PSVR 2: Price, release date, controllers, features and games
The next-generation of Sony VR is due in 2022. A PlayStation VR 2 headset with new controllers has been annouced, here's everything we know.
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What's in this guide?
On 13 October 2016, Sony's PlayStation VR (PSVR) was released into the wild. Like the tangled, cable-happy hydra it is, it slowly wrapped up Australians in its immersive new gameplay experience. By the time 2021 came around, over five million gamers around the world had snapped up a unit.
PSVR is a comparatively cheap entry into the blossoming VR space. It aims to give the average consumer an opportunity to experience virtual reality without breaking the bank or needing extensive tech knowledge. All you need is a PlayStation console to access Sony VR. We loved it then and we still do, but it wasn't short on weaknesses.
As such, when the PlayStation 5 console launched in November 2020, it was with some disappointment that no upgrade to the PSVR headset was announced. A PSVR 2.0 had been heavily rumoured, but Sony effectively turned its back on VR at launch. As we'll go into below, even playing the original PSVR headset on a PS5 is something of a chore.
Thankfully, on 24 February 2021, Sony finally detailed its plans for the PSVR 2 headset. Below you will discover everything you need to know about the PlayStation VR 2 headset and the original PSVR kit. We'll also talk you through how to use PSVR on a PS5.
What do we know about Sony's PSVR 2 features?
On 24 February 2021, Sony announced a PSVR 2 headset was in the works. Note that the name PSVR 2 is currently a placeholder adopted by media. Sony is simply referring to it as a "next-generation VR system".
Sony also confirmed that many of the features rumoured pre-announcement will be included in the PSVR 2 headset. These improvements are designed specifically for use alongside the PlayStation 5. The enhanced power of the PS5 allows for a much more refined and elegant PSVR headset than what we saw in 2016, midway through the PS4 generation.
So far, we've been promised the following features:
- Improved resolution
- Wider field of view
- Enhanced tracking and inputs
- New PSVR controllers focused on greater ergonomics
- Inclusion of DualSense features – likely haptic feedback and adaptive triggers – in the Move 2 controllers
- Easier setup, with only one cable between the devices
- Native compatibility with the PS5 and PS5 HD camera
To be frank, the list above is nothing less than we would have expected. However, it's great to know it's in the works. We're surprised and disappointed that the device isn't going fully wireless, which is what we've seen with recent iterations of the Oculus Quest and HTC Vive headsets. There was also no mention of backwards compatibility with older games or accessories such as the Aim controller. Nor whether audio will be built into the PSVR 2 headset.
Another key feature would be a forward-facing camera. And of course, we haven't seen its design yet – however, I suspect it will stay close in look to the current PSVR headset. Despite releasing in 2016, the current PSVR headset syncs with the design theme of the entire PS5 list of accessories.
Sony's next-gen PSVR 2 controllers revealed
On 18 March 2021, Sony revealed its new PSVR 2 controllers (see picture above). They're a huge step forward from the Move controllers, which were launched way back in 2010, yet were utilised by the original PlayStation VR experience. They're not being called Move 2, at least not at this stage. Sony is simply referring to it as "our next-gen VR controller."
Certainly, it's not being driven by the Move controller, but instead takes its inspiration from the excellent DualSense. Sony described the goal of the new controller as developing a "much deeper sense of presence and stronger feeling of immersion in VR."
The new PSVR 2 controllers take on an orb shape, which is designed to provide an ergonomic, lightweight extension of a gamer's hands while allowing for full freedom of movement. They have a primary trigger (L1/R1) and secondary trigger (L2/R2) on the underside, as well as an analogue stick and two standard buttons on the top side.
So, when you think of the two controllers as one, you end up with all the same inputs as the DualSense, minus the d-pad and touchpad.
The L1 and R1 buttons on both the left and right PSVR 2 controllers have the same adaptive trigger technology as the DualSense controller. Both controllers also offer the next-generation rumble experience called haptic feedback. In what is a very exciting improvement, Sony claims the controllers will offer finger touch detection no matter where your digits are placed. While general movement is followed by a tracking ring at the bottom of the controller.
The Sony PSVR 2 controllers will be available with the headset, with both expected to arrive in 2022.
When is Sony's PSVR 2 release date?
Sony has been very clear that PSVR 2 will not come out in 2021. However, the company stopped short of confirming an exact release date. Based on previous release strategies, we could hope for a November 2022 release date, although it could end up as late as March 2023. These dates are simply our speculation; we've heard nothing – even off the record – from Sony.
It will also be interesting to see if the PSVR 2 headset will launch on PC, too. Since 2016, Sony has shown an increased interest in being PC compatible. Many first-party PlayStation exclusives have started appearing on PC, there's more cross-play titles in the market, and the DualSense works on PC. It would seem counter to that business strategy to then restrict the PSVR 2 headset to the console.
There's still a lot of development underway for our new VR system, so it won't be launching in 2021. But we wanted to provide this early update to our fans, as the development community has started to work on creating new worlds for you to explore in virtual reality. ”
How much will PSVR 2 cost?
The point of difference for PlayStation VR over rivals in the space was that it offered a high-end experience at an affordable price. Plus, it worked with your existing PS4; you didn't need a fancy PC. We anticipate this approach will continue moving forward. And when the original PSVR headset launched, it was roughly the same cost as the PS4 console itself.
Will PSVR 2 follow suit and position itself around the same price as a PS5? And if so, how much will the PS5 be by the end of 2022 or beyond?
The other question is what will be bundled in this time around. When the original PSVR headset came out, adoption of the PS4 camera and the PS4 Move controllers was already rampant. As a result, the PSVR headset was not bundled with either. This time around PSVR 2 will launch with the Move 2 controller, so the likelihood of them being bundled together is much higher.
Adoption of the PS5 HD camera has also been very low during the PS5's launch. This is mainly due to a lack of games that use it, and scarce availability on the back of the COVID-19 pandemic. So it too could be bundled.
With all this in mind, we should anticipate a price in the $600 to $700 range. Maybe even a tad higher.
Order PlayStation 5 Digital Edition from Sony: $599.95
Order PlayStation 5 Standard Edition from Sony: $749.95
What will PSVR 2 be like to play games?
With Sony yet to show any official footage of PSVR 2 in operation, we are left to speculate as to how it will play. Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan has dropped some key hints. He described PSVR 2 as "a completely new VR format for PS5". He also reiterated that Sony "believe in VR".
Ryan's comments backed up early hints dropped by Nishino, who had previously revealed, "I would like to expect the PS5 to have a VR experience that is appropriate for the PS5."
When we analyse that information, it's clear that PSVR 2 will not be an iteration, but rather an evolution of the way VR is played on PlayStation. It's highly likely a lot of that evolution will rely on the way haptic feedback and adaptive triggers will be used in the new controllers. That technology has been transformative for the PS5 console. Indeed, one Sony patent suggests haptic feedback could even be built into the PSVR 2 headset itself, which is an exciting possibility.
As for specific PSVR 2 games, nothing has been announced. However, in March 2021, Sony did reveal six new PSVR headsets on the way. As it did ahead of the PS5 launch, we can expect any PSVR games that come out in 2021 and 2022 to be backwards compatible with the PSVR 2 headset. The recently announced games were:
- Doom 3: VR Edition
- Song in the Smoke
- After the Fall
- I Expect You To Die 2: The Spy And The Liar
- Zenith: The Last City - The Fracture
Is it worth buying PlayStation VR in 2021?
Of course, you don't have to wait to play PSVR. You can play it right now. As detailed in my review, the headset experience is really great. It's a brilliant way to play games. But since its launch in 2016, more cost-effective VR technology has emerged that is worth considering. It's no longer the lay down misère it was originally as a result.
In this writer's opinion, if you own a PlayStation 5, it's tough to justify the full expense of a PSVR headset in 2021. It's not a native fit for the console and you will need to get an adaptor cable just to get the old PS4 camera to work with the console. Plus, you know that sometime soon it will be superseded by a genuine PS5 PSVR headset.
If you're still playing on a PS4 with no plans of upgrading to PS5 then it's a different story. It's well worth the investment. And you'll likely be able to find one, or at the very least the Move controllers and/or PS4 camera, second-hand at a reduced rate.
PSVR Australian pricing
The standard PSVR kit originally released for $549.95 is Australia. That price has since come down and you can get it for $419.95 for the basic starter kit. There are also some great bundle kits that come with a lot of great games that you will find at certain retailers.
It's important to note that the starter kit only includes the PSVR headset. It doesn't include the required PlayStation Camera or two PlayStation Move controllers (which are required for certain games).
Sony sells the PlayStation Camera for $89.95 and the PlayStation Move Twin Pack for $119.95. If you don't have these peripherals, the entire package comes to $629.85 (not including the PlayStation console). It's worth noting that existing PlayStation Cameras and Move controllers will work with PSVR.
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|Price (including GST)||$419.95|
|Display Resolution||1920 x 1080 (960 x 1080 per eye)|
|Refresh Rate (Hz)||120|
|Maximum Frame-Rate||120 frames-per-second|
|Field of View||100-degrees|
|Bluetooth Mobile Integration||No|
|Forward Facing Camera||No|
|Head Tracking||360-degree head tracking|
|System Dashboard||PlayStation Network|
|Controller||PlayStation Move or DualShock|
|Required Equipment||PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5|
|Launch Titles||View launch titles|
|Audio Technology||3D Audio Engine|
|Virtual Reality Store||PlayStation Store|
How to use PSVR on PS5
If you already have or intend to buy the original PSVR headset before PSVR 2 arrives, you can play it on a PlayStation 5. However, you will need to get a PlayStation Camera adaptor.
Newly sold PSVR headsets come with this cable, but if you already have the headset or intend to buy one second-hand, you'll need to order one. To Sony's credit, the adaptor is free, although a word of warning: mine took three months to arrive. Albeit, I ordered one as part of the first wave, which would have seen the highest demand.
Playing PSVR on PS5 does get some added benefits, thanks to much faster load speeds and 3D audio. However, most games are not specifically optimised to perform better in the headset itself. Some are, but you should not assume a big resolution or framerate upgrade just because you're playing on PS5.
Note, you cannot play PSVR on PS5 using a DualSense controller or a PS5 HD camera. You need to use the original PS4 camera, a DualShock 4 and/or Move controllers. Keep this in mind. And not every PS4 game is backwards compatible on PS5 out of the box, so you may want to double check to make sure the games you're most excited about will work.
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