Review: PlayStation VR2 is an incredible headset, but with few killer games right now

A distance, so to speak Game drive VR and the PlayStation VR 2 is a generation underselling it.

There was a moment when I first received the package, I couldn’t believe how light the box was. I was expecting something powerful, something like other VR headsets or even close to the original PlayStation VR, but it was incredibly light.

It was a sign of things to come. When I opened the box and unpacked the headset and Sense controllers myself, I realized that there was only one USB-C cable between me and the games, plugging in the headset and playing. Nightmarish flashbacks of CPU units and multiple HDMI cables dangling from the back of the device PlayStation 4 they were wiped out with an incredibly light earpiece that set up almost instantly. It’s as frictionless as wireless VR can be.

I wonder how much improvement the PlayStation VR 2 continued throughout the setup. The new screens, two new 2000 x 2040 OLED panels, came to life as I was guided to adjust the headset’s eye tracking and focus. Both were done with satisfying physical elements of the headset rather than digital readouts.

The headset itself, which is incredibly light and expandable to even the largest head, makes diving into VR as easy as swimming goggles. When compared PC VR alternatives such as the £1,499.99 MetaQuest Pro, the PSVR 2 excels in almost every category.

The PSVR 2 has a wider field of view, the screens are of higher quality and the price difference, even considering the PS5 console, is obvious. While MetaQuestPro boasts its wireless capabilities, the PSVR 2’s selling point is clearly, you simply can’t get this good VR performance on PC at this price point.

The headset uses external cameras and motion sensors to track your movement, so there is no need for camera installations or sensors around the room. These cameras also mean that if you’re worried about veering a little too close to the fine china, you can always push one button on the headset and see the outside world.

Review: The PlayStation VR2 is an amazing headset, but it has some killer games right now

The PSVR 2 controllers, Sense, almost feel like holding a DualSense controller with the middle part missing, and they also have plastic bands that cover the entire hand. First of all, these are again a huge step up from the previous generation of PlayStation Move sticks, but considering that it was literally PlayStation 3 tech for Frankenstein’s PlayStation 4, that’s not a big bar to clear.

The controller tracking is great, they feel very well built and last more than long enough for any reasonable VR session, around four to five hours. However, I noticed that they were always a bit too small and prone to annoying, unintentional button presses.

I’ll admit that this may vary personally, and that this reviewer has much larger than average hands, but the frequency with which one of the controllers’ PS buttons was accidentally pressed was frustrating.

The controllers’ analog stick is also about a third smaller than the traditional DualSense’s sticks, and as such loses a bit of the precise functionality you’re used to from your regular controller. I would have liked them to be full size sticks, especially since it looks like the controller could support them without making the controller itself exponentially larger.

Another new feature of the PSVR 2 is the integrated headset that attaches to the back of the headset. They provide a loud, crisp sound. However, if you’re not a fan of in-ear headphones, you don’t need to use them. We found that they became a little irritating during a longer session, which is not the case for headphones that remained light and unstressed.

The headset’s demo, the excellent Horizon: Call of the Mountain, offers insight Sony‘s first party might be on a headset, but it’s a deeply lonely release, alongside VR-only versions of some of the other AAA hits in the VR blockbuster category.

Buying hardware at launch is a leap of faith, but rarely does a console manufacturer ask you to do something so expensive that the internal teams have promised so little for the future. Where are the rest of PlayStation’s biggest franchises?

The software library at startup is deepfeaturing many of the best VR games ever released such as Tetris effectRez Infinite, No man’s heaven, and other virtual games will soon join the list, but if you’re already a VR enthusiast, chances are you’ve played these with other headsets. However, for those new to the virtual reality ecosystem, it’s a very strong, if somewhat dated, start.

Of course, this highlights the complete disconnect from PSVR 2’s library of PlayStation VR. Although the reasons for this are understandable from a purely technical point of view, as the way the two headsets work is vastly different, and it would require some porting that does little to soften the blow for those who built a substantial library on the first headset.

In the end, if you show someone the PlayStation VR2, they will be very impressed. When you tell them it requires a $1,000/£1,000 console and headset combo, the excitement dissipates.

“If you show someone the PlayStation VR2, they’re ultimately going to be very impressed. When you tell them it requires a $1,000/£1,000 console and headset combo, the excitement goes away.”

This is hugely impressive technology, and the leaps between the previous generation and the current one are huge, but the package as a whole isn’t close enough to something we can wholeheartedly recommend to any PS5 user, let alone non-console owners.

The PlayStation VR2 is an incredibly strong case for console VR with excellent hardware, but we’re not yet convinced that the software support it needs to succeed in the future will arrive. The PlayStation VR2 has the uneasy air of being at the tail end of the VR wave, rather than at the crest of a new wave, but it’s hard not to admire the PSVR 2’s goodness. The visual fidelity is fantastic, the controls are excellent (if a little smaller than we’d like) and the headset itself is incredibly light and frictionless to use.

PSVR 2 is a wonderful piece of technology. The price tag is significant and is an obstacle for many, but the quality delivered is excellent. However, the selection of releases does not fill the confidence that the hardware is fully supported PlayStation 5 generation, at least from PlayStation’s own studios.

Meanwhile Horizon Call of the Mountain is the perfect sampler for the console. The real lack of Sony’s other big hit games makes the PSVR 2 an exceptional product for largely unruly VR enthusiasts.