PS VR2 discussion thread

I haven’t had a chance to try PSVR 2 yet. Anyone here have one and can give their impressions?

I have a PS VR2. Got mine Day 1, I use it primarily with the Pulse 3D headphones and the official Sense controller charging dock.

I’m not going to go into fine detail, but I’ll give some broad strokes here:

The Good

  • Visuals in VR games are incredible. The dual OLED displays bring clarity and colors and blacks and bright HDR and it feels as next-gen (or better) than Quest Pro’s pancake lenses + MiniLED.
  • Content is king, and PS VR2 is going for the crown. Horizon VR: Call of the Mountain and Gran Turismo 7 alone are system-sellers IMO, and titles like Resident Evil 8, No Man’s Sky, Kayak VR, Rez Infinite (with eye-tracking for targetting!), and more make it a phenomenal choice for someone new to VR, or someone only with a standalone headset.
  • Very exciting games are coming soon to PS VR2 like Firewall Ultra (I loved the original on PSVR1) which will ensure users keep getting some killer exclusives as time goes on.
  • It has the absolute best headset fitting and calibration setup of any consumer headset ever released. The NUX needs to be studied by all other headset makers.
  • Eye tracking works perfectly.
  • Not a surprise, but so far every game I’ve played that’s both on PS VR2 and Quest 2/Pro looked and played noticeably better on PS VR2, due to the displays, graphics power, and haptics.
  • The passthrough is phenomenal, much better than Vive/Index in depth, better than Quest 2 or Quest Pro in the solidity of the 3D, i.e. no visuals artifacts or wobbling.
  • The space meshing is surprisingly good, basically it auto-draws your play boundary automatically after meshing your space. It’s great, I didn’t actually need to edit it after the fact at all in my living room.
  • PS VR2’s wire is tied for the best wire in VR, right next to the Oculus Link cable in comfort and how light and un-noticeable it is. Unlike the Link cable though, PS VR2’s cable is 4.5m instead of 5m, but it actually carries an uncompressed video signal unlike Link.
  • Some PSVR games have free or cheap upgrades to PS VR2 versions.

The Neutral

  • PS VR2 feels a LOT like the original PSVR…just newer. IMO, even Rift to Rift S or Quest to Quest 2 are much bigger differences in feel between generations. PSVR to PS VR2 feels more like Vive to Vive Pro 2. Very similar devices where the successor is improved in many critical ways.
  • The Passthrough button is tactile. It works every time, unlike the double-tap on other headsets. But it’s also a little harder to hit while holding Sense controllers than simply hitting the side of your headset.
  • PS VR2 and the original PSVR can co-exist on the same PS5 console and “just work”. This is a nice surprise.
  • PSVR games don’t work on the PS VR2 headset. Maybe calling it neutral is controversial, but since the original and its games still work on PS5 I can’t really fault Sony. In addition, no one made a stink like this when only select GearVR games worked on Oculus Go, or when only select Oculus Go games worked on Quest, or when Quest 2 dropped support for Oculus Go games entirely. Same thing with almost all Vive standalone headsets having incompatible libraries, and HoloLens 1 & 2 and Magic Leap 1& 2 having incompatible libraries. Ultimately, console / standalone VR is complicated and evolving fast and I think it’s unreasonable to expect forwards compatibility when you make your purchases.
  • The fresnel lenses. The FOV is great compared to what most consumers have in their headsets. The sweetspot is objectively smaller than other headsets, but I have no idea why people complain about this. Just put your headset on the right way you animals.
  • The console and headset use VirtualLink. That means the headset draws more power than standard USB-C ports can provide. Doesn’t matter for standard usage, but could affect how reasonable it would be to get PS VR2 working with other devices.
  • People keep saying PS VR2 is $1050 all-in, but it’s actually $950 all-in. You can use the $400 PS5 Digital with the PS VR2 no problem.
  • It’s definitely more clear than almost all standalone VR headsets (Maybe Vive Focus 3 and Pico 4 compete), but not as clear as top-tier PC headsets like HP Reverb G2, Vive Pro 2 and Varjo Aero. But if clarity-per-dollar was a metric, PS VR2’s all-in price would probably be up there. Other factors like OLED blacks and HDR colors I think are more important metrics for PS VR2 users overall visual experience though, IMO.

The Bad

  • There simply aren’t a ton of exclusives yet. Most of the games on PS VR2 are on Quest and Steam. There were dozens of good ones on the original PSVR, so I really hope Sony brings that energy to the successor.
  • The mura effect is pretty noticeable and jarring, especially when you first start playing. I’ve heard (and seen pictures) stating that it’s a lottery and some headsets are affected worse than others, but it’s very noticeable whenever you’re in the Cinema Screen or looking and flatly lit untextured planes. Luckily, it’s not noticeable in VR gameplay at all unless you look for it. Also, I don’t know whether I’ve just gotten used to it or it’s actually improved / broken in through using the displays for a few hours, but
  • Because of the above mura effect, the Cinema Screen is basically unusable. I was excited to have a 1080p HDR 120hz display mode to play flat games in, but mura has killed any notion I had of that being in my future.
  • Unlike mura, you CAN notice both the high persistence displays and reprojection ghosting artifacts when playing any VR game on PS VR2 that’s doing 60fps → 120hz. Unfortunately, this is ALL OF THE EXCLUSIVES. It’s not really a problem in Gran Turismo when racing or in the VR Showroom, but it’s jarring during VR Replays. In Call of the Mountain it’s usually not a big deal, but there were a few times where I grimaced because it just seems like such a rookie mistake to make in 2023 in such an otherwise groundbreaking and beautiful VR game. Luckily, neither of the above have been issues in any of the ported games, which all of those I’ve tried run at 90fps minimum.
  • You can’t turn on the PS5 using the power button on the PS VR2. Why?!? You can turn on the PS5 with the power button on the original PSVR! I understand you can wirelessly turn on the PS5 with the Sense controllers, but that makes the UX worse. Having to turn the console on first before manually turning on PS VR2 is an extra step and additional friction that even the original PSVR didn’t have.
  • Can’t entirely blame Sony for this, but they didn’t map the Sense controllers to the DualShock controls. That’s right, you have to put the Sense controllers down and pick up a DualSense to play games like Thumper and Rez Infinite, even though there are more than enough buttons on the Sense to play those games. Games can of course be updated to support the alternate controllers, but Sony COULD have made them work by default. Also, isn’t it dumb that you have “dual Sense Controllers” for VR and the “DualSense controller” for flat gaming?
  • The grip BUTTON on the Sense controllers is nearly as bad as the one on the Vive wands. I was never a huge hater, ultimately they worked fine, but they’re objectively worse than grip triggers or squeeze sensors used by all other modern VR controllers. At least these buttons are capacitive, unlike the grips on Vive wands, thankfully.

The Ugly

  • Lots of users are riddled with problems with their Sense controllers in VR games. This is absolutely unacceptable for a VR launch of this scale in 2023. I haven’t seen launch scandals this big since the CV1 and Vive launches. I have been plagued by these issues, but luckily, a console reboot or just pressing all the buttons on the controllers seems to fix the issues for me. Others aren’t so lucky, requiring full controller resets or RMAs. If Gran Turismo wasn’t the main title I’ve been playing I’d be even madder.

The Verdict

Score: 8/10

The PS VR2 is a wonderful edition to the VR market, and is a major step up from the original PSVR.

Everyone who enjoyed the original PSVR should buy it.

Everyone who’s a VR gaming enthusiast should buy it.

Everyone who owns a PS5 and is interested in trying VR should at least consider it.

If you’re not a big gamer OR you’re already a more casual VR user with a standalone or PC VR headset, you should probably wait for more games to come out and the headset to drop in price before pulling the trigger.