The PlayStation VR2 has finally found its way into the hands of critics, with dozens of preview pieces and impressions of the device now live across the internet. While early impressions always tend to be on the positive side – these hands-on sessions are brief, and tailored directly towards media outlets with hand-curated experiences and snippets of gameplay – the shared critical sentiment is exciting.
According to IGN, the headset rocks an ‘outstanding level of visual fidelity’ and is easily attached, using comfortable headbands and a dial adjustment system that keeps the action firmly in focus.
‘PlayStation VR2 thankfully feels like a modern entry into the VR landscape, with top-notch visual fidelity and comfortable ergonomics,’ wrote Bo Moore. ‘Its haptics and adaptive triggers, if implemented well, will be a welcome addition to the immersive experience.’
While Moore did question the array of games coming to the system, and its potential price point (yet to be revealed), the overall preview was solidly enthusiastic, with notable hardware improvements and best-in-the-market graphics being a key selling point.
Polygon expressed similar excitement, with Matt Leone claiming the PlayStation VR2 was well on-track to make him fall in love with VR again. While Leone did express reservations about the device being tethered – rivals like the Meta Quest 2 can be used standalone – he found this to be a minor complaint, given the tethering allows for extremely high-powered visuals.
‘I tried Sony’s new headset for the first time and was caught off guard by how stunning two of its marquee games, Horizon Call of the Mountain and Resident Evil Village, looked,’ Leone wrote. ‘They didn’t rely on particles or stylised art direction; they looked like AAA console games that just happened to be in VR.’
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Horizon Call of the Mountain has received particularly high praise, with Leone calling it ‘one of most beautiful games’ he’d ever seen in VR, and a great ‘visual showcase’ for the new headset.
‘Compared to the other games on display, Call of the Mountain seemed like the one most custom-built for the new headset, with nice touches like headset vibration and using eye tracking to control the game’s menus,’ Leone said.
Resident Evil Village was similarly stunning, largely because Lady Dimitrescu takes a starring role in this experience – reportedly dangling you from the ceiling of her mansion as she plays around with you and leans in close – an ‘intimidating’ experience, according to previews.
Ian Higton of Eurogamer had a simple word to describe the new device: ‘Wow. Wow, wow, wow.’
‘It’s safe to say that my first hands-on experience with Sony’s upcoming headset wowed my VR-loving socks off,’ Higton said. ‘This sleek and stylish unit was all I could have wanted for an upgraded PSVR headset and much, much more.’
Higton specifically called out the device’s visual quality as a major achievement, and a ‘memorable generational console leap’, with the visual difference between the original PS VR device and the PS VR2 being likened to the leap between the PS2 and PS3. The ‘wonders’ Higton detailed far exceeded existing VR experiences, including those available via PC tether.
He described the device as much lighter and more comfortable than other VR devices in the market, and was particularly impressed by the console’s eye tracking features, which allow for games to detect the motions of a user’s eye. Another major benefit, described by Higton, is the console’s Sense Technology, which adds in headset rumble, for more immersion.
Wired was slightly more cynical about the device’s reliance on the elusive PS5 to run, and expressed concerns about the focus of the device and ‘technical jankiness’ during demos, but was entranced by Horizon Call of the Mountain in particular, claiming the beauty of the game was disorientating, vibrant, and lush.
While many of the headset previews called out the tethered nature of the PlayStation VR2 as a minor disappointment, the praise heaped on other aspects of the device largely washed this criticism away. With sweeping graphics, a comfortable fit, and worthy gaming experiences on the way, the PlayStation VR2 could wind up being a genuine VR gaming revolution. We’ll just have to wait patiently to experience it for ourselves.
The PlayStation VR2 is not currently dated or priced, although it’s expected to launch in the first half of 2023.