I regret buying the PSVR 2

For months, I’ve been thinking about selling my PlayStation VR2. After a damning scoop, I’m finally ready to let it go.

Months ago, I stashed the PSVR 2 away in a closet. I hadn’t played it for a very long time, but I hoped Sony might release new games that would make me want to bring it back out. Based on Android Central’s reporting, I should let those hopes go: apparently, Sony has cut funding for VR games and has just two more PSVR 2 titles in the works. Two!

The future of the headset has been grim for a while. Earlier this year, Sony laid off developers at Firesprite, the studio that made Horizon Call of the Mountain. It closed its London Studio, which made PlayStation VR Worlds, a game that came bundled with the original PSVR. Since its February 2023 launch, Sony’s barely featured any PSVR 2 games in its announcement showcases, and none of those games have been major first-party PSVR 2 titles. Sony isn’t even making a PSVR 2 mode for Astro Bot despite how much people loved Astro Bot Rescue Mission on the PSVR. 

My colleague Adi Robertson using the PSVR 2.
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Before it launched, I was genuinely excited for the PSVR 2. I eagerly anticipated new games like Horizon and new VR modes for titles like Gran Turismo 7 and the Resident Evil 4 remake. The price tag stung — I preordered the $599 bundle with Horizon — but I figured I’d get my money’s worth by finally tackling some VR classics like Pistol Whip alongside new PSVR 2 titles. (I knew the PSVR 2 couldn’t play PSVR games, but I didn’t mind.)

I was also excited to finally own and dedicate some time to a VR headset. I had messed around with some VR headsets before — I still remember being blown away by an Oculus Rift demo at a PAX conference — but I really thought the PSVR 2 was going to be particularly awesome. The Verge nerd in me was impressed by the tech: I was champing at the bit to bask in 4K games on the PSVR 2’s dual OLED displays and see how developers might use eye tracking to create new ways to play. 

Let’s just say I didn’t get my money’s worth. I did dabble: What The Bat? was delightfully silly, filled with VR mayhem. Runner made me feel like an action hero in an old-school anime. Gran Turismo 7 almost made me a PSVR 2 believer. No Man’s Sky was an immersive but overwhelming trip to space. And Before Your Eyes made me cry in my headset.

But my playtime was mostly just dabbling. Nothing was compelling enough for me to keep coming back to over the long term. The only game I beat was Before Your Eyes, and that’s because it only took about an hour and a half. After reading The Verge’s middling review of Horizon Call of the Mountain, it went to the back of my backlog, and I never got around to it. Resident Evil 4 on PSVR 2 made me sick to my stomach. Looking back at my play history, I only put in about 20 hours into PSVR 2 games.

Getting everything set up to play was a chore, too. The PSVR 2 has to be plugged in to your PS5 to work. That meant that every time I wanted to play, I had to fish out the PSVR 2 from its box, plug it in, and — because the PSVR 2 also doesn’t have hand tracking — cross my fingers that the Sense controllers were charged up so that I could actually play something.

Plus, I didn’t like how the PSVR 2 isolated me in my own house. Since I could only play while tethered to the PS5, I didn’t have the option to go to another room — unlike with Meta’s Quest headsets, which I can use wherever I want in the house. Since my partner and I live in a small condo, we’re usually both sharing the living room when one of us is using the entertainment center. Yes, if I was using the PSVR 2, she could see my game on our TV. But not being able to make easy eye contact when she’s right next to me made me feel like I was shutting her out. 

My PSVR 2 is collecting dust

So, my PSVR 2 is collecting dust, and I don’t see any reason to break it out again. (I know Sony is launching an adapter to hook up the PSVR 2 to a PC, but I don’t have a beefy gaming PC, so that’s not important to me.)

I should have known better when I preordered the headset. Sony has a habit of stepping on its own feet when building platforms that aren’t its primary console. Sony’s support for the first PSVR was pretty half-hearted, after all. The PlayStation Vita was beloved in spite of Sony’s first-party support, not because of it. The company took forever to put some flagship games on its PlayStation Now cloud service. It insists on forcing PC players to use PSN accounts for single-player games even after dropping that planned requirement for Helldivers 2 following backlash — the better to funnel you toward a future console purchase.

I think I’ll be taking the PSVR 2 out of the closet sometime soon. But I’ll only be moving it so I can sell it to someone else.

Source: The Verge

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