Sony Playstation VR2 in the test: New VR glasses from Sony – great worlds, but on a leash
Sony is releasing its new VR glasses on February 22nd. For just under 600 euros, players get an intensive spatial experience. With a flaw. The Playstation VR2 in the test.
When Sony launched the first virtual reality glasses for the living room at the end of 2016, it was a small revolution: At around 400 euros, they were only half as expensive as the products from the competition. This made them an attractive entry point into the VR sector for many gamers. Wearing comfort and good workmanship made up for the somewhat outdated technology at the time. More than five million copies went over the counter – the success made a successor more than likely.
So it’s no wonder that Sony announced the successor in 2021. Now, two years later, the Playstation VR2 is in the starting blocks – on February 22nd, the devices that can be ordered via the Playstation Store should arrive at the customers. We were able to play extensively in advance with a test sample provided by Sony.
PlayStation VR2: Better graphics
Sony’s VR glasses have arrived in the present – finally, one would like to say! Two high-resolution OLED displays deliver a 4K HDR display (2000 x 2040 pixels per eye). This is Sony’s response to the biggest criticism of the first VR glasses, which were equipped with technically outdated displays at the time.
play with movement
The VR glasses capture the environment. This allows us to define play areas in space where we can move freely! If we come to the defined limit, we can see it in the in-game graphics. But be careful: Lamps hanging lower were not recognized in the test – wild arm movements can definitely cause pain.
Guide with the eyes
The glasses also film inwards and track eye movements. This can be used, for example, in the VR game “Horizon Call Of The Mountain” to focus on the game areas that the player is looking at – and save rendering resources for the rest, which increases the overall performance. The eye-tracking is said to offer special interaction options in multiplayer situations – unfortunately we couldn’t check that in the test.
Just one more cable
Anyone who put the first VR version into operation in 2016 was initially overwhelmed by a total of eight cables, boxes and a camera that had to be installed specially at the height of the television. VR2 works much more intuitively here: Only a cable to the headset has to be connected – at 4.5 meters it is long enough to be able to move around the room. You need a free area of 2 x 2 meters for this. With some games you can also choose whether you want to play while sitting or standing.
The entry into virtual reality
After plugging in, the Playstation conveniently guides us through an installation program that also configures the play area, the exact fit and the controllers. The supplied headphones are also quickly clicked in, can be customized with three different in-ear pads and then do a good job straight away – the 3D sound technology introduced by Sony with the Playstation 5 contributes to an expansive, immersive sound image.
Surprising at first, but pretty cool: The VR glasses now also have a built-in motor that transmits haptic feedback to the head. A gust of wind transmitted directly to your forehead while climbing through the mountains, that feels spectacular! But don’t worry, the impulses are used in a dosed manner and don’t make you bang your head directly.
I can see my fingers
Also in the luggage: two PS VR2 Sense Controllers. They feel good in the hand and even notice whether a finger is on one of the buttons or not. This is transferred directly into the game through movements. This even allows us to show gestures like the peace sign.
Similar to the PS5 controller, there is a motor built into the trigger that allows for haptic feedback. For example, when we fire a gun, we feel the back pressure of the trigger. Or when we put an arrow on the string in “Horizon”.
What do I need to be able to play?
The Playstation VR2 comes with wired glasses, two controllers, a stereo headset and a USB cable. The latter is used to charge the controllers on the PS5.
As soon as the glasses are connected, they immediately start setting up. Once this is completed, we no longer need the television to play. We only let it run if, for example, other people in the room want to see what we are experiencing.
How well does Playstation VR2 work?
During the set-up we are guided through the adjustment options of the glasses on the head. First, it is attached to the back of the head with a strap. Then we can move the element with the screens towards our eyes to exclude the ambient light. In the last step, the glasses are adjusted vertically. The cameras inside then check whether we have done everything right. It all works very smoothly and can also be quickly adjusted to different heads – for example, if we want to take turns playing with the glasses. Even when we wear glasses – in the sense of visual aids – we were able to play well.
The wearing comfort is even better than with the first Playstation VR. On the one hand, this is due to the lower weight and, on the other hand, to the fact that there is no longer any tangle of cables.
Due to the good graphics and the eye sensors, we felt significantly less motion sickness in the test. This is the effect when movement in digital space causes the player to feel nauseous or dizzy. However, we still had to take breaks from time to time. But this is a general phenomenon with VR glasses.
An important question is how well the tracking of the glasses and the controllers work in the room. Here we have only had positive experiences with the positioning and were able to interact very precisely with the digital world.
What games are there?
At the time of publication, around 30 VR games will be available in the store. According to Sony, about 100 more are in development. Unfortunately, games purchased for Sony’s first VR glasses are not compatible with the new glasses.
What were we able to play and what is our impression?
“Horizon Call of the Mountain”
: Sony’s house brand Horizon is by far the most immersive gaming experience we’ve seen to date. We move through a post-apocalyptic world where people of different tribes fight for supremacy with machine dinosaurs. We climb, shoot arrows and let the wind blow in our faces. The focus here is not on the story, but on experiencing the world.
4.5 out of 5 points.
“Moss” & “Moss: Book 2”
: If you want to go back to what it was like to invent fantastic game worlds on the floor of the children’s room as a child, you have to play “Moss”. In enchanting graphics you control a cute heroine through fairytale worlds and help her in her adventures as a puzzler and fighter.
4 out of 5 points.
“Star Wars: Tales from the Edge of the Galaxy – Extended Edition”
: Off the beaten path we experience – as the title already suggests – a Star Wars story from the edge of the galaxy. Equipped with many interaction options, Disney Interactive sends us on an exciting adventure in which we can make decisions and wave the controllers extensively. The immersion is good, but not nearly as intense as “Horizon”.
3.5 out of 5 points.
Kayak VR: Mirage
: Something is also offered on the simulation side. As the name suggests, in this game we can go kayaking. We experience different scenes, swim next to whales and enjoy the beauty of the world. Those who like it more exciting face the competition in wet, fast races. Certainly interesting for fans of off-the-beaten-track sports games, the game didn’t inspire us for long.
2.5 out of 5 points.
What is the bottom line?
We have never experienced better VR on the console. On the one hand, this is due to the excellent quality of the Playstation VR, but on the other hand, it is also due to the fact that the first VR glasses from Sony are more than six years old and Microsoft does not (yet) offer an alternative.
However, we see a small downside in the fact that the Playstation VR2 is wired – even if this represents an improvement over its predecessor, it is no longer up to date. With a rather high price of 599.99 euros, this could deter some interested players from buying it.
If you don’t shy away from it, own a Playstation 5 and find virtual reality exciting, you can access it without hesitation. Because the Playstation VR2 combines great workmanship, innovative elements and breathtaking graphics into an impressive spatial experience.