PlayStation VR2 is just shy of six weeks from launch. CES 2023 has passed and I feel like we still have unanswered questions. I remember during the build up to PS VR1 that I felt more informed.1
The roll out of PS VR2 news has been inconsistent. There was official confirmation PS was making a next-gen headset in February 2021, then a name drop in January 2022, followed by the device design reveal in February. Things were quiet until the summer with a glimpse at the user experience. First hands-on reports cropped up in September and then a date, price, and portion of the launch lineup were announced in November.
Since then, there has been a drip of announcements expanding the list of launch games. At CES 2023, Jim Ryan said the headset would launch with at least 30 games. As of this writing, 23 have been announced; glancing at the list, I spot seven PS VR1 games making the jump (some with free upgrades, others not so much). We are missing seven titles so far to meet that 30 game launch list. Sure, there are six more weeks (and hopefully one or two big pop-off titles), but I feel like we need to know the full lineup ASAP.2
Speaking of games, will there be physical copies of Sony’s first-party titles? If Call of the Mountain is digital-only, why not say so up front? I would have pre-ordered the bundle and saved $10 (and gotten the cooler box), if that was announced. Sony hasn’t abandoned the physical game market, so why the hush-hush nature on physical PS VR2 titles?
How long is the cable? Quick searching suggest that the single cable is longer than PS VR1’s cable.3 One rumor even claims the cable is detachable/replaceable. That would be swell! We know just about every other spec of the device. Perhaps we will find out, when and if Sony does an official unboxing.
I think the biggest unanswered question (besides if Half-Life: Alyx will come to the system) is PC compatibility. Over the last two years, PlayStation has been far more open to putting their games on PC. The VR game library is strong on PC. With PS VR2 only needing to connect via on USB-C cable, there is no apparent reason why the device wouldn’t work with a powerful enough PC. I hope the headset is compatible, as it would be a sign of goodwill and an understanding of the current market.4
Don’t let my pondering as a lack of excitement; I am stoked for next-gen VR. I have been a believer in VR ever since I first tried it in the Engineering Building in-between classes at UCF. Heck, my current joby job is for a company that does tons of VR work. But this is one of the oddest platforms launches in awhile; stranger than the PS5 itself. It feels like PlayStation isn’t putting its back all the way into the console’s launch. I hope to see the conversation amp up here in the coming weeks.
1. Scrolling back through the PlayStation Blog in the Summer of 2016, there was at least one post a week about PS VR; some new game preview, announcement, behind-the-scenes, and more. That headset launched in October 2016. To be fair, PS VR was a first-gen headset for PlayStation, they were pushing retail store demos (which I attended twice), and it was a different PlayStation.
2. That’s not to take away from the big titles at launch. I cannot wait to play Horizon: Call of the Mountain, Resident Evil Village, and Gran Turismo 7. Those are major games. Personally, I’d love SuperHyperCube to make the jump, alongside Tetris Effect and Rez Infinite. And where is the new Astro Bot game that has to be in the works?
3. I would hope so.
4. I remember when PS VR1 launched and people quickly found out you could plug in any HDMI source and it would display the image. You didn’t have the snazzy UI or full blown VR, but the capability was there. I even wrote about it for IGN’s wiki guide. You could even use the Nintendo Switch with it through some cable wizardry and play Breath of the Wild with its VR mode.