Meta is getting most of the attention in the VR space as CEO Mark Zuckerberg bets his company’s future on his nebulous vision for the “metaverse.” Sony is still making VR for games, though. The company’s long-awaited PlayStation VR2 headset has been fully revealed, with pre-orders starting later this month. It won’t cost you Meta Quest Pro money, but it’s not cheap, either.
The PS VR2 has the same basic aesthetic as Sony’s last headset — it’s a wrap-around plastic visor with a halo-style strap. While the first-gen PS VR used the Move controllers (the ones that look like glowing microphones), PS VR2 has its own handle-shaped Sense controllers with sensor rings and adaptive triggers (like the PS5 controller). The base PS VR2 bundle will set you back $549.99, and it goes up to $599.99 if you pick up the version bundled with Horizon Call of the Mountain. Sony will also have a $50 charging dock for the Sense controllers.
Sony says the PS VR2 was designed with visual fidelity and immersion in mind. It has an OLED screen with a resolution of 2000 x 2040 pixels per eye. That’s a huge upgrade from the meager 960 x 1080 pixels per eye offered by the original. Even the $1,500 Quest Pro is a bit behind the PS VR2 with 1800 x 1920 pixels per eye. The PS VR2 also supports up to 120Hz refresh rate, adjustable IPD, and eye tracking via an IR camera. Plus, Sony says it’s added a vent to the design that will improve airflow and make the headset more comfortable to wear for long periods.
The main differentiator between the PS VR2 and Meta’s current VR products is that Sony’s headset is a PlayStation accessory. You must connect it to the PlayStation 5 via a USB-C cable, allowing it to act like a fancy monitor on your face. That makes it less portable and convenient than standalone VR, but you don’t have to worry about battery life and the visual quality will be better than what you get with a headset running a souped-up mobile processor.
Sony will begin taking pre-orders for the PS VR2 on Nov. 15 via its online store in the US, UK, France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg. It will be available in other countries at the same time, but the specifics will be up to local retailers. The headset, games, and accessories will begin shipping on Feb. 22, 2023. Sony expects there to be about 20 games for PS VR2 ready at launch next year.