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PSVR 2 Anniversary: Where’s the Celebration?

PSVR 2 Review

Today marks the first anniversary of Sony’s PlayStation VR 2. A year ago anticipation amongst both VR and regular gamers was reaching a fever pitch as the gaming headset hit the market. But one year on, does the PSVR 2 still elicit the same excitement for VR, not quite. But is the PSVR 2 still a great headset, of course it is. So, look back over PSVR 2’s first year and celebrate its anniversary.

A brief PSVR history

The original PSVR launched towards the end of 2016, making it the third headset launch of that year – after Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Unlike its rivals, PSVR provided a cost-effective way of getting into VR. All you needed was a PS4 – the PS4 install base was huge – making it an easy option for many. And thanks to its utilisation of Sony’s Move controller technology, it could use the motion controllers or the Dualshock 4 controllers.

However, as the years went on the PSVR system gradually became more and more dated. Especially after Meta launched its wireless, inside-out tracking Quest system. PSVR had a great selection of games but with only one camera and the temperamental tracking that Move provided the headset became very outdated.

Enter PSVR 2

Speculation had circulated for years that Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) was working on a successor. Patent applications were carefully scrutinised for any details, with expectations high that its next-generation headset would feature all manner of cutting-edge tech.

And they weren’t wrong (mostly). When SIE unveiled PSVR 2 it was quite something, a slick, well-designed device that perfectly matched the design ethos of PS5. With it came inside-out tracking, brand-new Sense controllers, eye tracking, foveated rendering, and a first for VR headsets, integrated haptics. It still had a cabled tether to the PS5, but it was one single, simple connection, rather than the faff of PSVR’s breakout box. Plus, with no battery inside, the weight was reduced.

Treated more like a new console launch than a new accessory, PSVR 2’s arrival on 22nd February 2023 heralded a slew of games. These were a mixture of PSVR ports and brand-new PSVR 2 games. Titles like Horizon: Call of the Mountain, Gran Turismo 7, Resident Evil Village, and Switchback VR were just some of the essential early games to pick up.

A rocky road

It hasn’t been easy sailing for PSVR 2 during the first year. Firstly, PS5’s installation base wasn’t as big as PS4’s, and then there’s the fact that PSVR 2 costs more than the console, meaning the double package puts you near to $1000 USD. Even so, initial sales seemed good, with SIE saying that around 600,000 headsets had sold in the first six weeks. This meant PSVR 2 outsold its predecessor in the same time frame.

But since those early numbers, no other figures have been released. Even its most recent Q3 earnings call didn’t release any updated sales numbers, which doesn’t bode well.

And why is this, well primarily it comes down to content. Not lack of it, more precisely quality and a lack of first-party releases. When it comes to quality, the PSVR 2 release schedule has been all over the place, with games like Firewall Ultra, Hello Neighbour VR: Search and Rescue, and Bulletstorm VR failing right out of the gate. There have been some great games like Capcom’s Resident Evil 4 VR Mode, Arizona Sunshine 2, Synapse and The 7th Guest VR. But where are all the first-party games? Sony’s lack of support is frustratingly telling.

PSVR 2 Anniversary

And now a year one, our first PSVR 2 anniversary feels very muted. There seems to be zero celebration from Sony even though there are still plenty of fans out there. On that note, pursue social media and you find those who love the headset and find it well worth the money. On the other hand, others say that if you already have a decent gaming PC, the Meta Quest 3 is a far better investment.

We still think PSVR 2 has a lot going for it and just needs a few more solid games to shine. What do you think? Have you owned PSVR 2 since day one and still love it? Let us know in the comments.

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