While the PlayStation 5 (PS5) was released a couple of years ago, gamers are still waiting for Sony's next venture into the world of virtual reality. Thankfully, the wait is nearly over. Out of the console giants (PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo), Sony is still the only one to offer an immersive gaming experience. But, the PSVR was released back in 2016 and some of the hardware is considered outdated. The good news is, PlayStation has announced that the PSVR 2 is coming in February 2023.
Back in February 2021, Hideaki Nishino, Senior Vice President of Platform Experience at Sony, confirmed that the company was developing a brand new VR headset compatible with the PS5. Then, earlier this year, we got details and specifications for the new headset that was dubbed the PSVR 2, which heightened the anticipation. Now, we have an official release date, February 22 to be exact, so gamers looking for an immersive experience on the PS5 wont have to wait too much longer.
In our original PSVR review we found that the old headset still has a vast library of games with games and experiences ranging from 3D platformers like Astro Bot Rescue Mission to the reboot of a classic, Tetris Effect. As excited as we are for the PSVR 2, and February cannot come quick enough, there's still a lot to like about the original PSVR and in fact, it features in our best VR headsets guide, even though some of the technology isn't exactly cutting-edge anymore.
As well as the February 22 release date, PlayStation has also released the price they will be selling the headset for. $549.99 or £529.99 which means it won't be the cheapest VR headset on the market but it also won't be the most expensive, not by a long-shot. That's not bad considering the up-to-date technology and specs it will feature. If it is a more affordable VR headset that interests you, you can always check out our round up of the best VR headset deals.
PSVR 2 pre-order registration
You can register to pre-order on the PlayStation site and you'll be contacted via email when pre-order go live. You'll need to sign in your PlayStation Network Sign-in ID, or create one if you don't have one already.
We don't have an exact date on when pre-orders will go live, but we're expecting it to be soon and signing up for an alert is the best way to make sure you don't miss out.
What is the PSVR 2?
While players were delighted by the announcement of a virtual reality headset fully compatible with the current generation of PlayStation consoles, they were also shocked by how few details came with that original announcement. Without even an official name to attribute to PlayStation’s upcoming headset, opting instead to refer to it as the “next-generation VR system,” Nishino mostly gave vague details with no concrete facts and figures.
In a later PlayStation Blog, Nishino referred to the new system as the PlayStation VR2 which is the system’s official name. Aside from the obvious fact that the new headset is designed for use with the PlayStation 5, Nishino promised improved performance and interactivity, as well as enhanced resolution, field of view, tracking, and input (once again, without concrete details). In his later January 2022 blog, he officially confirmed that the PSVR 2 will be in line with other high end consoles on the market.
Nishino conceded two pieces of official information for the improved system in his initial announcement. The first is that the new Sony VR will have wholly redesigned controllers which incorporate the unique features from PlayStation 5’s DualSense controller – they have been announced as PlayStation VR2 Sense Controllers. This was welcome news as the current PSVR still uses the PlayStation Move controllers that came out during the PlayStation 3’s lifespan.
The second announcement was that the new system will connect to the PlayStation 5 via a single wire. This is a greatly appreciated offering for cable-conscious consumers as five cables were required to set up the original headset. In 2022, many more details were revealed concerning the official specs and design of the system, which we will get into further on.
What does the PSVR 2 look like?
Nishino gave us the first look at the redesigned headset on February 22, 2022. In it he explains how the design of the headset was made with the look of the PS5 and controllers in mind. As such, the system has a more curved look than its predecessor. The edges are still flat though, so it can be placed on a surface without fear of it rolling away.
Nishino claims the design has been tested on a variety of head shapes and sizes to ensure maximum comfort. However, some design elements from its predecessor remain unchanged, such as the way to adjust the headset will remain the same, as well as the placement of the headphone jack.
There are also changes to player comfort. The new headset will allow you to adjust the distance between your eyes, which was not available on the original model. There is also a vent installed to prevent a common problem for VR users where sweat gathers on the lens’. Looking closely at the PS5 you can see PlayStation’s iconic symbols in the plastic. This pattern is still present in the plastic of the PSVR 2 headset.
Fans will be pleased to hear that the new headset is slightly slimmer and lighter than Sony’s original headset. As Nishino does not reveal any specific details, it is likely only a very small reduction. However, the headset includes the PS5’s haptic feedback, so it’s impressive that they could add a motor and still reduce weight.
How much will the PSVR 2 cost?
In their announcement on the PlayStation blog, Sony announced that the new PSVR would cost $549.99 or £529.99 if you're in the UK. The original PlayStation VR released at $399/£349. This was the price for the version without the PlayStation Camera necessary to use PSVR which retailed separately at $60/£50.
Most hardware makes a loss upon launch, turning a profit later with additional hardware, software, and subscription sales making up the costs. The PS5 is no exception. While the disc version is finally running at a profit, the PSVR 2 will likely run at a loss when initially launched. Even with increased screen resolution, haptic feedback, and increased processing, Sony would probably hesitate to set the price point drastically higher than the original.
The PS5 costs $100/£100 more than the PS4 did at launch, so we know this is a price increase consumers are comfortable paying. Also, according to TechRadar the new VR will come bundled with a set of controllers. This seems plausible since Sony has been focusing its marketing around them.
The price of $549.99 or £529.99 means that there will be cheaper models on the market but in the same breathe, there are far more expensive VR headsets out there too. Considering the specs and technology on offer, it is an investment but it's not bad value.
When is the PSVR 2 release date?
In the same announcement on the PlayStation blog that announced the price point, Sony announced that the official release date for the PSVR 2 would be February 22nd 2023. We had previously thought it would be a late '22/early '23 release but now it's official that the VR headset will be coming in February 2023.
What new features will the PSVR 2 headset have?
Sony has confirmed an increased field of view with previous predictions placing it anywhere from 10-20° of added length. Nishino confirmed that the new PlayStation VR screen features approximately 110°, the current industry standard.
The new resolution is also confirmed to be near 4K, offering each eye 2000 x 2040 resolution. As officially announced, the PSVR 2 will feature enhanced tracking, a reference to eye-tracking, as well as headset-based controller tracking for improved sensitivity that is becoming increasingly common in the VR space. This would help with the motion sickness in VR problem as players would not have to rotate their whole head to see.
Sony filed a “motion-sickness reduction” patent that includes the DualSense’s haptic feedback in the headset to help reduce disorientation for players which is likely the headset vibration referred to in the official announcement. It also points toward improvements with comfort for glasses wearers such as the individually adjustable lenses. The patent, which outlines their method for eye-tracking, specifically takes into account this section of gamers. These details were officially confirmed in the February blog post.
Patents were spotted which showed a screen on the outside of the headset to show the user’s expressions to an onlooking audience. This would have had implications for streaming and gaming socially. However, now that the design has been officially revealed, we know this is not the case.
There is still one interesting patent that might still be a possibility. Back in February 2021, Sony patented the ability to use everyday objects, such as a banana, as a controller. This could demonstrate how Sony intends to blend VR with AR technology, which fits in with Sony’s push for more social gaming.
What are the new PSVR 2 controllers?
The one aspect of the PSVR 2 that we are confident of is the new controllers. Sony has focused a lot of their release information on this new controller design. The unique orb shape allows for a far more natural grip than the old Move controllers, aiding immersion. The shape also moves the trigger under the controller, which feels more natural to hold. The layout is most interesting because the four action buttons are divided over the two handsets, making it likely that the controllers will need to be used as a pair.
As expected, the new controllers will include many features also integrated into the PlayStation 5 DualSense controllers. With adaptive triggers with varying resistances and haptic feedback that uses targeted rumbling, these new controllers may be the most immersive in VR gaming to date.
They also integrate better tracking than their predecessors. The next-generation VR headset will now have the ability to track these controllers, and the controllers themselves will track where your fingers are positioned on them. This will allow all new methods of control in PlayStation VR and should be able to interpret your movements far more accurately than the current system, which solely relies on tracking from the camera and has a tendency to desync.
Does the original PlayStation VR work with the PlayStation 5?
This is an interesting question, and it has a somewhat complicated answer. This short answer is yes. However, you will need to order an adaptor from Sony to link your PlayStation 4 camera to your PlayStation 5 since the current generation camera is not compatible with the original VR headset. It gets more complicated again when you begin considering software compatibility. With the PS5’s improved processing speeds, original PSVR games run smoother when played through the current generation console.
Many VR games come in a PS5 or PS4 version, and the PS5 updated versions do not work with the original PlayStation VR. In these cases, as with popular games like No Man’s Sky or Resident Evil 7, you will need the PlayStation 4 version running on your console to play them in VR.
There are also several PS5 VR games in development as dev kits for the new system went out at the start of 2021. At a developers conference held in August 2021 and another in March 2022, Sony tried to woo developers into creating games for the new hardware. When released, these titles will not be compatible with the old VR systems.
What games are coming to PSVR 2?
Sony is also reportedly encouraging developers to integrate VR compatibility into their big main console releases. Big titles like Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo appear as if they were developed with VR in mind. The most credible rumor we could find is that Gran Turismo 7, which was released in March 2022, was developed with Sony’s new VR in mind. As developer Polyphony Digital is owned by Sony, it seems likely this would release on PlayStation’s upcoming VR system.
Two further Sony owned studios, Guerilla Games and Firesprite, have been confirmed as developing a game for the console. The game will be part of Guerilla’s Horizon franchise - which includes Horizon Zero Dawn and Horizon Forbidden West - is titled Horizon Call of the Mountain. While we have the title of the new game, no other details have been revealed at the time of writing.
People have also spotted some posts which show that other studios are developing unannounced projects for PSVR 2. A game designer for First Contact Entertainment, the studio which developed Firewall: Zero Hour and Solaris Offworld Combat for the original PSVR, added a line to their LinkedIn page which claimed they were working on a project for the unreleased system. As there is still a number of months before the headset will go on sale, it is likely more games will be confirmed prior to launch.