Sony’s PlayStation VR2: Worthy Contender for Premium VR

Tobi Olanrewaju | OPINION |

Sony has surprisingly revealed the new PlayStation VR2 system on their blog site, featuring a brand new design for the new VR gaming system. The aim is to change the public reception towards VR to be swayed in a practical and positive point of view.

The first PlayStation VR headset sounded amazing at launch, however, its actual performance for consumers left a lot to be desired. It wasn’t due to any poor performances or software issues. Instead, it felt more like a gimmick for players.

The PlayStation VR2 is designed to fit right in with the rest of Sony’s PS5 family of devices and their relevant accessories. This is noticeable with the white outer shell, combined with a black inner design that features an air vent in the headset. The PSVR2 headset has rounded edges, similar to the DualSense controller for the intention to be worn for extended periods.

At the CES 2022 conference, Jim Ryan, President of PlayStation, provided more PSVR2 specification details. He announced that it will have OLED panels with a resolution of 2000×2040 on each lens. But here’s the kicker: PlayStation’s latest VR attempt will include 90hz or 120hz refresh rates for most titles. This is a significant advancement in VR technology, as it has a far greater refresh rate than the Oculus Quest 2 and the Valve Index.

Additionally, the experience incorporates foveated rendering technology. This effectively adds the most graphical detail to a user’s direct field of view through some eye tracking. This should aid in maintaining crystal clear visual quality at all times without losing performance. After all, peripheral vision isn’t something that needs to be fully depicted graphically. It will also include high dynamic range (HDR) technology, which will make the games look brighter and better than ever before.

If that wasn’t enough, Sony is now incorporating on-board haptic feedback, which causes the headset to tremble in response to simulated explosions or sword swipes to the head. This might potentially be a divisive addition, since some users may experience motion sickness, while others would feel more engrossed in the virtual experience.

The Orb Design for PSVR2’s controllers is a significant improvement on the legacy Move Controllers. These new devices are specifically engineered to be held naturally by players. In doing so, they will allow for a higher degree of freedom as you won’t really have constraints moving your hands. In turn, developers will feel confident enough to create VR titles that incorporate complex hand gestures.

Sony’s PlayStation VR2 is set to take a giant leap forward in the virtual reality experience for gamers. With the Facebook funded metaverse on the horizon, this could be a good taste of what the future holds for virtual reality’s incorporation into the real world.

Horizon: Call of the Mountain | Courtesy: Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc.

In terms of actual first party VR titles, PSVR2 has already revealed “Horizon: Call of the Mountain,” a game set in the Horizon universe and already looks very promising. Alongside the Horizon VR game, Hideo Kojima’s studio (responsible for Death Stranding) is also developing a game for PSVR2.

Sony’s dedication to reliable hardware with the PSVR2 is almost certain to be a wakeup call for VR Gaming, and developers will feel more confidence in pouring resources into full-fledged VR experiences.


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