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PlayStation VR2 Review; Comfortable, Exciting And Expensive Virtual Reality Experience

PlayStation VR2 Review; Comfortable, Exciting And Expensive Virtual Reality Experience

PlayStation VR 2 Represents A Significant Improvement Compared To 7 Years Ago, But Is This $550 Headset Worth Buying To Experience Virtual Reality Games?

I don’t know if you have tried virtual reality headsets yet; If not, I must say that you are by no means alone, and 97% of the world’s population has not yet had the opportunity to experience these headsets.

Virtual reality technology is advancing at a snail’s pace. As long as choices and performance are limited and costs are high, VR headsets can’t be expected to catch up to wireless headphones or smartwatches in popularity.

Now PSVR 2 virtual reality headset has been released seven years after Sony’s first attempt to enter the VR gaming world to change the game’s rules and has become a severe competitor between mid-range headsets such as Quest 2 and Velo Index. 4K HDR display with 120 Hz refresh rate, controllers equipped with haptic feedback, adaptive trigger and finger recognition, efficient internal cameras, and eye movement tracking; Has Sony been able to make PSVR2 a valuable product for gamers? Stay with us by reviewing PlayStation VR2.

The design and comfort of PSVR 2

In terms of design, the PlayStation VR2 headset is very similar to the previous generation, and of course, the PS5 console and Sony INZONE products; The same familiar combination of the front frame and white headband with black panels, which of course, has an attractive and futuristic look; But now there are four cameras on the front edge to track the movement and position, there is a plastic hole at the two corners of the end of the headband to place the earbuds, and there are no more blue lights on the sides of the headset and the front part.

PlayStation VR2 virtual reality headset on the table

On the bottom panel, there is a microphone, a power button, and a new button called “function” that you can press to switch between the image of the outside environment and the virtual world of the game so that you no longer need to remove the headset from your face and reset it; The cameras installed on the headset, which were sorely missed in the previous generation, do an excellent job of scanning the room and quickly showing the outside environment.

The function button lets you quickly switch between the real and virtual worlds.

The problematic panels on the front frame also host a large button for moving the frame forward and backward and a slider for adjusting the lenses, which may confuse novice users. The space between the frame and the face is also filled with relatively thin plastic, which, although it prevents light from leaking into the headset, is not soft enough and does not seem very durable.

PlayStation VR2 virtual reality headset power button
PlayStation VR2 virtual reality headset lens adjustment slider
PlayStation VR 2 virtual reality headset microphone
PlayStation VR2 virtual reality headset function button

There is a big white button on the headband that you can press to pull the headband back and adjust it to the size of your head; The gear around the switch also makes the headband tighter around the head so that the distance between the lenses does not change. This is a critical issue because the image blurs when the position of the lenses is slightly shifted. This blurring of the image is probably the main culprit of headaches and dizziness when using virtual reality headsets.

The image is blurred by slightly moving the distance between the lenses.

PlayStation VR 2 now gets rid of heavy cables and HDMI converters that you wrap around your neck, and only a 4.5-meter USB-C cable connects the back of the headset to the front of the console; The cable, of course, may still wrap around your legs when playing exciting and stressful games, and if there is no one next to you to pay attention to the cable, there is a possibility that the line will be pulled. The console will be thrown off the table due to too many movements.

One of the most critical problems that prevent the spread of VR headsets (except for their very high price) is their large size, heavy weight, and awkward form factor, which cannot be expected considering the current progress of this technology and the large size of its parts. At the moment, the only solution is the logical distribution of weight, which VR2 has been able to cope with to some extent.

The VR 2 is already lighter, but half a kilogram is a lot of weight to put on your face.

Although the weight of PlayStation VR 2 is about 560 grams, and its technology is miles more advanced than VR 1, it is 40 grams lighter than the previous generation and maybe even more comfortable. The VR2 weighs about 225 grams less than the Volvo Index, But half a kilogram is still a lot of weight to put on the head.

I had no problem with the headset’s weight distribution, and there was even enough room for a bespectacled person like me; However, some colleagues had a different experience and said that the headset’s weight put pressure on their neck and nose. Even this theory proposed that people who wear glasses probably have less stress on their noses. However, when I took the headset off my face after half an hour, I had a deep red line on my forehead. If the room isn’t cool enough, your face will sweat like you just came out of a sauna!

The quality of the headset earphones is not satisfactory

Sony has been generous and supplied the VR2 with earphones that connect to the 3.5 mm jack on the back of the headband and have an intelligent placement; But unfortunately, the quality of this earphone is not good, and you can hardly hear the sound of the game in a crowded environment.

PlayStation VR 2 virtual reality headset

You may use a higher-quality wired headset for PSVR 2 or connect your favorite wireless headset to the console with a USB dongle. However, it is strange to me how a brand that is at the level of the best in making headphones insists on giving up its worst-quality headphones for consoles and headsets!

PSVR 2 hardware specs and features

Whether virtual reality technology will take over a larger share of the gaming industry in the future or remain so neglected and on the fringes that it will one day be silently removed from our lives, the seven-year progress of PSVR 2 cannot be ignored.

The PlayStation VR 2 uses a dual OLED panel with a resolution of 2000 x 2040 pixels per eye (overall 4K resolution) with HDR support and a refresh rate of 90-120 Hz, which is a significant improvement over the previous generation’s resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. This improvement was evident in my experience while playing, in detail, and with brilliant colors of the rendered images; Somewhere in the RE Village game, rotten fruit and disgusting food on the table looked so alive and confirmed that it made you sick!

The old 4K HDR panel shows bright details and colors.

When the PlayStation VR2 was released with a 100-degree viewing angle, its competitors, including the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, offered a 110-degree viewing angle (albeit with a 90 Hz refresh rate); Now VR 2 also uses a viewing angle of 110 degrees so that the user is more immersed in the game environment and feels less like he is looking at a screen with special glasses.

PlayStation VR2 virtual reality headset panel

Perhaps the most significant improvement of the PlayStation VR 2 compared to the previous generation is the use of four very efficient internal cameras instead of a separate PlayStation camera that you had to buy separately and sometimes had problems when communicating with the headset; Of course, nowadays, the use of internal cameras for virtual reality headsets is considered a standard feature.

These cameras are responsible for scanning the space of the room to determine the safe privacy of the game, tracking the movements of the user and controllers, and also showing the image of the outside environment by pressing the new “function” button so that there is no need to remove the headset and mix the distance of the lenses.

The cameras cope well with automatic room scanning, except in bright ambient conditions.

Harim Aman did its job well the whole time I was playing, and every time I left this space, the virtual walls came up and warned me.

PlayStation VR2 virtual reality headset logo
PlayStation VR 2 virtual reality headset buttons

Sony has equipped the PSVR 2 headband with a haptic feedback function that is activated in some scenes and, with a slight vibration on the head, helps the user to immerse himself more in the game world; For example, when the ground is empty under my feet in the RE Village game, or when I passed under the waterfall in the Horizon game, or those long-necked robots passed over my head, I felt a slight vibration on my head; Of course, this feature is not used everywhere and is so mild that you probably won’t notice it at all in the exciting scenes of the game.

About the processor used in VR2, we only know that it was made by the Taiwanese company Mediatek, although this processor is used only to improve the capabilities of the headset itself, including motion tracking and haptic feedback; Otherwise, rendering and playing games in virtual reality will be powered by the PS5 console itself.

You’ll only find the VR2 eye tracking feature in multi-thousand-dollar headsets.

In my opinion, the most exciting improvement that the VR2 headset has experienced is the addition of an infrared camera to track eye movements, A feature that you will only find in multi-thousand dollar headsets and organizations such as Meta Quest Pro.

The accuracy of the trackers in Horizon, which was the only title that supported this feature in my gaming experience, was very high, and it followed my eye movements well; For example, you can select them just by looking at the menu options, or in some scenes when I was staring at the characters, they would notice my gaze and return my eye as if I was there!

The IR camera is also responsible for “Foveated Rendering”; This means that when it finds out which point your gaze is focused on, it uses all the processing power to render that point and increase the details, and removes the issues that are not in focus to reduce the pressure on the hardware; Of course, I couldn’t check the performance of this function, and we have to settle for Sony’s claim that the points that are not in our view are less clear so that the issues in the picture are more precise.

PS VR2 Sense handles

All of the features I’ve talked about so far represent a significant improvement over the last generation, but they’re not critical to the VR gaming world; In my opinion, what shows the severe will of Sony to pursue the field of virtual reality and more programs in the future are the VR2 Sense handles. Perhaps the best controllers you can experience in virtual reality are the PlayStation VR2 Sense controllers. It is unlikely that the rest of the manufacturers want to follow Sony’s path.

PlayStation VR2 virtual reality headset controllers in hand

The first thing that caught my eye about the handles was their innovative and ergonomic design, which reminded me of a combination of the Quest and Quest Pro handles. You have to put the new handles next to the old Move controllers to realize the great leap that PlayStation VR has experienced in these seven years. However, it may be challenging to remember the location of the buttons or even how to hold the controllers in the first few experiences.

The VR 2 consoles show Sony’s serious plans for VR gaming.

The haptic feedback and adaptive trigger features of the Dual Sense console handles, considered by many to be the “next generation” of new console gaming features, have also been added to the VR2 handles. Their performance was so good that the feeling of holding something in my hand was conveyed when I was opening a door or climbing a cliff while playing.

A close-up of the PlayStation VR 2 virtual reality headset controller buttons
PlayStation VR 2 virtual reality headset buttons
PlayStation VR2 virtual reality headset left controller
PlayStation VR2 virtual reality headset controller charging port

The new feature added to the handles is the fingerprint sensor, which I expect will perform better and more accurately in the future. With the help of this sensor, when you close and open your fingers around the base of the controller, the game character’s fingers also imitate the same movement; Of course, this sensor is not very accurate and cannot track all finger movements.

All the good features of DualSense come from the VR2 handles with the new finger touch detection feature.

Perhaps the only problem with the controllers is the use of a rechargeable battery instead of replaceable pen batteries that connect to the console with a USB Type-A/Type-C cable (there is only one Type-C cable inside the box, and you need to use another line to charge the controllers at the same time !) The purchase of the charger base imposes an additional cost of 50 dollars on the user, sold in the Iranian market at a price higher than its dollar label. Of course, the 3 to 4 hours life of the handles is enough for each round of VR gaming experience, and fully charging them with the console takes about an hour and a half.

Finally, Cinematic Mode, which of course, existed in the previous generation; But with a shallow resolution, it’s an exciting feature that allows you to use the VR2 headset as an old 120Hz 4K screen for playing casual games like GoW Ragnarok or even watching movies.

Launch PSVR 2

I must mention the straightforward and hassle-free setup of PlayStation VR 2 as one of the positive features and a significant improvement over the previous generation.

One of the constant headaches of gamers is the tutorial part of the game; if it is too long and complicated, it may even discourage them from playing the game! Fortunately, Sony has paid a lot of attention to this issue and has provided training on how to set up the headset in the simplest way; Even if it’s your first time using a VR headset, you can set up VR 2 in a minute or two.

Adjusting the PlayStation VR2 virtual reality headset to the face

As soon as you take the headset out of the box, connect its USB-C cable to the front of the PS5 console and turn it on by pressing the power button under the headset. The console automatically detects the headset and guides you step-by-step through the setup process, including correctly positioning the headset on your face, pairing the handles, and scanning the room.

Launch PlayStation VR 2 headset - scan the room
PlayStation VR2 headset launch - eye tracking

For the initial setup of the headset, you need the TV/monitor, and for the initial recognition of the bundles, you need to connect them to the console. Still, the next time, these steps are no longer required, and you can run any VR game with the headset user interface, which is the same as the PS5 menu system.

You only need to connect the controllers to the console to recharge.

Scanning the room is done quickly and automatically, and it is enough to turn your head around, up and down, to watch the walls, table and chairs, and all the items in the room completely. The room scan data is also stored locally in the headset itself, so you don’t have to redo the scanning process every time you play in a new room.

PlayStation VR 2 virtual reality headset

In continuation of the simplicity of setting up PlayStation VR 2, it is good to mention that the headset automatically and without the need for any unique settings, everything that the gamer sees in virtual reality also shows on the monitor so that the people in the room can play your game. to watch

Gaming experience with PSVR 2

To test PlayStation VR 2, I went to two games; The game Horizon Call of the Mountain, which was released with the headset itself, and the VR version of the very popular (and very scary!) game Resident Evil Village; Of course, because the time I had to test the headset was limited, and it was not possible to play several hours continuously without fatigue and VR headaches, my experience with these two titles is less than two or three hours. Still, just a few hours was enough for me to realize that PlayStation VR 2 has made an incredible leap in 7 years to deliver one of the smoothest and most realistic VR gaming experiences.

Playing the game with PlayStation VR2 virtual reality headset

Horizon is full of rock climbing and archery moments, and to do both, the VR2Sense controllers play a prominent role. To climb the rocks, I had to reach forward and hold the ledges marked with white chalk by pressing the L1 and R1 triggers.

Although I had never experienced rock climbing before, I felt it must be very close to reality, So when I reached the top of the rock, I was really out of breath, and all the time I was afraid that if I let go of my hand, I would be thrown down!

However, when I was rock climbing, all I could see in front of me was the rock, and I couldn’t enjoy the surrounding scenery.

Archery in Horizon is one of the most enjoyable moments of the game.

Archery was also an exciting experience. For this, I had to move my hand to my left shoulder to simulate taking the bow from the back and then taking the arrow from the right shoulder. By pressing the L2 trigger, I would draw the bowstring and release it to shoot the arrow. The VR2 grips simulated the archery mode in the best possible way, making me feel like I had become an archer!

PlayStation VR2 virtual reality headset experience

The ability to track eye movements was also active in the Horizon game, and I just had to look at the menu options to see the cursor on it. During my time playing Horizon, the camera performed flawlessly, and I was pleasantly surprised; A feature that Quest 2 and Velo Index do not have, and only the thousand-dollar Quest Pro model supports it.

The RE Village, a virtual reality experience, takes a lot of courage.

But the RE Village game. I have been used to horror and survival-style games like Silent Hill and Fatal Frame since I was a child, and I have even experienced the standard version of RE Village to some extent. The virtual reality experience of the Zerident Evil game requires a lot of courage, From the eerie atmosphere and nauseating food on the table to falling into an underground full of corpses and being eaten by werewolf-like creatures! Shooting and using knives also felt exciting and so close to reality that I thought I had learned these skills!

A view of rotten food in the virtual reality game Resident Evil Village

With all the exciting experiences I had while testing VR 2, and as much as I was satisfied with the controls’ functionality and the images’ clarity and detail, I still can’t say with certainty that the future of gaming is in virtual reality. From headaches, dizziness, and nausea while playing to the weight and high price of headsets, it is unlikely that this technology will reach the popularity of traditional games anytime soon.

Virtual reality changes the perception of truth, so we must get used to it. When you remove the headset, it takes a while for your brain to understand that you are back in the real world.

Conclusion: Is PSVR 2 worth buying?

When we talk about the value of buying a virtual reality headset, probably the most crucial factor that deters many gamers from thinking about buying it is its very high price tag; $550 is a lot of money for a peripheral (although in the world of mid-range VR headsets, it’s a reasonable price), especially in the Iranian market, where even the PS5 console itself is sold at a higher price.

PSVR2 only works with PS5, and I doubt that the VR experience of games will be so tempting that a gamer who does not own this console will decide to buy both products. Admittedly, VR is still in its infancy, and there is still a long way to go before VR headsets become cheaper and more accessible.

PlayStation VR 2 virtual reality headset

Another problem with PlayStation VR2 is the incompatibility of VR games and the minimal number of games you can currently experience with this headset. Now, add the price of the games to the cost of the headset and console so that the PSVR2 headset is out of priority for many Iranian users.

If you are not worried about the budget, the heavyweight and form factor of the headset, along with the dizziness and nausea that happens to some people, can be annoying. The VR 2 lenses can go out of focus with the slightest movement on the face, and you’ll have to spend a lot of time adjusting them to keep the image from blurring.

Let’s leave these things aside and look at the PSVR 2 as a technology product we don’t intend to buy. I have to say that this headset seems excellent in terms of hardware and performance, and the controllers, 4K screen, and eye-tracking functionality are among the features. That makes it valuable.

Finally, if you love VR gaming, have a PS5 console, and don’t worry about the budget, you will enjoy the PlayStation VR2 experience; But well, many conditions are required to want this headset, and if you can’t experience it for any reason, don’t worry; There is still a long way to go before virtual reality can take the place of lounging on the sofa, hours of effortless gaming and millions of game titles.

Positive points

  • Cinematic mode for the casual gaming experience
  • Old 4K HDR display with 120 Hz refresh rate
  • Ability to track eye movements in some titles
  • Reasonably priced in the world of VR headsets
  • Ergonomic and efficient handles
  • Very easy to set up

Negative points

  • High price as a by-product
  • A limited number of PSVR 2 games
  • We need to connect the cable to the console
  • Compatible with PS5 console only
  • Incompatibility with PSVR games
  • Low-quality headphones