The PlayStation VR 2, or PSVR 2, is PlayStation’s second stab at developing a virtual reality headset. The PSVR 2 is an attempt by the technology giant to compete with its competitors. Currently, the Oculus is dominating the VR space with its Oculus Quest 2, which far surpasses PlayStation’s PSVR. Although the PSVR was not a bad piece of technology, it had many technical flaws that held the VR headset back from being truly great. It lacked the market penetration PlayStation expects and sold far less than expected.
PlayStation Fails to Learn From its Mistakes
Unlike its competitors, the original PSVR was not a standalone headset and required the PlayStation 4 to operate. Thus, the headset made it necessary that you owned a PS4 and had you plug in the device to the console. Its lack of wireless functionality held the headset back from being a great piece of kit. Likewise, its poor frames and lack of games made it less appealing.
The PSVR 2 will be PlayStation’s answer to these problems when it supposedly releases sometime at the end of this year. The PSVR 2 will feature an improved display method, featuring an OLED screen, a better panel resolution at 2000 x 2040 per eye and a refresh rate from 90HZ-120HZ. Likewise, the enhanced device will also feature a 110-degree field of view and a six-axis motion sensing system. All of these features are vast improvements over the first PSVR. However, the devices lack of wireless functionality remains. It once again requires a console to operate, and this time one of the most elusive consoles of all time, the PlayStation 5.
Will PlayStation Ever Take VR Seriously?
It surprises me that PlayStation has not learnt its lesson from the last PSVR. The PSVR’s lack of wireless functionality made it unattractive to consumers. Although the devices closest competitors, such as the Quest 2, pale in comparison to the PSVR 2’s display specifications and hardware capabilities, once again, it has one thing on its side, its portability. With the announcement of Meta, Oculus is developing new technology for realising its Metaverse. As a result, it will not be long before Oculus catches up with the PSVR 2 and releases its own portable version with similar specifications. Furthermore, its competitors will also be cheaper, due to the cost of buying both a PSVR 2 and, by extension, the PS5 required to use the device, if you can get your hands on one at least.
I cannot quite get my head around why PlayStation has decided to unveil and eventually release another VR headset that is not portable. As we approach the Metaverse, VR headsets need to become more mainstream, cheaper and portable to offer individuals the chance to realise their metaverse realities. Clearly, the industry is heading in that direction. Thus, it is not clear why PlayStation is offering a half baked attempt once again to jump into the space. Like VR, the Metaverse and technology associated with it are the future. It is about time mainstream gaming takes it seriously, and that starts with companies such as PlayStation.
In summary, the PSVR 2 is a lacklustre attempt at getting into the VR space. It might have the specs, but its lack of wireless play lets it down. Companies such as Oculus will surpass PlayStation’s next VR offering in the future. If we truly want to realise the Metaverse, we need dedicated VR systems that are both powerful and portable, and PlayStation is currently not offering that.