PS5's New VR2 Tech Is Making A Great First Impression


A first-person view of a PSVR 2 game shows characters sitting on a boat moving through a river.

Image: Sony

Sony’s PSVR for PlayStation 4, the primary severe VR add-on for a console, did fairly darn properly for itself. It was moderately reasonably priced, properly acquired by gamers and critics alike, and obtained much more post-launch help than many prior PlayStation {hardware} efforts (RIP, pricey Vita). Now, numerous retailers have gotten their first hands-on periods with an early model of Sony’s upcoming PSVR2 for PlayStation 5. The anticipated new VR {hardware} doesn’t but have an official worth or launch date (simply “early 2023”), however primarily based on these impressions, it’s already making waves with critics.

Quite a lot of retailers that obtained these hands-on demos describe the expertise as being on par with presumably extra highly effective PC VR choices from Valve or Meta. That stated, it’s nonetheless going to be on Sony and different builders to create compelling video games, and proper now the brand new platform’s solely unique experiences are a Horizon spin-off and a VR model of final 12 months’s Resident Evil Village. The latter is playable for the primary time in VR on Sony’s headset. There’s additionally a Walking Dead recreation and a Star Wars VR expertise, each ports of prior PC/Quest VR video games.

Overall, critics sound impressed, even wowed, by the expertise. Among the qualities cited are the general construct high quality and luxury, which appear to compete properly with already-existing headsets. It’s nonetheless tethered, however the cable size sounds appropriate sufficient. The graphical high quality and general “immersion,” particularly, are grabbing a whole lot of consideration. One of probably the most bleeding edge options is the headset’s eye monitoring, which permits the unit to optimize rendering primarily based on the place you’re wanting, or sooner or later, lock gazes with different gamers. There’s additionally haptic suggestions within the headset itself. Polygon notes that each options are utilized in Horizon, which is probably the most superior showcase of the {hardware} to this point.

Basically, it simply wants some killer apps, and the quartet of current demos sound like a strong begin. Here are some highlights from every outlet’s hands-on impressions:


“Last week, I attempted Sony’s new headset for the primary time and was caught off guard by how gorgeous two of its marquee video games, Horizon Call of the Mountain and Resident Evil Village, appeared. They didn’t depend on particles or stylized artwork course; they appeared like AAA console video games that simply occurred to be in VR. The previous few years of taking part in Quest had recalibrated my expectations for the way VR video games ought to seem, and it was nice to see video games pushing ahead visually as soon as once more with out requiring an elaborate setup.”

“But what does it feel like to actually play games on the PSVR2, with all of its new bells and whistles? The actual PSVR2 hardware was a joy to use. Like most modern VR headsets, it lets you adjust the head strap to make sure everything rests comfortably on your noggin, and you can tweak the inter-pupillary distance (IPD) so that the actual lenses inside the headset are the right distance for you. The screens looked great, though things sometimes felt just a little bit hazy at the edges, which could also happen with the first PSVR.”

“Wow. Wow, wow, wow. That’s the word that keeps springing to mind when I try to sum up my time with PlayStation VR2. As a fervent fan of VR for many years now, it’s safe to say that my first hands-on experience with Sony’s upcoming headset wowed my VR-loving socks off. This sleek and stylish unit was all I could have wanted for an upgraded PSVR headset and much, much more.

In terms of technological and visual quality, this feels like one of the more memorable generational console leaps. Experiencing the difference in visuals between the PSVR1 and the PSVR2 brought back memories of graduating to the sparkly, sharp, high-definition games of a PS3 after spending years playing games on the PS2 in standard definition.”

“Sony has touted much higher visual fidelity for PSVR2, which, for the tech-spec obsessed people out there, amounts to an OLED display that offers a resolution of 2000×2040 per eye, HDR, refresh rates of 90Hz and 120Hz, and a 110-degree field of view. This is all impressive on paper, but when you experience it with the headset on, it’s a bit of magic.

The level of detail on display was genuinely overwhelming, mostly because I didn’t expect it from a VR game. I know how dismissive that sounds of all the VR games out there, of which there are certainly more than a few impressive-looking ones. However, there’s a clear line between the way a VR game and a non-VR game look—there’s a level of richness, detail, and polish that separates the two. Horizon Call of the Mountain blurs that line on PSVR2.”

“PlayStation VR2 thankfully feels like a modern entry into the VR landscape, with top-notch visual fidelity and comfortable ergonomics. Its haptics and adaptive triggers, if implemented well, will be a welcome addition to the immersive experience. As with all new pieces of hardware, the question now falls to whether there will be enough games to make the investment worth it. First-party games like Horizon Call of the Mountain certainly help assuage those fears, and while nothing has been announced yet, I would be shocked if the outstanding Half-Life: Alyx didn’t make its way to the platform.”

 

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