Wednesday, February 22, 2023

PSVR 2 Review - Not Just The Same Old Stuff!


Sony chose a very unusual time to release the PS VR2. Wednesday, 22nd of February. During work, school and not on a weekend. When I went to my local game store, I expected a line. But there was hardly anybody there. During the working week. Though i'm not complaining, I always like it when they are quiet. I guess the massive price tag of $850AUD, which is about $70 more than the actual PS5 console itself, put people off for a while. I even said "It's a really strange day for them to be releasing it". There was no celebrations and hardly any promotion about it. 

However, I enjoyed the first PS VR. I still plan to keep it. A lot of people ask me "Why do I need a PSVR2?", well. That's a good question. I hope to answer that in this review as well. 

In the box you get a PSVR2 Headset, the two new controllers, and a useless pair of headphones & stupid instruction manual. You don't need the custom headphones, as regular headphones also work. If you prefer overhead headphones, that will also work with the VR2 headset. 

It's very frustrating putting on headphones while using the PSVR2. The ones that came with the console, kept on falling out of my left ear. However, since I have slightly strange ear holes in general, I never have been able to successfully fit ear bud headphones in my ear. So I guess that's not the fault of the PSVR2, but the headphones it comes with do feel kind of flimsy. 

I really liked how the original PSVR lights up because it looked cool. However, the new one doesn't. That's because you don't need a Playstation Camera. There are 4 cameras on the front of the headset built in. This means you can create your own playspace, the VR2 scans the room around you, and you don't have to worry about moving out of the playspace too much like on the first VR. Doesn't mean the first VR is bad. I still think it was very good.

The new VR headset out of the box features 4K resolution and 2 Oled eye pieces. You can adjust and focus the eye pieces which I find very useful. I did have trouble fitting the headset over my head at the first try, as it too feels a bit flimsy and light. Even the rubber nose protectors feel a bit flimsy. When you adjust the headset around a bit, it clicks. You lock it in place when you have it on the right size.

Frustratingly at the time of launch, PSVR2 does not support sound from the regular TV speakers, unlike the first PSVR. So you HAVE to wear headphones for it for the time being, which is really super annoying. I feel like that this is a step backwards. I hope it gets fixed within a future update so sound can be played and used on the headset without headphones.

There is no major setup this time round that requires a lot of cables. The first PSVR set up, you had a box featuring all of the cable plugs. You had to fix two different HDMI Cables on the box and 2 different power adapters inside. 
This new VR headset only has the one plug to put in the front of the PS5 and turn on to work. While it boasts convenience, I found the PSVR2 cable to get very distracting, it gets in the way a lot. Especially if you move around a lot, you will always feel it on your left arm or shoulder. That gets really annoying. Since it's big and thick. If something were to happen to your PSVR2 cable for any chance, like if it gets damaged or fried somehow, it's game over, man. Game over. It does feel flimsy overall. Not as comfortable at first than the first PSVR. However over time I am sure i'll get used to it. I originally found the same uncomfortableness about the first PSVR at launch, then eventually got used to it.

There's not a lot of launch games available for the PSVR2 at this time as well. The line up seems pretty lacking with no major AAA party games. Frustratingly, I couldn't afford too much games because I had to pay off the bloody headset in the first place. But it is nice that some games are getting the PSVR2 upgrade. PSVR2 is not backwards compatible with the first PSVR, which makes it a good reason of keeping both.

The new controllers for the PSVR2 are a step in the right direction and much bigger improvement than those horrible PS Move controllers for the first VR headset. I hated the Move controllers. They just felt like knock off Wiimotes. The new VR2 controllers feel comfortable and fit in your hands really well.

One cool thing about the VR2 is that you can press a button on the headset and see your surroundings in the room with the built in cameras. This is a great idea as well so you can see if you are about to bump into something or not and you can access this feature at any time in the game.

Eye tracking technology was very new to me and it really did blow me away once I figured out how to get it working. At first few times, the eye tracker failed to work and I think it was because I had some front facing blinds open during the day. It didn't like the light reflecting in the room and when I closed them it worked. 

So far i've only seen eye tracking working on Tetris Effect Connected. I did not know why the main menu wasn't loading, then I looked at the first level and blinked and it opened. That was cool.
Tetris Effect was a favourite game of mine on the original VR. I noticed significant improvements due to the 4K & oled visuals. The new 110% range is very noticable. Frustratingly, despite the Tetris Effect Connected upgrades being free, I had to pay $15 to upgrade from the PS4 version to the PS5 version so it could work on VR2. I felt kind of cheated by that as the No Man's Sky VR update was free. However, for some unusual reason, I could not figure out how to get the VR upgrade working on No Man's Sky. It would just load into the base game, despite actually installing the upgraded mode. My video game store said people were having this issue so I was prepared for disappointment with that. I actually haven't played No Man's Sky at all. I got it on sale once a couple of years ago when it was 20 bucks on the PS Store. Not sure why the VR mode in it is having issues.

I'm noticing visual improvements with Tetris Effect Connected on PSVR2. 

I did manage to get an official PSVR2 game before it came out. Kayak Mirage. It looked really good. I did a bit of free roam Kayaking before I started the game. You start off in a training pool. I really like how you can see under the water as well. Things look nice. I went to Antarctica and somewhere else that I forget. I got used to the Kayak controls really quick, but it certainly makes you tired after a while and it's good exercise. I prefer doing this one sitting down. 
I wanted to go to a distant island and kept on rowing but a message popped up on the screen saying I was out of bounds. This felt frustrating as it looked like I could get there. 

There are only a few places to visit to start off and kayak on. But I did notice a store, so hopefully more DLC will be added in the future and they will add new places in the game to go. You have a lot of choices in Kayak Mirage, You can do races or free roam Kayaking. You can choose between day or night (Highly recommend Antarctica at night). The Icebergs are tricky to avoid but you can push the small ones aside with your oars.

Kayak Mirage VR is one of the most visually stunning PSVR2 games on launch.

Otherwise, I don't have very many other PSVR2 games to try right now. I am surprised there is no new Astrobot Rescue Mission. It feels kind of empty without him on launch. I would really like to try Gran Turismo 7 on VR2. I hated the original game, but on the VR2 version apparently everything is unlocked for you and you get all the tracks and cars without that stupid Cafe blocking your way. 

Certain games like Gran  Turismo 7 get a free upgrade for PSVR2.  

There are some other games on PSVR2 I am excited for. On launch we've got What The Bat, the exciting sequel to What The Golf, Cities Skylines VR Edition, Cosminous High (made by the Job Simulator developers), Moss Book 2, Horizon Call Of The Mountain, Before Your Eyes, The Dark Pictures: Switchback VR (a sequel to 'Rush Of Blood'), & more. There is also a new Ghostbusters game coming up that I am interested in. I can't wait to afford to get some of these games one day. 

In the end, PSVR2 has a lot to offer. Despite a quiet launch, I think it's new innovation can feature room for improvement. I hope over time Sony invests more into VR2 games & new experiences. I loved the experiences to the first PS VR and hope they continue. Despite feeling a bit flimsy, I look forward to where PSVR2 can go from here. Now i'll need to invest in a new SSD Hard Drive too. I would love to see Train Sim World upgraded for PSVR2 one day. That would be awesome. I would love to see more PSVR2 free upgrades and new Exclusive titles. 


- 4K Oled visuals
- New features like eye tracking & room scanning
- Free PSVR2 upgrades (on some games)
- Single Cable setup
- Controllers are easy to charge, can also be charged on PC!
- Built in cameras on the headset instead of PS Camera


- An expensive investment, up to $850, twice as much as original PSVR headset
- No external sound support from TV (Yet)
- Weak launch lineup
- VR2 Headset overall feels flimsy and light


No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Archive