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Hands on: PSVR2 represents the next big step for VR



For the time being, Sony’s PSVR headset was up and running. It didn’t push the boat out compared to other devices, but by making itself at least somewhat affordable, Sony struck gold with the best-selling VR headset to date. The firm is now trying to beat device sales PSVR2Except it’s going about it in a different way.

The follow-up is high-end, expensive, and cutting-edge — ignore the single cable connecting it to the PS5. It feels like a grab for the first and foremost enthusiast market, before expanding its reach in later years. However, the technology, games and experiences need to support that proposition. A recent hands on session with the PSVR2 has proven to us, at least, that Sony knows what it’s doing.

From its lightweight feel to the next-gen Sense controllers, everything about the device feels premium. Gone are the PS Move Wands that date from the PS3 era, replaced by futuristic pads that track movement much more accurately. But in the context of a Horizon Call of the Hill demo, the big differentiator is eye tracking.

Once the headset is turned on and calibrated — the easy-to-use settings, on-device buttons, and system-based tutorials make it a doddle — all of which puts your mind to cursors with your eyes instead of your head. is about rewiring to control Sure, it took some getting used to (we were still moving our noggin somewhat by the end of the demo) but once you get the hang of the feature, it makes navigation a lot easier. PS Look for a menu option to select the move wand instead of holding it out, or turn your eyes to an object to skip pressing a button. There is great potential to take interactivity to a new level using the feature; At least that’s what sets PSVR2 apart from its predecessor at launch.

PSVR2 represents the next big step for VR Hands On 2

Working alongside the eye tracking are the new Sense controllers, which adopt the circular nature of other VR headsets on the market. On the PS5 DualSense controller all the buttons you’d expect are there except for the touch pad, which is implemented in the trackable motions of the input readers.

When playing Mountain’s Horizon Call, they allow you to scale the sides of cliffs with precision, either slotting your hands into crevices or using vines to pull yourself along. It all feels natural, with the thumbstick you can turn the camera and get your bearings right before climbing along. Sense controllers track your movement much more accurately, with no movement issues or troubleshooting needed.

All this happens with a good degree of comfort. Sony’s first PSVR for PS4 was famous for putting on the headset, adjusting and then providing little trouble as you played Astro Boat Rescue Mission or Blood and Truth for hours. The same can be said of the PSVR2, almost an hour later with Horizon Call of the Mountain. Many of the comfort options on the headset are the same: a button on the back of the main plastic strap lets you pull it around your head to the first position. The visor that covers your eyes can be pushed back and forth to find the right spot, and then the lens is adjusted using a scroll wheel to remove any haze. It’s all then locked in place with a wheel to tighten the headset to your head. We can’t speak to how it feels after several hours of sessions, but first impressions are positive. We will gladly return to the collaborative efforts of Guerrilla Games and Firesprite Games.

PSVR2 represents the next big step for VR Hands On 3

Of course, PSVR2 comes with obvious technical upgrades to help it look and play better than what was possible on PS4, but we’re excited about its ability to improve immersion first and foremost in our demos. have come away from Replacing some interactions with eye tracking, from button presses to retina scans, you can do more with less action. With upgraded hand tracking in Sense controllers, developers can create more complex functions to expand what’s possible in virtual reality.

All of this comes as the next big step for VR. Using Horizon Call of the Mountain as its showpiece product, PSVR2 represents something that some PS5 fans feel they still haven’t gotten from their main console yet: the future of gaming technology. A really big leap. It remains to be seen how the headset will hold up over long periods of play or what the game lineup will look like beyond the launch window, but Sony has filled the PSVR2 with reasons to be an even bigger success than the previous generation.

PSVR2 launches on February 22, 2023, and you can check out All PSVR2 launch games through the link. Have you received your pre-order yet? Share your answers in the comments below.


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