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PlayStation VR2 hands-on: It's quite possibly the best VR headset in the market today

By Aaron Yip - 28 Jan 2023

PlayStation VR2 hands-on: It's quite possibly the best VR headset in the market today

Note: This article was first published on 20 January 2023.

The new PlayStation VR2 is a significant upgrade from its predecessor and boasts a high-resolution OLED display, more ergonomic controllers, and cutting-edge technologies like eye tracking. Whether you're a hardcore gamer or just looking for a new way to immerse yourself in virtual reality, the PS VR2 has almost something to offer for everyone.

Initially, I had some reservations regarding the virtual reality headset. Its high price tag (S$869) and requirement for a PlayStation 5 gave the impression that it would be difficult for it to compete with rival virtual reality headsets such as the Pico 4. But after giving it a shot myself in the form of a demonstration at Sony’s local office, my opinion shifted. I was astounded by how high-quality the OLED display was, as well as by how immersive the haptic feedback was, and how futuristic the eye-tracking technology seemed.

In comparison to the first iteration of PS VR, the controllers featured a number of notable advancements including doing away with the chunky PS VR headset connection adapter and the need for a separate AC adapter. I had the opportunity to play the launch title Horizon: Call of the Mountain for more than half an hour, and it was a fantastic adventure during the entire time. Here are my highlights.

Superb quality display and optics

When I put on the PS VR2 headset, one of the first things that stood out to me was how incredible the visual fidelity was. The optics were transparent and had a broad field of view. Additionally, the high dynamic range OLED display offered contrast that was unparalleled. LCD headsets aren't quite able to match the level of darkness that OLED can achieve, which gave me the impression that I was completely immersed in darkness. The field of view on the original PSVR was substantially narrower and made the experience less immersive.

 

Haptic feedback truly adds to an immersive experience

For me, the newly added haptic capabilities gave a genuine new dimension to the experience. In Horizon: Call of the Mountain, the high-fidelity vibrations in the controllers made it possible for me to feel the tension in the bowstring, and the rumble motor in the headset gave me the impression that I was being attacked by the game's machine-like antagonists.

Unobstructed see-through is wonderful

In addition, the PS VR2 comes equipped with integrated cameras (there are four on each corner at the front of the headset) that may be used for tracking and that provide a transparent picture of your real physical environment. This made it simple for me to organise my gaming area, and because the resolution of the view is high, it was simple for me to distinguish individual elements within the demo room in Sony’s office. The system likewise scanned the room to propose a reasonable border, but it also provided me with the option to manually alter it using the controllers.

 

Eye tracking for a precise fit

The PS VR2 makes use of eye tracking, which is one of my absolute favorite features. It helps me place the headset correctly on my face and adjust the lenses so that they are appropriate for my interpupillary distance (IPD). This made it simple for me to locate something that worked well for me, and it contributed to a more immersive experience overall. I have high hopes that this function will one day be standard on all consumer headsets that have eye tracking.

Great controller tracking

While Horizon: Call of the Mountain was the only demo I got to experience with the PS VR2, the controller tracking worked without a single glitch. It made no difference to the tracking whether I reached behind my back to “pull out an arrow”, moved the controllers quickly, or even partially obstructed one of them with the other. It is possible that the enormous size of the controllers and the infrared LED rings that they have contributed to the excellent performance, and they are so much more enjoyable to use than the old PS Move Motion controllers (and look less silly too).

 

Audio connectivity and cable

The PS VR2 comes with a wired headset that still has to be tethered to the PS5 and the games you are playing as well as your own preferences will determine whether this is a problem for you. For me, it was impossible to ignore that I was in a real room while playing an action-packed game like Horizon: Call of the Mountain since I was constantly made aware of the connection that connected me to the console. For audio, my demo headset came with a pair of earbuds that do the job well, however, I suspect that most of us will prefer to don a proper headphone for better surround sound.

 

First impressions

The PlayStation VR2 is, in my opinion, one of the most impressive virtual reality headsets currently on the market. The power of the PlayStation 5 enables highly detailed and immersive worlds to be displayed on the high-resolution OLED display, which produces outstanding images. The addition of elements that enhance the experience, such as eye tracking and haptic feedback, is something that should be considered. Even though the expensive price and the requirement to be linked to a PS5 may be obstacles for some people, the PS VR 2 has the potential to be even more impressive than the PS5 system itself if Sony is able to create more experiences that are as immersive as Horizon: Call of the Mountain.

The PlayStation VR2 retails for S$869, while the PlayStation VR2 bundle with Horizon: Call of the Mountain retails for S$939. Both are available pre-order at Sony's Online Store and will be launched in end February 2023.

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