The PlayStation VR 2 is coming out on February 22 and Sony has done an excellent job marketing it to interested buyers. But, while pairing its upcoming flagship virtual reality headset with its now-more-available flagship console is a good idea, it somehow feels like there's not enough buzz surrounding it.
Maybe this explains why reports are claiming that Sony isn't selling as many PSVR 2 units ahead of its launch, regardless of whether Sony admits it or not.
For what it's worth, we've read several accounts from different tech reviews and decided to compile what they all have in common - both the good and the bad.
The case for buying a PSVR2
You get a PC-grade VR machine
First things first, the PlayStation VR 2 doesn't officially support PCs. We wish it could, especially since you can plug the PSVR 2 and its USB-C connector into a PC, but it won't work. We'll have to wait until Sony supports PCs (highly unlikely) or someone is clever enough to create a driver for its smorgasbord of features to work on the PC.
The good news is that the PSVR 2 gives you PC-quality VR performance without the need for one.
Given that entry-level VR-ready PCs can initially set you back anywhere between $500 to $1,000 without offering similar levels of performance, the PSVR 2 is a steal.
It’s the perfect supplement to the PS5
Even before last year's price hike, the PlayStation 5 was markedly more expensive if compared to the PS4 and even against current competition. The constant market demand and the lack of supply meant that a lot of PS5 owners had to pay higher prices to get a unit. Luckily, those days are over, and if you already have a PS5 right now, it wouldn't hurt to think about getting a PSVR 2 to pair with it.
Getting a PSVR 2 is the logical next step for PS5 owners who'd like to see what else their console is capable of doing.
Convenience, accessibility, and ease of use
Sony built the PSVR 2 to be foolproof. You don't need to set up an account or install software or even deal with cables. You get a single USB-C cable you plug into your PS5 and once connected, that's it. The most hassle with the PSVR 2 is pairing the controllers for the first time and mapping it, which, as per several reviews, is the easiest to do among all the VR headsets on the market.
Once you've set up your PSVR 2, the next step is to select a game and that's it. It's the fastest way to "teleport" into a VR world, which also looks great because of the PS5.
As a bonus, the PSVR 2 has minimal pressure points that are found in other VR headsets, including its predecessor. This gives it a snug fit that you can feel like you'll be able to wear it for hours with little trouble.
Horizon Call of the Mountain
Sony has always done its "console sellers" well. What we mean is that the console manufacturer has a history of games that you'd buy a PlayStation for just to get a chance to play. Horizon Call of the Mountain is that type of game for the PSVR 2. And, while it would've been very easy for Sony to cash in and turn Call of the Mountain into a technical showcase, Guerilla Games and Firesprite delivered a complete gaming experience that's derivative of the main Horizon series but also distinct in its own way.
Horizon Call of the Mountain might not take dozens of hours to completely finish, but it sets a welcome precedent for the future first-party Sony titles on the PSVR 2.
Why you should not buy a PSVR2
Let's keep it plain and simple: consumers don't want wired-only VR headsets, regardless of how good they are.
The market has proven its distaste for tethered anything over the years, VR headsets most especially. This is why the other high-end VR headsets have begun supporting wireless functionality. Why Sony didn't think of this is beyond us. We'd only guess that it came at an unwelcome added cost. However, you can't help but wonder if a more expensive but wireless PSVR 2 would have sold and impressed better, especially given all the praises the current PSVR2 has gotten for its visuals and the haptic feedback.
This is where Sony's decision to build the PSVR 2 lineup from scratch hits the most. Horizon Call of the Mountain is great but it's exactly what it is - just a single title.
Without any indication from Sony and other developers that other full-length VR-exclusive games like Call of the Mountain and Half-Life: Alyx is in development, the PSVR 2 feels more like a novelty than a must-have.
True, the launch lineup is robust with ports of Resident Evil Village, Gran Turismo 7, and No Man's Sky, among others, but the PSVR 2 isn't priced as an accessory - it's sold for the same price as the PS5 and rightfully deserves the same first-party title treatment.
Granted, this might change down the lineup, as was the case with the PS5 at launch. It's just a shame that the PSVR 2 will inevitably fail to make a good first impression out of Call of the Mountain.
What are the alternatives to the PSVR2?
Obviously, the PSVR 2 isn't the only VR headset on the market. Within its price range, the PSVR2's closest competitor is the Meta Quest 2, which loses in terms of visual fidelity and age. But, it's also wireless and is a standalone product. The Quest 2 lets you play anytime and anywhere with no cables to deal with. Unfortunately, the PSVR 2 can't quite match up with the more expensive Valve Index and HTC Vive Pro 2 in terms of pricing.
Given that the PSVR 2 finds itself stuck in the middle of both the low-end and high-end VR console market, you can't help but wonder if Sony is putting the PSVR 2 in a good position get squeezed.
The PSVR 2 is an excellent if quirky piece of hardware that should sell well among PlayStation loyalists. The main gripe with it seems to be with its wired-only connectivity and the fact that it doesn't have a lineup of first-party titles befitting its high asking price.
What stands out is that the PlayStation 5 is clearly a capable VR console, and we may need to revisit the PSVR 2 later this year, if not the next one. We just hope that the market hasn't forgotten about what should've been a big seller for Sony by then.
If it's any consolation, Sony guarantees that everybody who wants (and can afford) a PSVR2 can get it at launch.