A select number of developers have been getting their hands on PSVR 2 at GDC 2022, and one dev, in particular, has shared what their first experience was like with Sony's new headset.
In a post on Resetera (thanks, Push Square), an anonymous developer at Truant Pixel had positive words to say about Sony's approach to the headset's design and features.
“Sony has been extremely deliberate with a lot of their choices about this thing,” the developer said. “They’ve been reading the room for a long time now.”
In regards to PSVR 2's specs, which is set to be one of the most powerful headsets on the market, the dev said that it isn't just the technical prowess of the headset that makes it so exciting, but more how everything combines to create a truly immersive experience.
“Performance and immersion goes beyond resolution. The numbers certainly matter, but the whole is definitely greater than the sum.”
However, according to the Truant Pixel dev, it’s the unique features of Sony’s headset that really help it stand out from the competition. The PSVR 2 includes a vibration motor in the headset along with a ventilation port to help combat those sweatier play sessions. The PSVR 2 Sense Controllers also support haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, and finger tracking.
“Haptics make a bigger impact than you realize," the dev wrote. "Think about the first time you experienced dualsense [sic], now consider it in the context of VR.”
The anonymous dev, who is clearly tied to an NDA, hence the secrecy, backed up Valve veteran Chet Faliszek’s glowing comments on Twitter, who also experienced a PSVR 2 tech demo at GDC 2022.
Had one of those VR moments today playing in the new PSVR2 hmd… You know where the world just feels different when you return? Sooooo good… thanks @yosp and @GregRicey for the demo and chat.March 24, 2022
One concern about PSVR 2 that has been raised is the fact it isn't wireless, unlike the Oculus Quest 2, or Meta Quest 2 as it's now known. Instead, players will have to make do with one wire connecting the headset to the console, which at least is an improvement over the original PSVR, which forced players to deal with two wires when stepping into the world of virtual reality.
Nevertheless, some VR fans have expressed concerns that the PSVR 2's solitary wire could limit the headset’s overall appeal and restrict what might be possible in games, a concern that the anonymous dev at Truant Pixel disagrees with.
“Stop sweating about the wire. It’ll disappear once you start playing – unless you’re spinning in circles or something.”
For those clamoring for videos of the PSVR 2 in action, the anonymous developer warned that any early footage could damage the prospects of Sony’s new headset and that VR, in general, already has a lot to prove for some people.
“People asking for videos, etc - it should be clear by now that that is never representative of the experience for VR, which often is unfairly scrutinized by gamers who are already very skeptical and jaded. I say this from experience. :),” the dev wrote on Resetera.
“VR already has enough to ‘prove’ for people, and showing unfinished builds with incomplete assets or performance hitches would not be in anyones [sic] best interest.”
Analysis: Will PSVR 2 release this year?
It’s clear that PSVR 2 is making a positive first impression with developers who have been lucky enough to experience the headset for themselves, but there are still two pieces of the puzzle that Sony has yet to address with the upcoming device: price and release date.
PSVR 2 is tipped to release towards the end of this year, but the headset could slip to 2023 if there are complications with supply.
We’re still none the wiser when it comes to the price of PSVR 2, however. The headset appears to tick all the boxes that someone could desire for a high-end VR device, but that will likely come at an increased cost over the PSVR, which was $499 / £399 (about AU$650).
If you’re recently stumped up $499 / £449 / AU$749 for a PS5 console, the idea of paying a similar price for an accessory may be too much for some. There’s also the unavoidable fact that even finding a PS5 to purchase remains frustrating difficult.
The PSVR 2 certainly has a number of challenges to overcome, then, but it’s pleasing that developers are already encouraged by what they’ve seen. Ultimately it will be the games and experiences that Sony provides that will help sell PSVR 2 to gamers, and we think Sony might already have its killer app in Gran Turismo 7.
Correction: March 25, 2022
An earlier version of this article included the incorrect price of the PS5 in Australia. The retail price of a PS5 in Australia is AU$749, not AU$975. The rumored release date was also stated to be 2023 instead of the end of 2022.
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