeping mini-games like First Encountered installed on my Quest 3 to serve as a showcase for curious friends and family, I hope in the coming months the mixed-reality features will be explored even further. 

Meta Quest 3 vs PSVR 2 — My verdict 

I’m still getting to grips with the Meta Quest 3, so couldn’t make a final judgment on which headset I prefer quite yet. After all, I’ve currently put in a fraction of the time with the Quest 3 that I’ve spent over the past ten months with the PSVR 2. However, my initial verdict, is that both headsets make an extremely compelling case for themselves, but for different reasons. 

The PSVR 2 headset feels like the obvious pick if you want a VR headset that is all about the games. It’s got some top-tier exclusives, and with the power of PlayStation behind it, I expect it’ll continue to build up an extensive library over the next few years. However, Meta Quest 3 is a great headset if you want a device that can do gaming, and do it well, but also offer additional features like mixed-reality experiences and immersive video. 

I’m going to be putting the Meta Quest 3 even further through its paces over the coming weeks, I especially want to continue my adventures in Asgard’s Wrath 2. Perhaps after some further testing, I’ll be able to definitively pick a side, but for now, when it comes to Meta Quest 3 vs PSVR 2, I say, why not both?   

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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.