HomeNewsGamingPlaystation VR 2 Preview (PSVR 2): Extensive Improvements Are Coming (Update)

Playstation VR 2 Preview (PSVR 2): Extensive Improvements Are Coming (Update)

The PSVR 2 brings significant optimizations and ensures an increased VR experience.

An extensive review of the highly anticipated Playstation VR 2 (PSVR 2) is clearly in favor of Playstation’s virtual reality. What the headset can do: Read about it in this Playstation VR 2 Preview Overview.

It should be mentioned in advance that the test was carried out by the guys over at Road To VR with a prototype of the Playstation VR 2 and that a lot can still change until the planned release in early 2023.

The Playstation VR 2 bears a lot of resemblance to the original headset. One of the exceptions, however, is the way the head strap can be stretched to fit the headset precisely and then fix it in place as desired using the crank. But that’s just one of many improvements.

 

Update, September 23rd

Video & Relase Date

A week ago, we were already able to gather extensive information about the new Playstation VR2 for you. Now Sony Interactive Entertainment has gone one step further and provided us with a fresh video, which impressively presents the key features and the audiovisual potential of the VR headset.

 

Also the release date is now finally fixed: Sony has confirmed that the PSVR2 will come in early 2023.

 

No VR Headset Should Miss This Feature

A great new feature to be mentioned in the PSVR 2 preview is that the Playstation VR 2 now has eye tracking as well as IPD adjustment. In addition, Sony has included a simple in-headset calibration so that users can now more easily set the ideal IPD while ensuring the optimal positioning of the VR headset with the help of this technology. When performing the calibration, a cartoon head will appear with holes cut out of the eyes with blue circles inside that represent your actual eyes. In this phase, you should adjust the headset so that the blue circles are positioned in the middle of the holes. When you have done this as accurately as possible, the holes will glow green. Your headset is now optimally calibrated for your eyes.

This new type of calibration makes using a VR headset much easier and is a novelty compared to the original PSVR (Affiliate Link), which is now, especially in a refurbished version, for $130 pretty cheap. The old version and most other VR headsets still lack this feature so far. Often people are required to make a manual IPD adjustment and are encouraged to improvise and adjust the lenses so it feels natural (which could go wrong). The PSVR 2 takes away this challenging step and automatically ensures the ideal alignment via built-in calibration. This gives people the clearest image and therefore the best VR experience on a Playstation possible.

 

Playspace Setup & Passthrough of the Playstation VR 2

Playspace can be set up in pretty much the same way as on Quest 2: You mark your boundaries by drawing an outline with the headset. At the same time, the headset scans the room you are in and suggests a possible play area. You can edit and optimize this according to your own wishes at any time.

In this photo, we see how to set up the PSVR 2 playspace optimally using the controller.
Playspace Setup (Source: Sony / PlayStation)

This is supported by the passthrough video, which allows you to use the headset’s cameras not only to easily define the boundaries of your gaming area but also to see into the real world. Compared to the Quest 2, the passthrough video has a significantly bigger resolution (2.000 x 2.040 per eye – 4.1 MP) on the Playstation VR 2. So far, however, the image is still displayed in black and white and the maximum resolution could still be increased to match the potential of the displays.

 

VR Haptics Expanded by a New Dimension

What is new also is a rumble mechanism you can feel on your head. This feature works well so far and gives the user an even more immersive experience when playing alongside the rumbling controllers they have in their hands. This feature boosts immersion during explosions, for example, where you see the screen shaking. The Playstation VR 2 is probably the first VR headset with equipped head haptics. Developers can thus add elements that make your head rumble a bit so that effects can be conveyed even more noticeably.

 

Insights About the Lenses and Display

In the Playstation VR 2 Preview, they also talked about the lenses of course. The built-in Fresnel lenses of the Playstation VR 2 are even more convincing. Many headsets with Fresnel lenses have given the user unwanted glare effects so far, but they seem much more muted in the PSVR 2. The field of view of the headset also seems to be significantly larger (Sony talks about 110° compared to the previous 100°).

We see the new Playstation VR 2 headset together with the controllers from behind against a white background.
Rear view of the PSVR 2 with controllers (Source: Sony / PlayStation)

After the successful calibration and definition of your gaming space, it’s time to judge the image quality. Compared to the original version, it is much clearer thanks to the jump in resolution from 960 x 1.080 (1.0 MP) per eye to 2.000 x 2.040 (4.1 MP). Although a noticeable amount of mura (color and brightness consistency from one pixel to the next) does affect clarity somewhat, the screen door effect is virtually invisible.

Often, the mura effect is worse on OLED screens than on LCD screens. In return, OLEDs offer much better contrast, allowing for rich and deep colors. Games like Horizon Call of the Mountain are thus especially enjoyable. Despite the general sharpness of the images, a certain blurriness was noticed on the PSVR 2, which caused the world to blur a bit as soon as you turn your head.

 

Let’s have a Look at the Controllers

 

As part of The Playstation VR 2 Preview, here we see an image that features the two controllers of the PSVR 2 against a white background.
The Controller of the PSVR 2 (Source: Sony / PlayStation)

VR games no longer need to develop abstract control schemes to meet the demands of PSVR. The new PSVR 2 includes industry-standard motion controls from now on, equipped with a thumbstick, buttons, grab button, and trigger on each controller. The grab button replaces the grab trigger, which might take some time to get used to, but shouldn’t cause any major problems. However, it can be a bit annoying in games where a certain object has to be held in the air for a longer period of time. Otherwise, the controllers give haptic feedback in the controller grips as well as the reactive triggers that are typical for PS5 controllers. Both the haptics of the grips and the reactive triggers seem to have room for improvement so far, but this might also be due to the early development stage and will certainly be optimized.

 

PlayStation VR 2 New Tracking Improvements

There is clear progress compared to the predecessor here: While the original PSVR only included a small tracking area, the user can now take on virtually any position and perspective in space without hesitation thanks to the 6DOF inside-out tracking. Compared to the PSVR, no real jitters, latencies or drifts were noticeable during testing. How and if the inside-out tracking behaves in the player’s different environments remains to be seen. In any case, the tracking seems to make a very stable and also advanced impression so far.

 

Conclusion

In summary, the Playstation VR 2 makes an extremely good impression in terms of both performance and functionality and is already a lot of fun. Certainly, there is still room for improvement in some areas, but it is certain that the PSVR 2, together with the PS5, raises the VR experience to a new level and also includes features that other VR headsets can learn from. Sony has not yet announced though how much the new headset will cost.

 

Are you also already in anticipation of the Playstation VR 2? Let us know what you think about the new headset in the comments below.

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