PSVR 2’s price is its biggest obstacle

PSVR 2 promo shot showing off the headset and controllers
(Image credit: Sony)

PSVR 2 has set the bar high for console-based VR. The headset boasts superb image quality, a blissfully simple setup, and, since launch, a respectable (if modest) lineup of games and ports.

I had glowing praise for PSVR 2 in my review. And I maintain that it’s an excellent companion for your PS5. But despite everything Sony’s got right with its second headset, some crucial business decisions, I feel, will prevent it from reaching its fullest potential.

The sad fact is that PSVR 2, and the very best PSVR 2 games, remain largely out of reach for the average buyer. There are a few reasons for that: a lack of exclusives and a frankly baffling omission of PS Plus content. But chiefly, the headset itself is simply too expensive, even compared to its PC and standalone peers.

PriceStation VR


(Image credit: Future)

If you want to buy a PSVR 2 headset, you’re looking at shelling out $549 / £529 / AU$879, and that’s just for the headset on its own. The special Horizon: Call of the Mountain bundle will run you even more. But it’s perhaps the bundle you’ll want to opt for as PSVR 2, unlike the original PlayStation VR, doesn’t include a game.

That eye-watering price makes the PSVR 2 more expensive than the PS5. While the PSVR 2 is full of high-end tech, it’s never a good look when your peripheral is pricier than the only machine it works with.

Sony’s CFO, Hiroki Totoki, said the PSVR 2 has a “good chance” of outselling its predecessor. That’ll mean shipping over 5 million PSVR 2 units. With over 30 million PS5s in people’s homes, it’s not impossible.

However, with reportedly poor pre-order performance, and an observed lack of interest on social media, it does seem that at this early stage, PSVR 2 isn’t lighting the world on fire the same way its predecessor, or its competitors, has.

Feeling tethered

Horizon Call of the Mountain

(Image credit: Sony)

That’s a huge shame because the PSVR 2 could potentially become one of the best VR headsets. And, when it comes to console-based VR, it’s the only game in town – though, that comes with its positives and drawbacks.

PSVR 2 is uniquely positioned to set the standard for future console-based VR attempts. And in terms of providing a quality product, Sony has achieved exactly that. Both Horizon: Call of the Mountain and Gran Turismo 7 provide uniquely brilliant VR experiences, a cut above the often ‘tech demo’ feel of the VR space.

On the flip side, those are the only PSVR 2 exclusives we currently have. And I hope in the years to come, PSVR 2’s library will bloom into one that rivals the Oculus Quest 2’s.

PSVR 2’s console dependence is as much of a hindrance as a boon. Its closest competitors, the Quest 2 and Pico 4, are standalone and compatible with PC. In both cases, you have more options for how and what you want to play. That, and you’re paying considerably less for both headsets.

The iron price


(Image credit: Sony)

And so we circle back to PSVR 2’s price. While I think a price drop for PSVR 2 would be in Sony’s best interests if it wants to sell more units in the long run, I don’t see it happening. At least not for a couple of years. Especially when you see how firm Sony has been holding off on PS5 discounts.

But if the manufacturer is adamant about maintaining PSVR 2’s current retail price, it must start offering more than what we’re getting out of the box. Offering PSVR 2 games through PS Plus’s Game Catalog would be an excellent start.

A fantastic way to bolster the growth of the PS Plus library would be to add PSVR 2 games to its Game Catalog

Xbox Game Pass has been a huge success for Microsoft, offering a vast library of games playable from start to finish at the cost of a monthly subscription. It’s less focused on the concept of ‘try before you buy’, and more ‘try instead of buy’. The purpose of Game Pass doesn’t appear to sell more games, but rather to create a catalog to hold you on the console, subscribing each month to have access to more titles to dive into for a few hours at a time.

PS Plus’s 2022 revamp is achieving the same, and is only getting better as its library grows. A fantastic way to bolster that growth would be to add PSVR 2 games to the Game Catalog, or at least as part of the service’s monthly free games program. If I knew I was getting one or two PSVR 2 games a month at no extra cost, I’d be inclined to engage with the headset more.

I’m confident that more exclusives and services will come to PSVR 2 in time. And seeing the state of PSVR 2 a year or two from now will be interesting. But to be genuinely competitive, it’ll either need a price drop or a seriously enticing value proposition to coerce the player base. As it stands, both scenarios seem unlikely.

Rhys Wood
Hardware Editor

Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.