PlayStation VR isn’t a very good buy in 2021 due to the fact that the hardware is quite dated and because it will be replaced by a new, superior headset in 2022.
Moreover, older PSVR games tend to not look or play significantly better on the PlayStation 5.
Virtual reality, when it first appeared, was regarded by many as little more than a passing fad—a gimmick that, much like 3D TVs or the Kinect, would stick around for a while and then sink into obscurity like it never even existed to begin with.
However, it turned out this couldn’t have been farther from the truth.
Over the past few years, various tech giants such as Google, Valve, HTC, and Samsung have all invested heavily into VR technology and a variety of VR headsets were released for PC and mobile platforms alike. However, Sony was the first and only company to offer VR on a console, and that still hasn’t changed in 2021.
So, is the old PlayStation VR headset, released in the now-distant 2016, still worth getting today? How does it fare when hooked up to the PlayStation 5? Will a new headset be released soon? We’ll answer all of that in this article, so read on!
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PlayStation VR Headset — How Does It Hold Up?
When it was first released five years ago, the PlayStation VR headset was quite something. It was significantly more affordable than the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive headsets that were the latest and greatest tech at the time, and it didn’t lag too far behind when it came to the actual hardware specs either.
The price alone made it appealing even for some PC users, though it required third party software in order to work on Windows and still lacked full VR functionality since it relied on the PS Camera for motion tracking.
Fast-forward to 2021, and the tech from 2016 just doesn’t seem all that impressive anymore. The headset’s 1080p OLED display doesn’t really hold up when compared to the higher-resolution displays that you’ll find in modern VR headsets, all the while it’s not significantly cheaper than the competition to justify that shortcoming.
Add to it the fact that it’s only fully compatible with the PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation 5, and it’s obvious that the PSVR headset simply isn’t as good a deal now that the likes of the Oculus Quest 2 and the Oculus Rift S are on the market.
So, it may not hold up all that well from a hardware standpoint and isn’t a good pick for PC, but what about PlayStation 5 owners? Should they consider getting PSVR?
Is PSVR Worth Getting For The PlayStation 5?
Sony’s new console is finally out, and it is quite impressive compared to its predecessor. In between the massive jump in graphics processing power that allows it to maintain a stable 60 FPS in 4K, the real-time ray tracing support, the super-fast SSD, and the 3D audio support, the PlayStation 5 is an amazing console through and through.
One of the many notable features of the new PlayStation 5 is its backwards compatibility with the PlayStation 4, and this doesn’t extend only to games—it extends to the PlayStation VR headset, too. So, how do PSVR games fare on the PS5, and is the old headset worth getting for the new console?
Well, as is usually the case, the exact performance varies from game to game. There are no major upgrades when it comes to the visuals in most games, but some titles do look and run better thanks to the PS5’s significantly greater graphics processing power. As you might expect, the loading times usually constitute the biggest difference when it comes to PlayStation 4 VR games running on the PlayStation 5.
That said, in this context, backwards compatibility is a great feature to have if you already own a PSVR headset and a bunch of PlayStation 4 VR games, but there’s little incentive to get the headset or PS4 VR games now that a “sequel” is confirmed to be in the works.
PSVR 2 — When Is It Coming Out?
Although rumors and allusions at the future release of PSVR 2 have been floating around since before the console itself was actually announced and revealed, it was only in February 2021 that Sony officially confirmed that a new generation of PlayStation VR was indeed coming to the PlayStation 5.
Needless to say, with the new console’s considerable graphics processing power, as well as the additional layers of immersion awarded by the DualSense controller’s superb haptic feedback and the 3D Audio, the situation is shaping up quite well for the PlayStation 5 VR experience.
The latest rumors suggest that it will have a total resolution of 2000×2040 pixels per eye, which is a massive step up from the original headset’s 960×1080 which, while quite solid back in the day, does come across as rather inadequate in today’s VR market.
An interesting new feature that PSVR 2 will utilize is foveated rendering, which will use eye tracking to enhance the detail in the part of the screen that the viewer is focusing on. Needless to say, this will allow for a much better-optimized use of the console’s processing power and can result in a more graphically immersive VR experience.
Unfortunately, though, the rumors of Sony’s new VR headset being wireless did not prove to be true. Still, it is a good thing that the headset will only be using a single USB-C cable to interface with the console, as this will make it sleeker and more manageable.
Overall, the next-gen PlayStation VR sounds quite good so far, although we might not actually be able to get it until late 2022. As such, it will be a while yet before we can see it in action or see how much it will actually cost.
Conclusion – Is PSVR Worth It In 2021?
So, all in all, should you buy the PlayStation VR headset for your PlayStation 5? Well, we would have to say no, at least not unless you can get the full set on a hefty discount and/or with a couple of good games included.
The PlayStation 5 still doesn’t have any VR games of its own, the full PlayStation VR set is still relatively pricey in 2021 compared to some other options, and it will soon be replaced by a superior headset that will not only have a better feature set but will also have access to a more extensive library of newer VR titles that are bound to follow.
Granted, PSVR is still one of the cheaper ways to get into VR today, but considering all of its limitations, we’d have a hard time recommending it over any of the newer VR headsets currently on the market.