There’s an infographic floating around that shows all of the games coming in the PSVR2’s launch window – a vague time frame that could mean anything from a few weeks to an entire year after the VR headset hits store shelves. Around 40 games are on the way, and it's a pretty impressive slate. I know this, because I already played them all.
The PSVR2 will have its flagship titles, which includes Horizon Call of the Mountain, The Dark Pictures: Switchback, and a VR conversions of Resident Evil Village and Gran Turismo 7, but every other game coming to the PSVR2 during the launch window is either coming to Quest 2 as well, or has already been available on other platforms for quite some time.
There are some incredible games on this list that are going to be a blast to play on PS5. Demeo is D&D-like tabletop experience that puts you right in the room with your friends, Jurassic World: Aftermath is a terrifying stealth adventure, Pistol Whip is a FPS rhythm game that will give you a real workout while you hone your sharpshooting skills, and Zenith: The Last City is a mind-blowing MMORPG that might be as close as we ever get to the metaverse. These are fantastic VR games, but you don’t need a PSVR2 to play them.
PSVR2 retails for $550, or $599 bundled with Horizon. You can’t use the PSVR2 without a PS5, which is another $500. You also need a nice TV for that PS5, preferably one with HDR, but let’s assume you already have one of those. $1,050 is the minimum investment for a PSVR2 without any games. Meanwhile a Quest 2 will set you back just $400, and there’s no other console or display you need. Even with last year’s unfortunate price hike, the Quest 2 is still third the price of a PSVR2. The Quest 2 also has thousands of games, including almost every one launching alongside the PSVR2.
The benefit of the PSVR2 comes down to performance. Sony’s headset has OLED panels that display at a 2K resolution with a 120Hz refresh rate per eye. Meanwhile, the Quest 2’s resolution is slightly lower than 1080p at 120Hz – though high refresh rate isn’t utilized by most Quest 2 games. The Quest 2’s relatively low resolution accounts for its much-maligned screen door effect, which occurs when players can perceive the space between pixels. Images on the Quest 2 are often unclear, which is especially apparent when you’re trying to read text. The PSVR2 has much higher resolution, which will provide a clearer image and more immersive experience.
For those of us already VR-initiated, it may be worth the extra investment. Those on the fence about VR – or those who already felt burned by the lackluster library of the original PSVR – may not see it that way. The challenge of selling VR is that it's highly demonstrable. You don’t ‘get’ VR from screenshots or trailers, you have to try it for yourself. The PSVR2, with its meager selection of launch titles, hopes to win people over with its impressive specs. Unless you can sit someone down so they can see the difference between the PSVR2 and the Quest 2 in real life, that’s going to be a difficult sell.
The Quest is cheaper, readily available, fully portable, and has a much bigger library than the PSVR2. The PSVR2 has Sony branding and better hardware. I don’t know if that will be enough to justify such a huge price tag, especially when Sony hasn’t even managed to load the PS5 up with a strong library yet. The PSVR2 is going to need a lot more than Horizon and a bunch of ports to justify the cost.
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