- The imminent release of the new Sony virtual reality headset is making some experts believe the gadget could beat Meta’s Quest Pro on specs.
- Upgrades to the previous Sony headset include eye tracking, 3D audio, adaptive triggers, and haptic feedback from the PS VR2 Sense controllers.
- Consider whether you like the software on offer for a particular headset before taking the plunge.
The virtual reality headset battle is heating up, and some experts think Sony may end up on top.
Sony has confirmed the launch date and price of the PlayStation VR2. The PS VR2 will arrive on February 22, 2023, for $550 and 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 a 4K resolution,” Bob Bilbruck, the CEO of Captjur and a technology analyst, told Lifewire in an email interview. “Quest Pro is heavier, [but] the whole point of VR is an immersive experience. Meta uses face-tracking technology, whereas Sony uses advanced eye-tracking technology, which provides a much more immersive user experience and realistic experience.”
Sony is betting big on its latest headset as an accessory for its PlayStation 5 game console. Upgrades to the last generation model include headset feedback, eye tracking, 3D audio, and the adaptive triggers and haptic feedback from the PS VR2 Sense controllers.
The PS VR2 is getting upgraded optical tech as well. Sony says it’ll have OLED eye displays that each display at a 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 120 frames per second. It’s also got four cameras for headset and controller tracking with an IR camera for eye tracking.
Anshel Sag, a tech analyst for Moor Insights & Strategy, told Lifewire via email that the VR2 makes the most sense as a purchase for current owners of the PS5, which makes the price of entry $550 rather than roughly $1,000+ since that’s roughly what it will cost to get the PS5 and PS VR2 together, depending on the model and region.
"I would recommend the PS VR2 to people who are more likely to buy PlayStation-exclusive VR titles or want a higher fidelity graphical experience than what the Quest Pro can offer," he added. "The Quest Pro can wirelessly tether to a PC for higher graphical performance."
A Tough Choice
One 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 the hardware and software fully integrated into the headset.
"The PS VR2 has considerably more graphical horsepower thanks to the custom AMD chipset inside the PS5 versus the mobile chipset inside the Meta Quest Pro," Sag added. "The PlayStation VR2 also has higher resolution displays than the Quest Pro and features eye tracking for even better VR performance."
Not everyone thinks Sony is the way to go when it comes to VR, though. Technology advisor Rob Enderle contended in an email interview with Lifewire that the Meta Quest Pro beats the Sony model regarding convenience.
The Meta device "is untethered and self-contained, while the Sony Headset requires a PlayStation and is tethered," he said. "The tether can be a trip hazard and restrains movement. However, the VR accessory for the PlayStation is about 1/3rd the price of the Pro, and the PlayStation has a far larger potential customer base to work from than Meta."
Enderle said the most important feature to consider when buying a VR headset is the software content that's available. He also said you should test whether a VR set makes you nauseous, a common problem with some users.
"Many people can't use the cheaper headsets because they get sick, and playing a game with motion sickness is no fun," he added.
If you're considering buying Sony's version of VR, Enderle advises you to reflect on whether you like the available Playstation games.
"But follow the game to the device, not the other way around; otherwise, you'll likely regret the purchase," he added.