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A Huge Leap forward
It’s been seven whole years since PSVR was released. I did buy the system at launch and enjoyed a few of the games. Usually when Sony released a new system there’s been an Astro -game for it. PSVR got Astro Bot Rescue Mission and PS5 got Astro’s Playroom. The games were made to easy it up to get to know the system and its capabilities by an innovative gameplay. PSVR even got a Demo Disc that had lots good games that also made players get to know the system.
PSVR2 was released 22 February, 2023 and sadly it didn’t get any Astro -game nor Demo Disc. That is truly sad, because I always enjoyed those games. PSVR2 launch titles are very thin. I played some new PSVR2 titles and demos. This is my verdict of the system and its new features after using it a week.
First impressions, Image quality, controllers and roomscale
My first impressions, when I opened the package, was positive. The PSVR2 was packed very simply and nothing extra hassle was present. I plugged the system in with only one USB-C cord and turned on my PS5. The console immediately recognized the PSVR2 system and it made me go through the settings. All the settings were simple and very easy to use. The system needs light to be played so the system’s cameras can track your surroundings, so PSVR2 cannot be played in a dark room. It also doesn’t need PS Camera to work.
What I immediately noticed with the non-VR mode (Cinematic Mode) that the image quality was rather blurry. I re-set my lense distance, but the image quality reminded me a lot of PSVR1, especially when I looked towards the edges of the screen. I thought that image would be super sharp and nothing like the predecessor. Of course, the image quality was many times sharper than the original system had, but PSVR2 have a sweet spot where everything looks just nice.
I bought Horizon Call of the Mountain and launched the game. As the game began it made me go through some settings, but before launching the gameplay I went through accessibility settings. I was surprised. There was a ton of settings I could adjust. I didn’t know what all of them meant, since I haven’t yet played the game. The game could be played in sitting or standing, I prefer sitting so I chose that. I started the game and wow. It looked beautiful, vibrant and sharp. The image quality was a much better and nothing like in Cinematic Mode.
After playing for a while I noticed that my arms went out of the playing area a lot. I fixed this by going to the PSVR2 settings and chose the limit from medium to low, and I widened the playing area setting. I also noticed how the touch/finger tracking didn’t work at all. My character’s fingers made all kinds of gestures even though I didn’t do those. I didn’t have this problem in other games, though.
I noticed how difficult it was to move my character by the initial settings. In the game I had to change the settings so I could move freely and turn without snapping, I also took off the vignette. It is for players who get motion sickness easily and the vignette should help with that making the edges go dark when moving. I always liked VR games that lets you move freely and without snapping or teleporting, it just makes everything so much more realistic to play. I didn’t get nausea or any kind of motion sickness at all.
Unfortunately, the controllers’ battery nearly died after playing for thirty minutes so I had to end my gameplay and charge the controllers. Obviously they weren’t charged enough by the manufacturer. It only takes 1-2 hours to full charge the Sense controllers. I recommend to buy the PlayStation VR2 Sense Controller Charging Station. You charge both controllers with it easily.
The controllers (Sense controllers) are very much like DualSense controllers (PS5), because they also had haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. The only thing they had extra was finger/hand tracking. What I noticed was that the haptic feedback rumble was weaker than what the DualSense has. Also people who have big hands might find the Sense controllers too tight.
PSVR2 requires 2m x 2m (6,7″ x 6’7″) space for the roomscale play mode. So you need to measure your playing area that it is at least the required space, otherwise the games that required roomscale playing mode cannot be played. I don’t have the needed space for that, so I cannot (probably) play those games, because I’m a hair short (about 50cm) of the needed space. In PS Store it is declared what playing modes the game supports. The system is also good for watching movies or just plain old YouTube.
The final word
Even though PSVR2 is rather expensive, I payed 640€ ($678) for the system and 50€ for the charging station. So little under 700€ I got myself a great VR system, of course it also needs the PS5 system to work so the overall price point goes over 1200€. Not mention the games as well. It is obvious that the whole experience isn’t for people who doesn’t like to spent money nor like games that much. I personally didn’t have the money to buy the system and games so I saved up for months to get this.
Even though PSVR2 didn’t get Demo Disc, there are demos available for the system. At the moment of writing you can try Cosmonious High Demo, Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge, Song in the Smoke: Rekindled and Resident Evil Village VR Mode Gameplay Demo. Then there’s also trials if you got PS Plus Premium for some games like Puzzling Places and Horizon Call of the Mountain.
PSVR2 is a huge leap forward in technology and gaming. I don’t know much about other VR systems since I always used PSVR ones. What I’ve played and experienced I highly recommend it. The only negative thing about it is that the launch titles are rather thin.
“I plugged the system in with only one USB-C cord”