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PlayStation VR2 Review

This top-value headset impresses with its excellent visuals, ease of use, and optimized performance for the PS5 crowd
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PlayStation VR2 Review (The PlayStation VR2 in action.)
The PlayStation VR2 in action.
Credit: Abriah Wofford
Price:  $550 List
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Manufacturer:   PlayStation
By Austin Palmer and Adam Stout  ⋅  Oct 16, 2023
85
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 4
  • Tracking - 35% 8.8
  • Visuals - 15% 9.0
  • Comfort - 30% 7.7
  • Daily Use - 15% 8.6
  • Ease of Setup - 5% 9.0

Our Verdict

Sony's Playstation VR2 headset is one of our top-ranked vr headsets, both in VR prowess and value. We praised it for being an exceptionally well-designed, easy-to-use, and visually immersive product. We were impressed with its advanced tracking abilities and high visual fidelity, but even more taken by its comfort and convenience, and no headset we've ever tested could match its accommodation for wearing glasses in VR. However, the PSVR2 exists in a closed ecosystem. Simultaneously, one of its great strengths is also its Achille's heal. Like nearly all major console gaming experiences, the setup, updates, and AAA game optimization are excellent compared to the hassle of PC gaming rigs, but the PSVR2 is hamstrung by the limited number of titles available in Sony's VR library. To make matters worse, the PSVR2 is not backward compatible with games developed for the original PSVR, which extends the already sizeable gap in content availability compared to PC VR platforms.
REASONS TO BUY
Streamlined setup
Has eye-tracking
Highly-optimized games
REASONS TO AVOID
Not backwards compatible with prior PSVR games
Limited VR library

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PlayStation VR2
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Price $550 List
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Bottom Line This great value headset should excite PS5 players looking for upgraded VR immersionA solid and high-performing VR headset that doesn't require a top-shelf GPUThis headset will appeal to users with glasses or who require top-notch tracking precisionThis standalone entry-level headset can access more VR content than any other, thanks to its cross-platform capability
Rating Categories PlayStation VR2 Valve Index Vive Pro 2 Headset Meta Quest 2
Tracking (35%)
8.8
9.8
9.7
6.5
Visuals (15%)
9.0
8.0
8.4
6.0
Comfort (30%)
7.7
7.4
5.2
5.7
Daily Use (15%)
8.6
9.8
6.0
7.4
Ease of Setup (5%)
9.0
6.5
6.5
9.5
Specs PlayStation VR2 Valve Index Vive Pro 2 Headset Meta Quest 2
Measured Weight 1 lb 5-1/8 oz 1 lb 13-1/2 oz 1 lb 15-1/4 oz 1 lb 1-3/4 oz
Tracking type 4 Internal Cameras External Sensors External Sensors 4 Internal Cameras
Manufacturer Resolution 2000 x 2040 per eye 1440 x 1600 per eye 2448 x 2448 per eye 1832 x 1920 per eye
Manufacturer Refresh Rate 90, 120 Hz 80, 90, 120, 144 Hz 90, 120 Hz
(only 90Hz supported via VIVE Wireless Adapter)
60, 72, 90 Hz Refresh Rate Supported
Manufacturer Field of View 110º Optimized eye relief adjustment allows a typical user experience 20º more than the HTC Vive Up to 120º 100º
IPD Adjustment Mechanical IPD: 57-73mm
*Rough measurement
Mechanical IPD: 58 - 70mm Mechanical IPD: 57-70mm 3 Settings:
1) 58mm (61mm or smaller)
2) 63mm (61mm to 66mm)
3) 68mm (66mm or larger)
Sound 3.5 mm port, included earbuds
Bluetooth connected via the Console
Built-in, 37.5mm off-ear Built-in, on or off-ear Built-in headband
3.5 mm audio port optional
Connection Type to PC - USB-C - DisplayPort 1.2
  • USB 3.0
- DIsplayPort (DP to mini-DP adapter included)
  • USB 3.0
Stand alone
(Optional Link Cable: USB-C)
Room For Glasses? Excellent Below average Above Average Slightly Below Average
Manufacturer Minimum PC Specs N/A Uses PS5 OS: Windows 10
Processor: Dual Core with Hyper-Threading
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Network: Broadband Internet connection
Additional Notes: Available DisplayPort (Version 1.2) and USB (2.0+) Port Required
OS: Windows 11 / Windows 10
Processor: Intel Core i5-4590 or AMD Ryzen 1500 equivalent or greater
Memory: 8 GB RAM or more
Video Out: DisplayPort 1.2 or higher. DisplayPort 1.4 or higher with DSC is required for Full Resolution mode.
N/A
Manufacturer Minimum GPU N/A Uses PS5 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970, AMD RX480 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 or AMD Radeon RX 480 equivalent or greater. (Not full resolution) N/A
Manufacturer Recommended PC Specs N/A Uses PS5 Processor: Quad Core +
Additional Notes: Available USB (3.0+) Port Required for Headset Pass-Through Camera & USB Port Support
Better than Minimum Specs Optional Link Cable Setup
OS: Windows 10 / Windows 11
Processor: Intel i5-4590 / AMD Ryzen 5 1500X or greater
Memory: 8 GB+ RAM
Desktop App
Manufacturer Recommended GPU N/A Uses PS5 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 or better GeForce RTX 20 Series (Turing) or AMD Radeon 5000 (Navi) generations or newer required for Full Resolution mode. Optional Link Cable Setup Supported GPUs:
NVIDIA Titan X, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Desktop 6GB, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070(all), NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080(all), NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Super, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 TI, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 20-series (all), NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30-series
Please Note: NVIDIA 3050 (laptop) and 3050ti GPUs are not recommended for use with Link.

AMD 400 Series, AMD 500 Series, AMD 5000 Series, AMD 6000 Series, AMD Vega Series
Please note: the Radeon RX 6500 is not recommended for use with Link.
Hardware Platform PS5 (PlayStation 5) PC PC Stand alone
(optional tether to VR ready PC)

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Sony Playstation VR2 takes over for the original PSVR, expanding on the streamlined experience and optimized content with higher resolution visuals, improved performance, and advanced eye-tracking.

Performance Comparison


playstation vr2 - blasting undead monsters in the resident evil village.
Blasting undead monsters in the Resident Evil Village.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Tracking


Our tracking metric scores the response and accuracy of VR headsets and motion controllers through extensive testing in our go-to VR apps and games. The Sony PlayStation VR2 has some excellent tracking, especially considering how it favors camera-based sensors built into the headset. While it still falls short of the flawless precision we've gotten from kits with sensor units, it reigns supreme among the built-in camera-based systems, and it even features eye-tracking, which few other headsets provide.


One game common across all the VR platforms we've tested on is Beat Saber, and as a fast-paced rhythm-based game, it makes for an excellent test for motion-tracking. The PlayStation VR2's tracking in Beat Saber was phenomenal. The headset and Sense Controllers were able to pick up everything we threw down, even connecting with far-away notes in the 360-degree songs that would trip up other camera-based sensor setups, like the Reverb G2 and Quest 2.

The PSVR2 features some the best headset-integrated sensor tracking we've tested.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Tracking in the Resident Evil Village Demo was also exceptional. For the most part, everything went smoothly as we blasted our way free of pursuing monsters and used the Sense Controllers to manipulate in-game objects and maneuver through obstacles. We only noticed some tracking funkiness a couple of times, like when guns weren't held properly during reloads or once when we had to take a moment to adjust an earbud, and the game kept our avatar covering its face for the rest of the playthrough. It's hard to determine whether tracking was at fault because either of those issues could have just as likely been a bug in the game demo.

We are impressed that PSVR2 is capable of eye-tracking. That's a neat trick that's rare in current-generation VR headsets as of this publication. One way some PSVR2 titles make use of eye-tracking is with foveated rendering, which reduces GPU strain by increasing pixel density where you're looking and reducing it where you're not.

Comfort


Our comfort metric considers components such as material and design that contribute to or minimize the headset's overall comfort level. The PlayStation VR2's thoughtful design and materials made it a high performer here.


We weighed the headset at just over 1.5 pounds, with the cable running down the back of the headband to the PS5. Both the headset and controllers feel lighter in use than those from other kits, making fast-paced gaming much more enjoyable. The PSVR2's headband design is supported by the forehead to keep the weight of the visor off the face, which is a significant improvement over most headsets. Environmental light blocking is aided by a baffled rubber gasket surrounding your eyes to increase VR immersion. Quick head pans didn't upset the PSVR2 as much as other headsets. It stayed in place on the face, with only occasional light collisions with our noses.

No VR headset accommodates glasses better than the PSVR2, thanks to its unique forehead-mounted visor design.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Another area where the PlayStation VR2 defies expectations is glasses compatibility. Every other headset we tested was uncomfortable, worn over glasses, and some were downright miserable. The PSVR2's unique design that places all the visor's weight on the forehead and its ability to slide closer and farther from the face without altering the tension of the head strap leaves tons of room inside the visor for glasses. That's a vast improvement over conventional straps that smash the frames into your face and temples to keep the visor in place. A minor downside with this design is that we noticed a slight loss in the field of view (FOV) when we pulled the PSVR2 visor farther out to accommodate glasses.

Like almost every other VR headset, temps rise during intense play. We attributed PSVR2's heat retention to the rubber gasket trapping hot air between our face and the visor, allowing very little airflow. However, we still appreciate that the mask isn't pulled tightly against our face like other headsets, where sweat gets absorbed into the fabric-covered face mask.

Visuals


The visuals metric evaluates screen clarity and field of view (FOV), two elements that can help or hinder VR immersion. The Playstation VR2 scores well in our tests, providing excellent visuals.


Screen resolution is 2000 x 2040 pixels per eye at up to 120hz refresh rate, with a claimed FOV of 110 degrees. We weren't able to test the FOV as scientifically as usual without the availability of the trusty Realovirtual Workshop app we used to test the PC VR games, but FOV in Beat Saber was quite good, easily on par with other headsets in the 110-degree FOV range.

playstation vr2 - the psvr2 owes its impressive visuals to high-resolution oled...
The PSVR2 owes its impressive visuals to high-resolution OLED screens and advanced eye-tracking.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Screen Door effect (SDE) is minimal on the PSVR2. SDE refers to a visual issue where the human eye can see individual pixels and the space between them when as close to a screen as it is in VR headsets. It's like looking through a mesh screen and can detract from VR immersion. Higher resolution headsets have lower SDE, and that includes the PSVR2. Graphics and text in Beat Saber and the Resident Evil Village Demo were crisp and clear, with very little SDE.

Daily Use


Our daily use test evaluates the headsets' ease of strapping and convenience of fine-tuning the fit. The PlayStation VR2 performed well in this analysis.


Initial fitting is a breeze: Press the button on the top right of the visor to release it, then pull it forward to create room to put it over your head. Next, you press the button on the back of the head strap to unlock it, then pull the visor and the rear head strap apart and place the headset on your head. With the backstrap secure at the lower back of your head, press the rear button and twist the dial to snug up the fit, then press the button on the top right of the visor again and pull the visor toward your face.

PSVR2 is among the easiest VR headsets to take on and off.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Interpupillary distance (IPD) refers to the distance between the center of your eyes, and the closer your IPD aligns with the headset's lenses, the better for your VR experience. IPD adjustment on the PSVR2 is done from a mechanical scroll wheel on the top left of the visor. While Sony doesn't list it in the specs, we took rough measurements to record around a 57-73mm adjustment range.

Sony's PSVR2 carries sound through earbuds mounted at the side of the head strap. They aren't as comfortable as over-the-ear headphones, but they work well and are less annoying during use than other headset designs incorporating earbuds instead of headphones. The sound from the earbuds and the integrated microphone were fine for everyday use; we had no complaints.

Ease of Setup


Our ease of setup metric gauges the user experience for each VR headset's initial setup process while considering any added hardware or PC requirements. Once again, Sony's PlayStation VR2 excels thanks to its thoughtful design, console optimization, and lack of external sensors to set up.


As you might imagine, setting up a mainstream console-based VR headset with the console it was designed exclusively for is much more streamlined than the process for PC VR headsets. To get going, power on the PS5 console, plug up the PSVR2 headset and connect the earbuds to the back of the headset. You'll be guided through the rest of the setup process from prompts on your TV, including a step where each Sense controller must be plugged into the PS5 for initial pairing.

playstation vr2 - vr headsets with integrated sensor-cameras are far more convenient...
VR headsets with integrated sensor-cameras are far more convenient to set up but don't have the flawless tracking of external sensor units.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Sony recommends a minimum 6'7" x 6'7" play area for room-scale VR. The process to set up the VR barrier is very intuitive and easily among the best we've seen. With the headset on, you look all around while the integrated cameras scan the room and make any necessary edits to the border and floors with the Sense controllers.

Usually, this is where we'd comment on the minimum PC requirements for the VR headset, but the PSVR2 is incompatible with all PC hardware, requiring a Sony PlayStation 5 to power it. Every game available for the PSVR2 will be optimized for it, so you won't have to worry about performance as long as you can find games you enjoy in Sony's more limited VR library.

Should You Buy the PlayStation VR2


We highly recommend the PlayStation VR2 for anyone who already owns a PS5 and even those who don't. The combined cost of a PS5 console and the PSVR2 headset is still less than many other PC VR kits before you even factor in the high cost of a VR-ready PC. However, if you're looking for the ultimate selection of VR games and experiences, PC VR still takes the cake.

playstation vr2 - psvr2 offers an extraordinary vr experience and exceptional bang for...
PSVR2 offers an extraordinary VR experience and exceptional bang for the buck, especially for those who already have a PS5.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

What Other VR Headset Should You Consider?


If you don't have a PC but want to try VR, check out the truly standalone Meta Quest 2. If you're looking for excellent VR visual quality and have the PC to power it, check out the HP Reverb G2. Whatever your needs, you'll be able to find the best vr headset in our review.

Austin Palmer and Adam Stout