PlayStation VR2 Review: Feat. Horizon Call Of The Mountain!
Alright, we have something “immersive” to share today, courtesy of the folks at Sony. It's the PlayStation VR2; as the name suggests, it's a VR experience tailor-made for PlayStation 5 owners. Not only that, they have also kindly provided some titles for us to take a crack at, namely, the new Horizon: Call of the Mountain, amongst several others, so here are our thoughts!
PlayStation VR2 Headset
To start things off, let's talk a little about the design. Those already familiar with the original PlayStation VR will find a similar aesthetic for this newest iteration. It's so similar that if you painted the VR2's front portion white, you'd probably be unable to tell them apart.
Jokes aside, the VR2 mostly rehashes the same headset design and adjustment mechanism as the original. In addition, the front part of the headset now houses four cameras for tracking functions. The lens inside is also kitted with IR cameras for individual eye tracking, which is quite reliable in our usage. The OLED panels within the headsets are set at 2000 by 2040 pixels per eye, and interpupillary distance can also be adjusted using a manual dial.
Back to the adjusting mechanism, it's pretty straightforward. You press the button on the band to loosen it and tighten it back for a better fit. However, my colleague and I did find that the headset tended to droop down during gameplay which caused chromatic aberrations to appear in the visuals. Then again, if the headband design suits your head, then there's nothing to worry about, but unfortunately for us, we had to constantly push the headset up during gameplay, kind of like a pair of spectacles that doesn't like to sit still on your nose.
The VR2 can only be used while tethered to the PS5 using a long cable and doesn't have speakers built-in. So Sony has included an appropriately measured pair of earbuds that connects to the headset in a manner that's not intrusive, so that's pretty neat. It uses a 3.5mm jack, so if you don't mind the hassle of tangling cables, there's the option for you, but we'll stick to the one provided since we already have the main cable to worry about.
Speaking of cable, this may be a potential deal breaker for some of you. On one hand, being tethered means there's little to no latency, and you can expect visuals of higher fidelity, yet on the other hand, being wireless does grant you the freedom of movement. The list can go on, but while the wire can be annoying sometimes, we think it's a fair tradeoff considering the VR2 doesn't run fans and dissipate heat audibly as wireless-capable headsets do.
Also, being tethered means you can play for hours on end without worrying about the batteries running out mid-game, which translates to a slightly lighter headset.
PlayStation VR2 Sense Controller
Speaking of batteries, while you needn't worry about it for the headset, you do need to charge them for the controllers. Sony has ditched the Move controller from the original PS VR for their own take on a typical VR controller with ring guard designs and slanted grips.
The buttons are more tactile compared to the Dual Sense 5, and the overall controller feels more plastic-y, but that's understandable for a controller that you'll be waving around for hours. The controllers charge and pair through an extremely inconspicuous USB-C port which you'll easily miss. Other than that, there's little to add here, so let's move on to set up.
The setup's pretty straightforward. Whatever you usually see on your monitor or TV when using the PS5 will be projected on the headset when wearing it. Not only is it easy to follow, but it's also detailed in the steps to take with graphics to help visualise everything.
You can actually grab the headset out of the box and plug it straight into the PS5 as the setup starts from connecting the earbuds, teaching you how to adjust the headset, pairing controllers and everything in between until you reach your usual PS5 home menu.
VR Experience & Gaming
The home menu and non-VR titles will be displayed in cinematic mode as a little floating screen within your VR headset. You can watch YouTube or even play your usual PS5 games using the VR2 and a pair of Dual Sense 5, which is what I did for Hogwarts Legacy! (Good game, by the way!)
But of course, a VR headset has to play VR games. So I've been living as Ryas for the past weekend in Horizon: Call of the Mountain, and if you are a Horizon fan, this is undoubtedly a VR experience you want to try.
With action-oriented gameplay revolving around fighting Machines with a bow and arrow, like Aloy! Except you probably miss more shots due to the clunky VR controls, there's also climbing involved, so if you ever wondered what it feels like being Nathan Drake or Ezio, there you go. Without diving into spoiler territory, Call of the Mountain is generally straightforward and can be completed within 6-7 hours, perhaps longer if you spend a lot of time admiring the vast sceneries and such.
Again, if you are invested in the Horizon series and have the opportunity to try Call of the Mountain out, you won't be disappointed. However, it will probably feel like a generic VR action game for the rest of you, albeit with robot dinosaurs!
Pricing & Availability
The PlayStation VR2 will be available at the end of February at S$869 for the standard version and S$939 for the one with Horizon: Call of the Mountain bundled. And yes, "it's pretty pricey." you and I both, but for that price, it's a seamless transition into VR gaming for PS5 owners with no fuss. You also get to keep all your games under your PlayStation Network, which might be the more comfortable option for some users as compared to, say, the Meta Quest or Pico store.
But ultimately, the VR headsets produced by the latter two are more affordable than the PS VR2, so it depends on whether you are going for value or ecosystem. So what do you think?