In this article, we will compare the most important differences between the PSVR1 (PlayStation VR1) vs the PSVR2 (PlayStation VR2), discussing their differences for you to decide whether it is worth upgrading.
We will cover:
|Resolution||960 × 1,080 per eye||2,000 × 2,040 per eye|
|Display||Single OLED||2xOLED with HDR|
|Field-of-View||100° diagonal||110° diagonal|
|Connection & Setup||Multiple cables, breaker box with its own power source, and external camera||USB-C cable connection|
|Tracking||6 DoF Outside-in from external camera||6 DoF Inside-out from 4 integrated camera array|
|Controllers||PS Move||Sense Controllers with capacitive touch, and dynamic trigger resistance and haptics|
|Headset haptic feedback||No||Yes|
|Weight||600 grams||Less than 600 grams|
|Release||Q4-2016||Either Q4-2022 or Q1-2023|
|Required console||PS4, PS4 Pro, and PS5||Likely only PS5|
The PSVR2 will have 4x the pixels compared to PSVR1, which naturally means that the visual experience will be four times better. This is despite the Field-of-View (FoV) being wider on PSVR2: from 100° to 110°.
At the same time, this bigger FoV also means that immersion will be higher on PSVR2. Lastly, both PSVR1 and PSVR2 have the same refresh rate of 120Hz, which is unfortunate as it would be neat if it would be 144Hz or even 165Hz. However, 120Hz is plenty for a smooth virtual reality experience.
A unique addition to the upcoming PSVR2 is the display’s High-Dynamic Range (HDR). This means that visuals will achieve higher brightness levels and lower blacks to mirror better how we see in real life. To this day, we haven’t seen a virtual reality headset featuring HDR, so we will have to wait and see how impactful it will be. But on smartphones and TVs, it is a welcome visual feature.
Noticeably, PlayStation VR2, from its eye tracking, will feature dynamic foveated rendering: a feature that PSVR1 didn’t feature due to its age. Dynamic foveated rendering means that the visual experience on PSVR2 will be optimized to where you look in the headset. PSVR2’s gaze tracker will blur your peripheral vision and improve the resolution to where you actively look. As a side-perk, it also means that processing will be off-loaded for your PlayStation 5, making your VR gaming experience better. This is a huge deal as game developers can focus performance where it needs to and deliver better virtual reality experiences on the PSVR2.
Famously, PSVR1 used the aspherical lens for the industry-standard fresnel, whereas PSVR2 will go back to the fresnel optics. The aspherical lens is considered the superior option as it doesn’t come with lens flairs or visual distortions. For example, the difference in experienced fidelity between Pimaxx 8KX and Varjo VR3 is greater on the Varjo because Pimaxx uses fresnel where Varjo features aspherical.
PlayStation VR2 will go back to the fresnel lens, so it will be interesting to see how this impacts the visual experience.
PlayStation VR always had a distinct look to it. But what in particular stood out was the novel Halo strap, giving PSVR the achievement of being the most comfortable VR headset on the market in its time. Consumers installed the Halo strap from PSVR onto their Quest 2 headset for increased comfort. Needless to say, the Halo strap will make a reappearance for PSVR2, with even better and updated comfort.
Lastly, the weight of PSVR2 is said to be slimmer and lighter than the 600 grams PSVR1. The same goes for the PSVR2’s design and form factor.
One of the biggest hurdles against the original PlayStation VR1 was that it required an external sensor to work. With PSVR2, this is now addressed, as four integrated cameras provide 6 DoF inside-out tracking, meaning no extra sensors are needed.
Based on the built-in camera array on PSVR2, video passthrough in greyscale is possible. This means that locating your sense controllers or quickly seeing something outside of the VR headset is easier than completely taking off the HMD, which was the case with the PSVR1.
PlayStation VR2 will feature active eye tracking from Tobii and several features come with it. Outside of foveated rendering, PSVR2’s eye tracking will also be utilized for automatic inter-pupillary distance adjustment, making the headset automatically adapt to how your eyes are shaped. Similarly, for added security, automatic user sign-ins from scanning your eyes will also be featured. Eye movements for multiplayer avatars will also be more lifelike increasing immersion. Lastly, controls will be better as PSVR2 will determine your intent from where you look in the game. Eye tracking within gaming is nothing short of a game changer.
One of the biggest differences between PSVR1 and PSVR2 is the controllers. For PSVR1 we had the awkward PS Move controllers, and with PSVR2 we will see the ground-breaking sense controllers. Coming from the innovation of the DualSense controllers for PlayStation 5, the PSVR2 sense controllers will feature capacitive touch to increase control fidelity together with dynamic trigger resistance.
This last point means game developers can program how hard you’ll have to push on the trigger to mirror what is done in the game. In other words, an incredible increase in immersion. Lastly, dynamic haptic feedback will be featured, also to mirror the surfaces in the game worlds, i.e., grass will have softer haptics whereas concrete will be harder.
For PlayStation VR1, setup was a nuisance. It came in a large shipping box, cables had to be connected with its own breaker, the breaker needed its own power, then both needed to connect the breaker to PS4 and your TV. And lastly, don’t forget to set up the PS camera before anything works. Sometimes this breaker even posed problems with TVs that featured HDR.
For PSVR2, the breaker is removed with the headset being connected through just one USB-C cable to your PlayStation 5. In other words, the ease of setting up your PSVR2 will be significantly faster and more user-friendly!
No official price point for PSVR 2 has been released by Sony. However, estimates based on hardware, competition and supply chain leaks have indicated that the price will likely be around $399.
As a note, this is an interesting price as Meta recently has increased the price of Oculus/Meta Quest 2 to this same price point. Effectively, this means the competition between the two VR gaming headsets will be purely based on features and specifications.
What stands out for PSVR2 is its built-in haptic feedback in the headset itself, something that we also haven’t seen before in other VR HMDs. As a result, we don’t know how this will turn out yet, but it will likely increase immersion.
PlayStation VR1 and PlayStation VR2 headsets have many differences which set them apart. The most notable changes are inside-out tracking for PSVR2 making it standalone – no PS Camera needed. While eye tracking on the PSVR2 opens many novel features such as foveated rendering. The difference in visual fidelity will be a major upgrade with four times the pixel density and High-Dynamic Range.
Lastly, the updated sense controller and headset haptic feedback will increase immersion delivering a superior VR gaming experience! If you own a PlayStation 5 and want a VR gaming headset, the PlayStation VR2 is an unbeatable offering.