What does PSVR 2 mean for gamers? All the details, including release date, price, and games

Sony PlayStation VR2 will hit you hard in the pocket just after Christmas and the sales  (Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc)
Sony PlayStation VR2 will hit you hard in the pocket just after Christmas and the sales (Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc)

We finally have a price and date for PSVR 2, Sony’s second-generation virtual-reality headset. Unfortunately, that’s two months after Christmas and at least £50 more than the PS5 you need to make it work.

In other words, you’re looking at a minimum outlay of £920 to explore Sony’s vision of the virtual future, and that’s not including the games themselves (or a TV, but we assume you already have one).

So, should virtual-reality enthusiasts start saving now, or should they look elsewhere?

PSVR 2: What’s new for gamers?

Compared to the first-generation PSVR, the new headset is quite a step forward in terms of immersion. And only a small part of that is due to the fact it can lean on the huge processing and graphical grunt of the PS5 to output at 4K.

The biggest change is actually the tracking. While the original PSVR was tracked via a single camera precariously balanced on your TV, PSVR 2 has four outward-facing cameras on the headset to keep tabs on where you and your hands are in virtual space.

The upshot of this is that, while the original PSVR would only work in a tiny square in front of your TV (and would frequently lose sight of you if you dropped your hands too low or turned around), PSVR 2 should be able to track you around a whole room (known in VR circles as “room scale”).

To be clear, there are limits to this — unlike the Meta Quest 2, PSVR 2 requires you to be tethered to your PS5 via a cable, so you can’t wander too far away. All the same, it’s an enormous improvement in terms of immersion, without the constant adjustment breaks that typified experiences on the original.

And, while it is more expensive than the original PSVR, which launched at £349 in 2016, it’s worth remembering that it didn’t come with controllers, requiring you to repurpose PS3 Move controllers or buy new ones at £50 each. PSVR 2, meanwhile, comes with two Sense controllers, which offer haptic feedback and the same adaptive triggers seen in the PS5’s excellent gamepad.

PSVR 2: What games are coming?

These new levels of immersion count for nothing if the games aren’t there, of course, and Sony has promised more than 20 at launch, with more to follow.

The pick of these will likely be Horizon: Call of the Mountain, a spin-off of the PlayStation-exclusive Horizon games. Indeed, Sony plans on selling a bundle with the game included for £569.99.

Alongside the pricing intel released yesterday, Sony published a list of 11 upcoming titles for PSVR 2.

Some of these are entirely new, like squad-based shooter Crossfire: Sierra Squad, a Hello Neighbour spin-off called Search and Rescue, and Dark Pictures: Switchback, which seems to be a spiritual successor to the original PSVR’s Until Dawn: Rush of Blood.

Others, however, will be more than a little familiar to VR veterans, with ports of Pistol Whip, Jurassic World: Aftermath, and After the Fall making up the numbers. All of these are available on Meta Quest 2 and PC VR already.

PSVR 2: The alternatives

 (Meta - Oculus Quest 2)
(Meta - Oculus Quest 2)

Speaking of existing VR platforms, what are the alternatives if you don’t want to wait or spend that much money? If you have a gaming PC, there are plenty of options from the HTC Vive and Valve Index to older Meta Oculus headsets. These will cost between £200 and £1,300, depending on the fanciness and age of the kit.

The £399 Meta Quest 2 is probably a better all-round option, though. Not only is it an all-in-one solution (meaning no wires, extra cameras, or PC/console required), but it can also be connected to a PC, to stream more intense virtual-reality experiences like Half-Life: Alyx, and Elite Dangerous.

Finally, don’t rule out the original PSVR just yet — especially as its excellent games, such as Resident Evil 7, Blood & Truth, Hitman 3, Wipeout, and AstroBot: Rescue Mission aren’t compatible with PSVR 2. It’s a lot cheaper now, typically available for around £100 pre-owned, and you can still apply for a free PS5 adapter from Sony if you fill out this form.