- The imminent release of Sony’s new virtual reality headset has some experts believing the gadget could beat Meta’s Quest Pro on specs.
- Upgrades from the previous Sony headset include eye tracking, 3D audio, adaptive triggers and haptic feedback from PS VR2 Sense controllers.
- Ask yourself if you like the software offered for a particular headset before jumping in.
The battle for virtual reality headsets is heating up and some experts believe Sony could come out on top.
Sony has confirmed the PlayStation VR2 launch date and price. The PS VR2 will arrive on February 22, 2023 for $550 and will include the headset and two PS VR2 Sense controllers. On paper, at least, the PS VR2 offers advantages over the recently released Meta Quest Pro.
“The [PS VR2], in my opinion, is a better device; it weighs less and actually has 4K resolution,” Captjur CEO and technology analyst Bob Bilbruck told Lifewire in an email interview. “Quest Pro is heavier, [but] the whole point of virtual reality is an immersive experience. Meta uses face tracking technology, while Sony uses advanced eye tracking technology, which provides a much more immersive user experience and a realistic experience.”
Sony is betting big on its latest headset as an accessory for its PlayStation 5 gaming console. Upgrades to the latest-gen model include headset feedback, eye tracking, 3D audio, plus triggers adaptive feedback and haptic feedback from PS VR2 Sense controllers.
The PS VR2 also benefits from improved optical technology. Sony says it will have OLED eye shields that each display at 2000 x 2040 resolution, combining to equal 4000 x 2040 at a 110-degree field of view. The headset can do 4K HDR and potentially hit up to 120fps. It also has four cameras for headset and controller tracking along with an infrared camera for eye tracking.
Anshel Sag, technical analyst for Moor Insights & Strategy, told Lifewire via email that the VR2 makes the most sense as a purchase for current PS5 owners, which makes the entry price $550 instead of around $1,000+ since that’s roughly what it will cost to put the PS5 and PS VR2 together, depending on model and region.
“I would recommend the PS VR2 to people who are more likely to buy PlayStation-exclusive VR titles or want a more faithful graphical experience than the Quest Pro can offer,” he added. “The Quest Pro can connect wirelessly to a PC for superior graphics performance.”
A difficult choice
A significant difference between the Sony VR headset and Meta’s Quest Pro is that the PS VR2 is a tethered headset that uses a wire to connect to a PS5, Sag noted. The Meta Quest Pro is a standalone headset with all hardware and software fully integrated into the headset.
“PS VR2 has considerably more graphics power thanks to the custom AMD chipset inside the PS5 compared to the mobile chipset inside the Meta Quest Pro,” Sag added. “The PlayStation VR2 also has higher resolution screens than the Quest Pro and features eye tracking for even better VR performance.”
However, not everyone thinks Sony is the way to go when it comes to VR. Technology advisor Rob Enderle claimed in an email interview with Lifewire that the Meta Quest Pro beats the Sony model in terms of convenience.
The Meta device “is self-contained and self-contained, while the Sony headset requires a PlayStation and is tethered,” he said. “The tether can be a tripping hazard and limit movement. However, the VR accessory for the PlayStation costs about 1/3 the price of the Pro, and the PlayStation has a much wider potential customer base than Meta.”
Enderle said the most important feature to consider when buying a VR headset is the software content available. He also said you should test whether a VR set makes you nauseous, a common problem among some users.
“A lot of people can’t use the cheaper headsets because they get sick, and playing a game with motion sickness isn’t fun,” he added.
If you’re considering buying Sony’s VR version, Enderle advises you to consider whether you like the Playstation games available.
“But follow the game on the device, not the other way around, otherwise you’ll probably regret the purchase,” he added.
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