In the last 12 months if you wanted to get into virtual reality (VR) then the easy choice was Meta Quest 2. It might have been released in 2020 but the standalone device has held its own, mainly through lack of competition. But that’s about to change this month with the arrival of Sony’s PlayStation VR 2. Unveiled a year ago, the PSVR 2 has been hotly anticipated, with exciting new features including upgraded visuals that’ll leave Quest 2 in the dust. However, it might not be as simple as that in this Meta Quest 2 vs PSVR 2 battle.
PlayStation 5 goodness
Specifications wise the PlayStation VR 2 is leagues ahead of Quest 2. At 2+ years old, the latter is starting to show its age, with developers having rung almost every inch of power out of it. PSVR 2 hasn’t even begun to scratch the surface of immersive possibilities.
Sony’s new headset has a 4K HDR (High-Dynamic Range) screen for the super crisp visuals you’d expect in a modern display. Then there are the four tracking cameras for spatial – and controller – tracking, allowing you to move freely in a virtual world without having to worry about which way you’re facing. Then there’s the eye-tracking that helps facilitate foveated rendering – console processing power focuses on where you’re looking – whilst providing nifty gameplay features. Additionally, let’s not forget the headset haptics, providing feedback should you get hit in the head with a virtual sword.
Then you have the new PSVR 2 Sense Controllers, again which both haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. Thus, enabling you to feel the squeeze of a trigger or when picking up an item.
Furthermore, because the headset is connected to a PlayStation 5 via a cable, there’s no need for a battery. Which means you can stay in VR longer without having to recharge and you’re not carrying a heavy battery on your face.
So what’s not to like?
The Quest for the best
As for Meta Quest 2, you can’t knock this excellent little device. Way before PSVR 2 was talking about inside-out tracking the Quest 2 was doing it. In combination with the Touch controllers, you could map out your play area to avoid bumping into objects or walls. With switchable passthough, you can quickly see your surroundings if needed and now some games have even utilised that feature.
Sure, the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Gen 1 chipset was derived from the Snapdragon 865 found in smartphones, but that hasn’t stopped VR developers making some truly impressive titles. Just look at Resident Evil 4, The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners, Into the Radius, A Township Tale, Marvel’s Iron Man VR and many more.
Plus, you’re not tied to one single location. You have the complete freedom to wander around your play area with no cable to worry about. Then you can pop Quest 2 into a bag, head over to a mate, set up the boundary and start playing there. All thanks to its self-contain system. VR has never been freer.
What are the catches?
They both have their plus points, yet their differences are stark. First let’s talk about cost. All in Meta Quest 2 will set you back £400 for the 128GB model – or £500 for the 256GB model. Not too bad an entry point if you’re just getting into VR, with the only additional cost being the games. PSVR 2, on the other hand, will set you back £530. You’ll also need a PlayStation 5 – if you haven’t already got one – which is a minimum of £449 for the digital model. That’s nearing the £1000 mark, or over it if you go for the disk edition.
Now for the main point, wired or wireless? Cabled to PS5 the PSVR 2 will provide you with lovely, sumptuous visuals as you’d expect for that cost. But you still must consider that cable laying across the floor, either you catch it or someone else does. As previously mentioned, the cable means a lighter, more comfortable fit which is great for long gameplay sessions. Quest 2 will only provide around 2 hours before you must recharge, and all the weight is on the front which can cause some players’ discomfort. That battery life can be increased with accessories like the Meta’s Elite Strap with Battery Pack (£110), good for an additional 2 hours. More to the point, the battery is on the back of your head to counterbalance that heavy front.
If you’re looking at content libraries, then Quest 2 is miles ahead because it has been available for so much longer. But a look at the PlayStation VR 2 launch games shows a strong starting position for Sony’s headset, plus new titles are seemingly confirmed daily.
I can’t decide!
At the end of the day it comes down to your own gaming priorities and budget. If you’ve already got a PlayStation 5 then you’re halfway to the latest VR technology that’ll likely dominate for years to come.
Whereas Quest 2 isn’t cutting edge anymore – in VR terms at least. But it provides a solid, immersive experience that’s easy (and affordable) to begin with.
Lastly, and to put a slight spanner in the works is Meta Quest 3. Meta has confirmed the new consumer headset is coming in 2023. Most likely in time for the Connect event towards the end of the year. It’ll have new features like mixed reality capabilities whilst still being wireless. You can bet it’ll be more expensive, but do you want to wait with all of this going on?
Are you on the fence about which one to buy? Let us know in the comments below.