Sony’s first virtual reality headset, the 2016 PlayStation VR, wasn’t exactly state-of-the-art. It was necessary to modify the PlayStation 4’s hardware. a Send your graphic to the converter box a Smartphone panel 1080p, with magnifying lens, for creating a The fragile illusion that VR is. Virtual reality is a fragile illusion. a Traditional gamepad. Extra cost was required if you desired to touch or reach for something. a pair of last-gen PlayStation Move wands — ones that were already six years old when the headset first came out and barely did the job.

New PlayStation VR2 launching Feb 22nd at $549 All of it.

You can read the full PSVR 2 kit: 2 controllers a headset.

Sony designed the entire PS5 with this headset in mind — you plug it right into the front with a One USB-C cord. It allows you to walk in a whole room, while the cameras on your controller measure your head position. Eyes It can be adjusted a To match, 4K image The bundled controllers have the same fine haptic motors and motorized resistive triggers as the PS5’s DualSense gamepad, too, and there’s a The headset’s motor is capable of generating a rumbling sound. Touch is now an essential feature. 

It’s the first consumer headset to offer eye tracking and the first to arguably offer PC-quality VR without a PC. We love what we see. We refer to three people: PSVR 2 It is a We felt it was important enough to launch VR/gaming in VR, so we sent Adi Robertson, Sean Hollister and Tom Warren to try it out.

But we also agree there’s a A familiar, large question mark hangs over the area PSVR 2. It will have to play the games.  

Reviewing and rating products

We need to be ready for everything before we can get started. love about the PlayStation VR2 — and our fair share of annoyances — let’s get one thing out of the way. 

Virtual Reality (VR) is the future. PSVR 2 Only plays PSVR 2 games. 

The headset and controllers sit on a wooden box, earbuds dangling out.

It’s not compatible with previous PSVR titles, and you can’t just plug it into a Windows 10 PC. You can also use SteamVR and Oculus to play with them, just like with Windows 8.1. a $450 Meta Quest 2. Sony could have worked with Valve or Meta to provide additional libraries of content; they’ve been welcoming in the past. Sony chose instead to build a Create a new ecosystem. 

All the pressure is on. on Sony to deliver a a selection of original games to justify their $549 price tag. But we’re not quite seeing it yet — partly because the overwhelming majority of Sony’s launch lineup are ports from other VR headsets and partly because Sony didn’t include Some of the most exciting launch games, as seen in our review units 

The company has been marketing that you’ll be able to play all of Resident Evil Village Most importantly: Gran Turismo 7 VR on launch day but didn’t give us a You have the chance to choose one. As we write these words, we haven’t yet received codes for Pistol Whip Or No Man’s Sky Or Pavlov Many other lesser-known titles are also available. 

We also have other games. Have tried, there’s only a Only one title really shows how the PSVR 2 can do: Horizon Call of the Mountain

An ornate bow aloft, arrow nocked, standing atop a cliff overlooking an impressive array of nine waterfalls on the opposite cliff.

Wielding a Bow in Horizon Call of the Mountain.

Call of the Mountain — and this is Adi speaking here — is a real, proper game. Its opening threatens the kind of lightly interactive theme park ride that lots of early VR experiences offered, but before long, you’ll be shooting robot dinosaurs and climbing mountains to redeem your protagonist Ryas from his shadowed past. The game takes the bow combat that’s already lots of fun in the main Horizon Series and translates into motion-controlled archery using the Sense controllers. Then, adds a climbing mechanic that feels directly copied from Crytek’s The Climb series — and I mean that as entirely a compliment.

I’ve written elsewhere that Call of the Mountain feels incomplete, like its designers either sanded down its difficulty to avoid alienating new VR users or didn’t have the bandwidth to fully flesh it out. But it’s a Great showcase for PSVR 2’s capabilities. The environments it inhabits are beautiful, clean, and lush. a way that I’d almost forgotten VR could Do as someone who’s recently focused on The Quest with a lower power.

Adi holds both controllers out directly in front of her, towards the camera.

The PlayStation VR2’s Sense controllers.

When you’re grabbing things with the PSVR 2 controllers, they’re more solid-feeling compared to Meta’s Touch controllers, and their layout and accuracy is a The original dream is better than your dreams PSVR’s Move remotes. Sony has cleverly adopted the Touch controllers’ basic layout. a trigger, a The grip button, the two faces buttons, and an analog stick are also included. a Use the menu button or the share button on Each one. On top of that, it’s added a The PlayStation button is located in the middle of each controller, and allows you to pair them or bring up your homescreen.

Sean and Tom had problems with controller drift and incorrect hand placement. However, my experience was positive under these circumstances. a range of light conditions, and the controllers’ performance never impeded my gameplay. Tom received a Warning about too much light was one thing, however he might have just been in a My room could be brighter. And I’m not sure how the relative bareness of a space — mine, for the record, is quite cluttered — affects how well the inside-out cameras can find hard edges to track.

A close-up of one Sense controller, showing the face buttons and joystick. Most are touch-sensitive, which can let games mimic your hand gestures.

One Sense controller close up, showing buttons for the face and joystick. Many are touch-sensitive and can be used to mimic hand gestures in games.

The following are the highlights “Sense” aspect felt a Very basic. Like Meta’s Touch controllers, the Sense controllers can recognize when your fingers are resting on You can adjust the position of your virtual hands by touching buttons and triggers. (If you’re touching the trigger, your character’s index finger is curled, for instance, and if you’re not, it’s pointing outward.) The controller didn’t always seem to register my hand position, and it mapped my fingers in odd ways, like apparently linking my lower fingers’ motion to my thumb so I’d end up making an awkward quasi-peace sign when I moved it. That’s not necessarily a hardware problem, but the experience feels less seamless than, say, Valve’s top-of-the-line Index sensors.

Hanging from a ledge in Horizon.

Hanging From a Horizon: ledge

Call of the Mountain Does a Great case to use for eye tracking. Foveated rendering is a feature that makes the game’s interface sharper and reduces computing load. It also lowers resolutions elsewhere. You can also choose dialog options with characters simply by looking at an option, and clicking on it. a Instead of using an analog wheel, you can use the face button. It’s so seamless that I almost forgot I was doing it sometimes — and I never want to go back. 

We don’t think Horizon It is a The reason is enough to get the PSVR 2Even if every headset came with a $60 game, it would still be worth the effort. But it’s not the only thing potentially worth playing. 

It’s possible to blast through Star Wars Smugglers in Tales from the Galaxy’s EdgeYou can also find out more about unravelling a Automatons can be used to create mystery The Last Clockwinder Guide a Swashbuckling mouse traverses miniature scenes of diorama-like scenery MossPlay, et cetera Tetris While immersed in a literal sea of light and sound. In order to substitute your arms, you can use tentacles. Tentacular Or baseball bats What The Bat While performing absurd laugh-out-loud chores. 

It’s possible to play God. a The medieval population of the islands Virtual TownsmenSpreading your hands in order to reach the villages to observe their works or standing high enough above to manage the clouds. 

As soon as you have your hands free, water or ice can be shot from them. a high school alien in Cosmonious High You can remove lasers from your eyes with a simple motion. Rez Infinite. Und in ThumperControl is possible “a space beetle screaming towards an insane giant head from the future” — still one of the best taglines ever — while banging your head to the addictive drums. 

Here’s the thing: not a single one of the games I just mentioned is new or exclusive to Sony’s headset. (Some of the games I just mentioned are even original. PSVR Upgrades to games cost between $5-10. Yet, the PlayStation VR2 may be our favorite place to play these games. 

Not because of the adaptive triggers or face rumble — definitely not the face rumble — or even the eye tracking, which we barely noticed in third-party games. Rather, it’s the simpler stuff, like how the PSVR 2 It is the easiest to setup, the most comfortable, the most plug-in, and the easiest headset. a You may have a console already.

This headset will cost more than the PS5 but it is much more powerful than the PS5. the median gaming computer; together, it’s a More affordable and easy way to obtain your desired results a The Quest offers a better visual experience than the Quest 2’s mobile VR. You should know that Sony and the other developers need to make significant visual improvements. When you’re playing a game like Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge that was built for the Oculus Quest’s mobile chip, you’ll definitely get a Although the image is sharper, textures and models look more basic than before. a dediciert PSVR 2 game like Horizon. It’s not quite as rough as playing a Nintendo 64 game on However, the Switch.

a blue tentacle towers over a local city’s leadership, saluting


An alien bartender with six eye stalks glares at you

Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge.

Floating over an island with rudimentary cottages

Virtual Townsmen

you have bats for hands and it’s time to make toast in this pastel kitchen

The Bat is the Best!

You can start using the product right away by opening the box. There’s no new account to create, no setup software to install, no mess of cords. Simply plug one USB-C cable in the front of the PS5 and then press the power button. on Each controller and the headset. Like with Meta / Oculus headsets, you do have to pair the controllers the first time and define your playspace, but it’s the easiest mapping we’ve ever seen: just turn your head and the PSVR 2’s four cameras automatically scan your room, generating a 3-D mesh which can be transformed into a Our testers are provided with a detailed 2D map (that can be easily modified) of the floor. Meta allows you to do all this manually. And — like other modern headsets — the PSVR 2 automatically recognizes that playspace so you don’t need to make a You can get a new one for the next session. 

The couch live view is covered in a blue triangular mesh.

The What PSVR 2 It sees what it sees a couch.

The headset also has fantastic passthrough vision for the price — at any time, you can press a Use this button on To see the bottom of the visor a 2000 x 1000-pixel live view of your actual room through the headset’s cameras. It’s not in full color or high-res enough to read print, but it’s fast enough to catch a clear and lobbed ball on a phone screen. Like Meta’s headsets, it’ll also automatically trigger passthrough vision If you stick your head outside the virtual boundaries you’ve set — but it doesn’t automatically switch on if a Unfortunately, dangerously close relationships can occur between family members and pets. 

(If you’re wondering whether Sony collects and stores any data or metadata from the PSVR 2’s cameras, we are, too. PlayStation rep Beca Truong pointed us to the company’s privacy policies for now, but they don’t offer any answers — and suggest that Sony can largely do as it likes with the data its products collect.)

It PSVR 2 It is also incredibly comfortable. It doesn’t quite reach the heights of the original PSVR, whose lightweight visor design was so successful it’s been repeatedly copied and even licensed by rivals, but you still get the comfy padded halo with its clicky twist-to-tighten dial. You can easily remove the large silicone eyebox for cleaning and keeps any extra light from getting around your nose. Like the PS5’s controller, the padding on Your forehead and neck are covered with thousands of miniature PlayStation symbols that provide extra grip. 

Big pads, big silicone bellows for the eyebox, and power and passthrough buttons on the bottom lip.

Large pads and large silicone bellows to protect the eyes, as well as power and passthrough buttons on The bottom lip

The headset’s actually about an ounce and a The original is half the weight PSVR At 560g (19.75 ounces), versus 600 grams (21.2 However, it feels great (about a pound). a little front-heavy — while you can still press a button to slide the whole display away from your eyes to, say, quickly glance down at your phone, it’s asking for a That piece should not be left unattended. However, regular usage will make it easier to keep the piece. PSVR 2’s a It is miles more comfortable that the Quest’s plain fabric headband 2 And even more a It’s a little bit better than Quest 2 It also comes with an optional Elite Battery Strap. a counterweight. This extra weight is important for the front. Does have an annoying interaction with another of Sony’s choices, though — the choice to stack Fresnel lenses atop its 2000 x 2040-pixel-per-eye screen. 

Smaller sweet spot, but less lens flare

There’s a Lots to love about Sony’s display. OLED pixels at 120Hz are brighter and more colorful than LCD panels in Oculus Quest. 2, and they’re incredibly crisp and clear at the center of your view. While there’s no question you’re looking through goggles, the 110-degree field of view is large enough that none of us felt claustrophobic in the slightest. Sony’s Fresnel lenses are remarkably good at dodging god rays, too, something VR headsets that use them have struggled with since the original HTC Vive. We didn’t see nearly as much of that annoying lens flare, perhaps due to Sony’s patented design

Tom, Adi and I are the ones who have done it instead a Another annoyance is that we find ourselves constantly adjusting the headset to keep our eyes clear. It’s way smaller than the sweet spot than the original PSVRIt is smaller than Oculus Quest 2If we don’t cinch down, it will be too late CloseWe were only able to see the little sag in the headset at the front. a Blurrier regions of the lens. The blur when you’re off-center has other side effects, too, like how any white text you see will start rainbowing around the edges — though that’s not unique to this headset. This headset is also great at tracking your eyes, but some users found themselves turning their heads rather than looking through the lens to see clearer images.

The PSVR 2’s sweet spot, as dictated by its Fresnel lens array.

It PSVR 2’s sweet spot, as dictated by its Fresnel lens array.

It PSVR 2 Do you now have? a You can adjust your Interpupillary Distance (IPD) using a dedicated dial. a wider range of people to use the headset at all, but it doesn’t fix the off-center issue. We had everything dialed in. You can read more about it here a bright note, we didn’t see the lenses fog up at all — there are plenty of vents and an actual fan inside. Then again, we didn’t exactly get to play Pistol Whip Or Beat Saber Any other intense exercise titles. We also weren’t able to test with prescription glasses, as none of us wear them, though there’s definitely enough physical room in the eyebox for a pair.

The lenses aren’t the only design tradeoff that Sony made. To get any immersive audio from the headset at all, you’ll need to plug wired earphones into the headset’s 3.5mm jack. Sony does include a special set of earbuds in the box that barely dangles beneath the headband, and Adi’s a fan — she doesn’t care for how Valve and Meta default to tiny speakers that broadcast your audio to others in earshot. Sean has yet to meet me. a wired earbud that doesn’t fall out of my ears, and Sony’s are no exception despite their three different tips. You can plug in your own earbuds, though, and they’ll even fit in the little earbud grabbers Sony built into the back of the display.

Earbud — and earbud holder. It’s the spot where three little flaps meet in a circle, at the back of the headband.

Earbud — and earbud holder. It’s the spot where three little flaps meet in a The circle is at the back end of your headband.

I ended up plugging the exact same pair of Bose QC35 into my computer. onI tested the original using earphones PSVR It worked flawlessly seven years ago. And before you ask, the PS5 still doesn’t support Bluetooth headsets. We checked. 

And while you won’t be babying the VR headset’s battery like we do with our Meta Quests, Sony did decide yet again to put rechargeable internal lithium-ion batteries in its Controllers Instead, you can swap out easily-swappable AAs. We’re each seeing five to six hours of battery life, and the console warns you About low battery Long before they die, so we don’t think it’s a huge deal. Still, it’d be nice to just swap in a We can now recharge our Eneloops with one controller, like the Meta Quest. It seems to sell more docking stations. Sony sent its $50 model with a couple of charging pin adapters you stick into the USB-C ports, and there’s already a Few third-party options on Amazon.

The biggest compromise is, however, the cord that runs under your feet. 

No, it’s not this bad — call it an artistic exaggeration.

No, it’s not this bad — call it an artistic exaggeration.

Sony is having trouble with one thing.

Over the last week each of us have been snagged in that 14.7-foot cable (4.5-meters) multiple times. We felt it grab our legs well before we finally landed. on a floor, you should know it doesn’t have any kind of quick-detach feature — nothing to keep you from yanking your console right off the entertainment center or bending the USB-C connector. What do you think the most probable? We cut our yank test short after we’d pulled the PS5 off its horizontal stand, hanging precariously off the edge of a shelf. Although the USB-C connector looks a little bent, it still functions. 

That USB-C cable isn’t easily replaceable, by the way — it’s thoroughly integrated into the headband Easily removable, but not usable. Sony, however did make that headband a modular component, cable and all, so here’s hoping the company introduces a Replacement with a battery-plus-wireless-video module.

Tom here — while we’re talking about our wishlists, I really wish the PSVR 2 official support PCs Sony isn’t officially supporting the PSVR 2 on Computer, this means you can still get a video signal through its USB-C connector, you’ll still need to wait on Anyone who can build a Driver for the inside out tracking and the haptic functions, as well as perhaps more.

The connection failed. PSVR 2 You can find more information here a You can connect your computer directly to a USB-C port on AMD Radeon RX6800XT GPU. There are signs that modders may be able get it working. Windows picked this up. a second screen and limited the resolution to 1080p, but Steam VR just kept asking me to plug in my VR headset as it couldn’t recognize the PSVR 2.

I’m hopeful that someone might get it working eventually, in much the same way that PSVR This has been modified so that it works on PC. Sony should support it. This is especially true with the recent PlayStation PC push. Official support just isn’t there yet, and there’s no sign Sony will ever do it. 

That’s disappointing because, for $549, this would be a VR headsets offer a unique alternative for PC gamers.

“What if the same, but better?” Sony has been successfully asking that question over and over in recent years — with remake after remake, remaster after remaster, of the most beloved games on PlayStation. Now, it’s rebooted its entire virtual reality platform — bringing some of the same games back at four times the resolution, with competitive controllers, roomscale tracking, and new features that developers will hopefully embrace like eye tracking and finger detection, advanced haptic feedback, and adaptive triggers. 

Horizon Call of the Mountain It is a A small glimpse of what could be possible with the help of Sony and other wealthy developers a true full-length made-for-VR game like Alyx: Half-Life. We are hopeful they will.

Still, we want you to know there’s no clear sign those sorts of system seller games are coming — not from Sony and not from other major publishers, either. The launch lineup is primarily composed of indies, like much of VR has been outside of Meta’s walls. Sony PlayStation launched full-fledged consoles in the past with a variety of models. a sparse lineup only to throw big exclusives behind them later, that hasn’t been true of anything else the company has offered, most recently the PlayStation Vita and the original PlayStation VR. Even if we reviewed products on potential — we don’t — it’d be hard to do that with PlayStation accessories because the potential has so rarely panned out.

Sony says that there are over 100 PSVR 2 games are in development, and it wouldn’t be the worst thing if they were simply all indie games and ports. Even with all its flaws, the hardware works well. We just wish we’d had more time and more games to try — it’s clear that we’ll need to take a A second view in weeks and months subsequent to launch.