When Sony launched its PlayStation VR headset in 2016, it was already considered a relatively low-end device. PlayStation VR was completely outmatched by headsets like HTC Vive and Oculus Rift at launch, with weaker performance and less impressive graphics than its competitors. However, PlayStation VR had one major advantage over its competition, and that was its (at the time) low price point for a VR headset, allowing gamers to experience the new technology without breaking the bank.
Roughly a year after launching PlayStation VR, Sony released a new version of the headset that made some much-needed changes. This included a simplified method of actually connecting the PlayStation VR headset to a PS4, as well as headphones built in to the device instead of having users supply their own. And while this PlayStation VR hardware revision was definitely a step in the right direction, it’s now time for Sony to go further and release a proper PlayStation VR 2.
PlayStation VR was already outdated technology when it launched in 2016, and by today’s standards, it’s positively ancient. One just has to play recent releases like Hitman 3 in PlayStation VR to understand how far ahead other VR headsets are. And nowadays, these other VR headsets are priced at far more consumer-friendly rates, meaning the price barrier is no longer as big of a deal for someone who is looking to jump into VR technology.
The Oculus Quest headsets especially give PlayStation VR a run for its money. The Oculus Quest headsets are completely wireless devices that don’t require extra hardware like a camera or anything like that to function. And while they can’t play some of the more graphically-intensive and demanding VR games on their own, fans can still access those titles by simply plugging their Oculus Quest into a PC.
The Oculus Quest has access to many of the same games as PlayStation VR, not to mention many of its own exclusives, and the Quest 2 is priced competitively at $299, the current asking price for PlayStation VR. At this stage, really the only reason to get a PlayStation VR headset over an Oculus Quest 2 is to play the PlayStation VR exclusive games. And while PlayStation VR definitely has some remarkable exclusives, it’s hard to see how it provides a better value than Oculus Quest 2.
Not to mention getting PlayStation VR working with Sony’s newest console, the PlayStation 5, can be a bit of a pain. It’s not possible to simply plug a PlayStation VR headset into the PlayStation 5 and get it working. On the contrary, VR enthusiasts have to order a PlayStation VR adapter from Sony to use their headset on the new console. And while Sony will send the adapter for free, it’s still an inconvenience, as is having to rely on the PlayStation Camera.
So with PlayStation VR outpaced by the competition and running on outdated hardware, it’s time for Sony to move forward with PlayStation VR 2. PlayStation VR 2 could be a headset designed specifically for PS5 in mind, not having to rely on an adapter and, hopefully, ditching the PlayStation Camera requirement. In this way, it would function more like an Oculus connected to a PC, which would provide a more user-friendly virtual reality experience all around.
PlayStation VR 2 could support more technologically advanced virtual reality experiences that take proper advantage of the PS5 hardware, while also giving fans access to the many great PSVR games that released for the PS4 over the years. This includes some of the most highly-rated VR games ever made, like Astro Bot Rescue Mission, so those that purchase a PlayStation VR 2 would be able to access some of the genre’s greatest titles to date instead of having them trapped on outdated technology.
As far as new PlayStation VR games go, Sony has shown that it is still invested in the virtual reality market, providing PlayStation-exclusive VR experiences in traditional games while also ensuring there are plenty of games built specifically for PlayStation VR. Presumably, Sony has even more in development, and it would be great if these titles weren’t held back by the current PlayStation VR hardware and could be a true leap forward.
Luckily for VR enthusiasts, Sony has filed numerous patents that suggest it is actively developing PlayStation VR 2. Some rumors suggested that a PlayStation VR 2 reveal would even happen alongside the PS5, though that obviously wasn’t the case. Maybe when Sony gets a handle on the unprecedented demand for PlayStation 5 consoles, it can start producing PlayStation VR 2 units and usher in the next-generation of VR gaming.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem as though the PS5 supply issues will be resolved anytime soon, so it seems unlikely that PlayStation VR will come this year, regardless of how outdated the original headset is. But perhaps PlayStation VR 2 will be Sony’s big new hardware release for the 2022 holiday season. That’s just speculation at this time, of course, as PlayStation VR 2 hasn’t even been announced yet, but unless Sony plans on dropping its VR business, hopefully news on the headset comes sooner rather than later.