PS5’s new VR2 technology is making a great first impression

A first-person view from a PSVR 2 game shows the characters sitting on a boat moving across a river.

Image: Sony

Sony’s PSVR for PlayStation 4, the first serious VR add-on for a console, worked pretty damn well for itself. It was reasonably affordable, well received by gamers and critics alike, and received far more post-launch support than many previous PlayStation hardware efforts (RIP, dear Vita). Now, various outlets have had their first hands-on sessions with a first version of Sony’s upcoming PSVR2 for PlayStation 5. The expected new VR hardware still doesn’t have an official price or launch date (“early 2023” only). , but based on these impressions, it is already causing a sensation with criticism.

A variety of outlets that have gotten these hands-on demos describe the experience as being on par with Valve’s or Meta’s supposedly more powerful PC VR offerings. That said, it will still be up to Sony and other developers to create compelling games and right now the only exclusive experiences of the new platform are a Horizon spin-off and a VR version from last year Resident Evil Village. The latter is playable for the first time in VR on Sony’s headset. There is also a Walking Dead game ea Star Wars VR experience, both ports of previous PC / Quest VR games.

Overall, critics seem impressed, even entranced, by the experience. Among the qualities mentioned are the overall build quality and comfort, which seem to compete well with existing headphones. It is still tied up, but the length of the cord seems quite suitable. Graphics quality and general “immersion” in particular are attracting a lot of attention. One of the most cutting-edge features is the headset’s eye detection, which allows the unit to fine-tune the rendering based on where you’re looking or, in the future, block glances with other players. There is also haptic feedback in the headset itself. Polygon note that both features are used in Horizonwhich is the most advanced hardware showcase so far.

Basically, it just needs a few killer apps, and the quartet of existing demos sounds like a solid start. Here are some highlights of each store’s practical impressions:

“Last week, I first tried Sony’s new headphones and was taken aback by how amazing two of its main games are, Horizon Call of the Mountain And Resident Evil Village, watched. They weren’t based on particles or a stylized art direction; they looked like AAA console games that were by chance in VR. The last few years I’ve played Quest have recalibrated my expectations of what VR games should look like and it’s been great to see games visually advance once again without requiring elaborate setup.

“But how does it feel to actually play on PSVR2, with all its new bells and whistles? The current PSVR2 hardware was a pleasure to use. Like most modern VR headsets, it allows you to adjust the head strap to make sure everything rests comfortably on your head, and you can change the interpupillary distance (IPD) so that the actual lens inside the headset is just right. distance for you. The screens looked great, although at times things seemed a bit blurry at the edges, which could also happen with the first PSVR. “

“Oh. Wow wow wow. That’s the word that comes to mind when I try to summarize my time spent with PlayStation VR2. Having been a fervent VR fan for many years, it’s safe to say that my first hands-on experience with the Sony’s next headset wowed my virtual reality-loving socks.This sleek and stylish unit was everything I could have wished for for an upgraded PSVR headset and so much more.

In terms of technological and visual quality, this feels like one of the most memorable generational leaps on consoles. Experiencing the visual difference between PSVR1 and PSVR2 brought back memories of switching to the sparkling, crisp, high-definition games of a PS3 after spending years playing on PS2 in standard definition.

“Sony has advertised much higher visual fidelity for PSVR2, which, for people obsessed with specs, equates to an OLED display that offers a resolution of 2000×2040 per eye, HDR, refresh rates of 90Hz and 120Hz, and a 110- degree field of view – all of this is impressive on paper, but when you experience it with the headset on, it’s a bit magical.

The level of detail displayed was truly overwhelming, especially since I wasn’t expecting it from a VR game. I know how dismissive that sounds compared to all the VR games out there, of which there are certainly more than a few that are impressive looking. However, there is a clear line between the look of a VR game and a non-VR game – there is a level of richness, detail, and sophistication that separates the two. Horizon Call of the Mountain blurs that line on PSVR2.

“Thankfully PlayStation VR2 feels like a modern entry into the virtual reality landscape, with first-rate visual fidelity and comfortable ergonomics. Its haptic and adaptive triggers, if implemented correctly, will be a welcome addition to the immersive experience. As with all new hardware components, the question now is whether there will be enough games to pay off the investment. First party games like Horizon Call of the Mountain certainly help allay these fears, and even if nothing has been announced yet, I would be shocked if the exceptional Half-life: Alyx he didn’t make his way to the platform. “


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