PlayStation has set out to make high quality VR gaming accessible to the mainstream
For a technology as complex as VR, setup is just about one cable, a couple of software updates and some onscreen prompts and you’re ready to experience high quality VR in your living room.
Sony has made a lot of necessary improvements over the original design, and they should have, it’s been seven years since the original.
There’s been a lot of VR improvements over the whole industry since then.
PlayStation has set out to make high quality VR gaming accessible to the mainstream, which usually requires a pretty beefy gaming rig and sometimes requires additional setup, like tracking cameras all around your room.
This requires a PlayStation Five, which is kind of available.
It’s also $550.
I’m gonna be comparing this a lot to the Meta Quest 2.
I might accidentally call it the Oculus a couple of times.
It’s gonna be really hard for me to get over that.
It even says Oculus on it.
I’m making this comparison because it’s what I have to compare it to.
PlayStation VR, Oculus.
See, I did it already.
Meta and the PSVR2 are pretty much the extent of my VR knowledge.
It’s what I have the most experience with and they all kind of exist in similar markets.
They’re all set out to bring VR gaming to the mainstream.
These are both set out to be affordable.
Whether or not they succeed is a different question.
I’m a big fan of the Quest Two here because it’s just a headset.
You can plug it into a PC if you want but it could run games straight off of the headset and then you’re not tethered to anything.
It’s a great experience.
The PSVR2 needs to be tethered.
It does a lot of things very similarly to Oculus.
A lot of things better and a lot of things worse.
I spent about a day with the PSVR2 and after that I decided I didn’t really like it.
I didn’t really see any of the hype.
I’m not sure I would’ve recommend it over the Oculus and then I spent a weekend with it and then a full week and I think I’ve come around completely.
Don’t throw out your Oculus just yet, but if you’re in the market for VR and you have a PlayStation Five, you might wanna stick around.
You might be just as surprised as I was.
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– You know, I made the decision I wasn’t gonna make a video on this.
I knew I could make a video.
Here I am doing that.
But $550 is a lot to spend on something that I knew I would use once and then it would just sit on a shelf somewhere collecting dust in my house.
I get VR sure, but I’ve never really gravitated towards it outside of its novelty.
The Oculus enamored me but even though that’s the easiest headset to set up and get going, I always just thought to myself, eh, it seems like a lot of work.
I’d rather just play my Switch or something.
So I tweeted all that in less words and that was done and then I checked my email and it turned out PlayStation got back to me and they decided they wanted to send me one.
So thanks PlayStation.
The video’s back on now.
They packed a lot of specs into this somewhat budget headset.
First of all, it’s the only mainstream VR headset with OLED screens besides the original PSVR.
That one also used OLED screens.
That kind of makes it ahead of its time.
The OLED screens make the blacks way darker and the highlights pop in your face way more.
You can always tell when a regular LCD screen is on because its back lighting will always shine through just a little bit, but an OLED screen looks off when it’s completely black so that helps a bit with the immersion in VR.
It’s also very high resolution, especially for its price range, at 2000 x 2040 per eye.
For comparison the original PSVR is only 960 x 1080 per eye and it’s pretty noticeable when you’re using it.
And the Oculus Quest Two is 1832 x 1920 per eye, so close to the PlayStation VR2, but not quite.
The Oculus can also only go up to 90 hz, whereas the PSVR 1 and 2 can reach up to 120 hz.
I suspect you’d be getting much better performance out of the PS5 than you would out of a PS4 at those same frame rates.
I think one of the best new additions to this headset is the eye tracking.
It makes stuff like just navigating menus way easier.
There’s a suspicion that it might be helping with aiming in certain games but most impressively is the foveated rendering.
You should be impressed that I remember that word.
Some games like Horizon Call of the Mouintain will save system resources by only fully rendering what you are directly looking at.
Everything else in the frame will be blurry in this game footage here you can kind of tell what I’m looking at just by what is in focus and what is out of focus.
It renders incredibly fast and it’s not noticeable at all when the headset is on.
Aim’s already look super sharp on this screen and rendering only what’s necessary gives it that much more of a graphical boost.
The audio on this thing is absolutely horrendous.
They give you these silly little earbuds and they make you feel like you have to use these because of how they attach on the bottom here.
And they sound bad.
Audio is very important in VR.
So this completely breaks the immersion.
Plus they get stuck in my hair very easily.
It’s a mess, and the headset is designed in a way where you can’t really use over the eear headphones.
It pushes the headset down or you have to wear the headphones back a little.
I’m surprised they didn’t put speakers in here as an option.
There’s speakers just above your ears in the Oculus Quest Two, and they sound surprisingly great.
Sometimes I’ll use it without headphones just because it’s more comfortable.
Speaking of comfort, the headset is a little more comfortable than I was expecting, especially after looking at it and touching all the cheap plastic and rubber around it.
The default head strap that the Oculus comes with is definitely not as easy to adjust and not as comfortable as the strap that the PSVR2 comes with.
Also, the Oculus feels like it takes a lot of adjusting to get in focus every time you wanna play it.
The PlayStation VR2 kind of just gets it right the first time.
I just have to keep reminding myself that it has to sit higher up on my forehead than I expect.
Then everything’s in focus.
The controllers look like spaceships but they’re honestly just Oculus controllers.
They’re the exact same layout.
These controllers, however, have terrible battery life.
After a full charge, they went down to just one bar of battery life in around two hours of playtime and the cable they give you to charge them is really short and can only charge one at a time.
You’re probably gonna wanna get that charge dock with this which is an additional $50.
I’ll note again that the setup for this thing was really simple.
It walks you through it very quickly and it’s all very easy.
I was pretty impressed.
There’s a section where it helps you line your eyes up with the screens on the inside.
This is something Oculus does poorly.
There’s only three eye width settings and you have to reach into the headset to change them.
The PSVR2 tracks your eyes and lets you move a dial around to adjust.
It also scans your room to draw a rough play area that you can go in and adjust later.
It’s pretty similar to Oculus but Oculus doesn’t draw in a cool way like this does.
Once I finished the incredibly simple setup process I was immediately confused and disappointed because I had no idea what to do next.
What do I even play on this thing? Even the PlayStation VR1 came with like a demo disc of sorts so you can try out a bunch of different things and it shows you all the cool features of the VR headset.
Even PlayStation Five came with Astro’s Playroom so you can see all the cool features of the dual sense controller.
Why don’t they have anything like that for this? With PlayStation VR2 you’re kind of just left on your own to browse the storefront.
There’s not even like a curated collection on there.
They just kind of plop everything right in front of you.
For $550, man, give me something.
They do at least have some demos available on there.
You can also get this thing with a bundle that comes with Horizon Call of the Mountain, which is $50 more than the base unit, or you can get that game separately for a full $50, which is kind of a lot for that game, but luckily they have a bunch of demos on that storefront and one of them is Horizon Call of the Mountain.
You can play that for about 20 minutes, which is what I did.
And that’s about all you’ll need to get the gist of it.
It’s a very pretty game, but I did not like it at all.
It does that thing that VR does where it makes you feel like you’re on a Disney ride, just a bystander enjoying the show.
Sometimes that can be cool.
Sometimes I’m over it.
Let me play.
It also tries to do some fun Half-Life Alyx stuff.
There’s a moment when they just have a random table in your path with breakable objects and a tambourine you can fiddle with but tambourine doesn’t play right and the flute just blows when you bring it up to your face.
They’ve tried, but it doesn’t work as good as they were hoping.
I’ve always hated VR games that make you move around with the stick.
It’s made me nauseous in the past.
Horizon does make you move around with the stick but it didn’t make me nauseous at all.
Probably thanks to the high res, high refresh rate screens and the vignetting that occurs when you’re moving.
It’s very helpful and you don’t even really notice it’s happening.
However, I did frequently get disoriented.
The game kept coming to an abrupt stop when showing tutorial stuff which never happens in real life.
Real life has momentum.
A sudden stop would have some bounce to it.
Even a slow paced walk could mess you up if it stopped abruptly.
I could feel it in my knees, dude, it’s not cool.
Other than that, the game is 90% climbing and I thought it was for sure a skip and a major disappointment for the PSVR2’s flagship game.
The second game I tried was Humanity which isn’t a VR game at all.
Why is it in the VR category? You play in a 16 x 9 window in the headset and it requires a dual sense controller because two of your right thumb buttons are split onto the left controller in VR, so that’s a skip.
Then I played Kizuna AI, which is essentially Beat Saber for weebs and I love Beat Saber.
So that’s why I played a lot of this game.
It was good.
– It looks like Just Dance.
– No it’s like Beat Saber.
So I like Beat Sber, so that’s why I’m getting it.
– Go ahead! – I’m not sure, but it seemed like she would move closer to me when I was doing good and then if I miss one of the blocks she would immediately shoot all the way back away from me like it was like a punishment of some sort.
And that was all that I played on the first day and I was left unimpressed.
The lack of killer apps or the lack of game suggestions even left me very disappointed.
There’s a lot of technical buzzwords being thrown around here but it’s just VR.
I’ve seen it all done before and in some cases done better because there’s better games out there on other consoles sometimes for cheaper.
There’s just nothing revolutionary here.
So I took a bit of a break, thought about it a bit and jumped back on to play Demeo with Wood.
It’s a tabletop D&D type game.
It’s actually the sickest thing I played on here.
There’s something about seeing the floating avatar of someone across from you and having the animated pieces moving about that pulls you into the world.
This is something I will for sure play again.
I had two issues with this game.
One it kind of hurt my neck looking down at the tabletop for a full hour because the headset is a little top heavy.
I gotta see if there’s a way to like, tilt the world up a little bit so you can like, sit upright and look at the whole table.
Yeah, there is.
There totally is.
You just have to press up on the thumbs stick or back on the thumbs stick and it’ll tilt the whole world.
I was leaning back on the couch playing this.
And the second thing is that this game is not a PSVR exclusive.
You can get it on basically any other VR platform so you don’t have to have a $550 PlayStation Five peripheral and you don’t have to be tethered to your PlayStation Five in your living room if you don’t want to.
You can get it on whatever device is the most convenient for you, which isn’t a problem with the game at all but this is a review of the PlayStation VR2.
The last game I played was After the Fall, which is a game Wood and my buddy FriedBiscuits play all the time on their Quest Two’s.
It’s like left for dead, but in VR.
It was a lot of fun and they said it did look sharper compared to a Quest tethered to their multi-thousand dollars gaming PC’s which is kind of saying a lot.
And another thing that turned me around a little bit on the PSVR, but again it’s a multi-platform game that you can just play on a different headset.
– Okay, this is where I was saving it for.
– The library on PlayStation just isn’t enough to make you wanna invest in the platform and there’s nothing that makes me think that it’s gonna get any better.
There’s a rumor that Sony cut PlayStation VR2’s production in half.
That rumor has since been denied, but they didn’t really support PlayStation VR1 that well either.
But I will give Sony a little bit of credit.
They did give out PlayStation VR titles with PlayStation Plus every month, so that was nice.
Maybe we’ll see a tie in with that.
Maybe we will see more games on this thing.
I just want some proof.
There’s a huge list of games coming out but nothing I’m seeing is one of those killer apps that’s gonna make you want one of these things.
I guess that’s what I’m getting at.
It’s a great VR headset.
It might even be the best that I’ve ever used but $500 is a lot to ask of somebody for a PlayStation Five console and then $550 on top of that for a peripheral.
The Oculus Quest Two was $300 back in the day and you can play games like Demeo right on the headset itself.
You’re not tethered to anything.
Now, the newly rebranded Meta Quest Two, which is the same headset, is $400.
They raised the price.
A slightly worse deal but still a pretty good deal when you consider that all of this is $1,050.
‘Cause remember again, I will say, you need the PlayStation Five in order to use this thing.
Where PSVR2 suddenly becomes a good deal is when you want high fidelity visuals because your games will not look this good on a standalone headset.
If you have nothing and you wanna get into VR, a Meta Quest Two is still something to look into.
If you have a pretty good gaming PC, I might still recommend a Meta Quest Two ’cause you can tether it to that pretty beefy gaming PC or you can use this as a standalone.
You have the option also.
You get a little bit of better audio on this thing.
Ooh, I almost dropped it.
Than you would on a PlayStation VR2.
If you have a PlayStation Five and nothing else and you wanna get into VR, then the PlayStation VR2 is suddenly a very good deal.
You’ve already invested $500 in the base unit.
Why not spend the VR fund on a headset powered by that $500 investment? Gaming PCs are expensive and the PS5 goes toe to toe with them and sometimes even straight up outperforms some pretty expensive builds.
I might not be that impressed with the offerings but I’m constantly impressed by the power these new consoles have at such a low price.
I mean, $500 is still a lot for a console and $550 is a lot to ask for a peripheral but the alternatives at that level of quality become obscenely expensive.
So I’m honestly not sure how much dust this PSVR2 will collect.
I did criticize it a lot in this video but I do genuinely think that it revitalized my interest in VR.
I’ve been thinking about Demeo a lot since I was playing it and a little bit of After the Fall.
Now here’s the test.
What will I be playing more of in the next couple of weeks? My Oculus Quest Two or my PSVR2? That’s the ultimate review, so why don’t you to stay tuned to my Tik-Toks or my YouTube Shorts, ’cause I’ll update you on there sometime.
Anyway, what do you guys think about the PSVR2? Are you interested in this at all? Were you thinking about getting into this? Change your opinion at all? Does this make you want it more? Maybe I helped you out a little bit.
Hey, thank you PlayStation for sending this to me and letting me review it.
And thank you Honey for helping sponsor this video.
Don’t forget to check them out at the link in the description below.
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– Honey! – Do you think I was calling you? I stream over on twitch.
I don’t think I can stream from this ’cause I won’t be able to see the chat but I would like to maybe go check that out.
I’m dropping these controllers left and right.
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Have a good week.