The PlayStation VR was a big deal. At a time when VR games were still making early progress and most of the hardware was prohibitively expensive and also required beefy PC hardware, PlayStation’s solution was relatively affordable and worked with a device that tens of millions of people already had at home. The result is that it enjoyed a pretty decent surge in popularity and gained a sizable library of games. It’s been reported in the years since, especially with the advent of high-quality standalone VR headsets like the Meta Quest with their vast catalogs of games and far superior input options.
That’s what makes the PlayStation VR2 such an attractive proposition – with the price of the PS5 consoles having risen and the new headset costing $880, will the hardware be nicer and the promise of some exciting first and third-party exclusives part be enough to win back an audience? Although I cannot really answer these questions yet, I have I had the chance to try out the PlayStation VR2 myself at the Tokyo Game Show, and I can at least attest to the quality of the experience. Spoiler: that’s great.
Being attached to the new iteration of PlayStation VR was like second nature thanks to its mechanical design quite similar to that of its predecessor. That’s a good thing, because the OG PlayStation VR was a breeze to put on and adjust to fit. As before, a button on the back allows the support to be loosened to put it on the head, then a wheel tightens it at will. There’s still a button on the top right of the headset that you can use to move the lenses farther or closer to your face, but there’s also now another dial on the left side to change the lens distance to adjust focus on the fly – an immediate effect a godsend for someone like me who constantly had to fuss with PlayStation VR software to get the clarity I needed.
The set is just as comfortable as the original, if not more so thanks to a much better fit around the face area. This is especially true if you wear glasses like me, the difference in comfort with my specs on the PlayStation VR2 compared to the old one was day and night. It’s hard to make a direct comparison to my headphones at home when it comes to weight, but they are definitely lighter. The single USB-C cable barely adds any extra weight or “pull”, to the point where I’d forget it was there – a far cry from what I had to deal with on the original iteration of the PlayStation VR with its massive, clunky cable arrangement. I also really liked the upside-down camera array which is not only useful from a gameplay perspective, but lets you “see through” the headset while you’re setting it up, and the transmission is incredibly crisp and clear.
With the headset on, it was time to get our hands on one of the biggest changes to PlayStation VR2; Sense controllers. Now, admittedly, I’ve had very little experience with competing headsets like the Meta Quest, but it’s good to know that us PlayStation VR users are finally going to be able to play with the big kids when it gets hot. is about having a good VR controller experience. Throw away those awful Move wands (probably not, recycle them or donate them or something) because this this is how virtual reality was meant to be played. After a few seconds of adapting to the button layout, my hands naturally rested exactly where they needed to be in the orb-shaped devices, with my thumbs on the thumbsticks and my fingers resting on the adaptive triggers and guards. -L1/R1 shocks. I didn’t get a chance to see how the touch-sensing system worked, or much of the haptic feedback, but from a comfort and playability perspective, the PlayStation VR2 Sense controllers blow the fixes previous ones out of the water.
The only game I was able to demo with the PlayStation VR2 was Resident Evil: Village, courtesy of Capcom, and when I say the experience was transformative, I’m not exaggerating at all. The PlayStation VR2 headset does for Village what PlayStation VR did for Resident Evil 7, but even better thanks to awesome new hardware. To begin with, it’s gorgeous. RE:V already looks great, but the VR version, clearly aided by the power of the PS5, is just as stunning. There is a presence to the environment that was missing on older VR hardware with its obvious screen door effect, lower resolution, and reduced detail. Now it’s a far less compromised experience that feels incredibly lifelike, and the headset’s new OLED HDR displays are phenomenal. Even when I was looking, trying to see any type of screen door or visual noise, I really couldn’t.
Resident Evil: Village also plays like a dream in VR. The Sense controllers are great for a first-person action experience, allowing me to easily move around like I normally would with the analog stick and use both hands to interact at the same time. The demo takes place in the first section of the game where you are first introduced to the infamous Lady Dimitrescu, and boy is she towering in VR. The absolute the size On this creepy queen, I tell you, it really isn’t apparent until she stands above your limp body after being unceremoniously dragged into her home by her daughters. Sorry to everyone asking if you can give Lady D a big kiss – Ethan Winters just doesn’t have the size.
When it comes to combat in the VR version of Village, at least when it comes to knife and handgun use in this part, it’s incredibly intuitive. The L1/R1 bumpers are cleverly placed just below where your middle or ring finger will likely sit, meaning you hold them down to simulate a “grab” action. To interact with in-game objects or pick up a weapon from your waist holster, you simply “grab” it and hold it. From there, in the case of the knife, you can slash enemies or even throw it at them by swinging and releasing the button. The handgun is a very natural point and shoot situation while you’re holding it – and you’ll need to reload by physically grabbing the ammo from your side with your other hand, emptying the magazine, putting in the new one and then cocking the pistol. It might seem like a lot in the heat of the moment, but it quickly became second nature and it’s nice to get by under pressure. You can even use the knife and handgun if you’re a badass.
Although my time was relatively short, I am already convinced. The PlayStation VR2 is undoubtedly the experience that users of the original version have imagined since we stepped into the shoes of Ethan Winters, and it’s only fitting that these are the same shoes that I filled this time. Whether it’s superior comfort, amazing OLED displays, impressive eye-tracking technology, brilliant controllers, or just the exciting software slate, pretty much everything you could ask for in a second iteration. is here. If you’re lucky enough to have a PS5 and the disposable income for a nearly $1000 VR headset, I can’t recommend this enough.
PlayStation VR2 will launch on February 23, 2023 as a standalone package for $879.95 or a bundle with Horizon Call of the Mountain for $959.95. Learn more about release date, price and pre-orders here.