The PSVR 2 is coming and I’m quietly screaming for joy. And that’s kind of funny to me, as someone who used to be extremely lukewarm or unenthusiastic about VR headsets. But over the last year, I saw how Oculus Quest 2 (now “Meta Quest 2”) became the hot new thing on the block. Virtual reality, it seems, after years of being seen as “the next big thing,” is finally here for real. All the time, however, I rolled my eyes at the concept of even buying one.
My existing disinterest was not linked to applications or hardware, actually, on the contrary. I’ve been curious about some of the best Oculus Quest 2 games, including some titles that were on the original PlayStation VR, like Beat Sabre and Superhot VR. But it always seemed that getting into the original PlayStation VR at this time was a bad investment, since it is quite old. As someone who is still looking for a successor to Ring Fit Adventure for gamified exercise at home, the news of Liteboxer VR for Oculus Quest 2 sounded like something I wanted to play.
Thankfully, the PSVR 2 seems to be the VR headset I’ve been patiently waiting for, as well as a reminder of why I should be happy I beat the bots in last year’s PS5 resupply fights.
So, without further prelude, let’s analyze why I’m so excited about PSVR 2.
The Oculus Quest 2 may have been the popular gift of 2021, but it’s not for me. Why? I don’t want to have any device that is completely inside and under the control of Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook. Facebook Instagram and Facebook accounts I only reluctantly have, but at least those services and applications must comply with the rules of the Internet and the Apple App Store.
(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)
Facebook Instagram and WhatsApp access to your data by adjusting the settings of the web browser and the phone, the same cannot be done with the same ease within a product that Meta releases and controls completely. Mark Zuckerberg’s company will only provide you with the preferences and settings that it deems worthy.
And, to be honest, last year (and all the previous years) proved to me that Meta is not capable of making these decisions responsibly.
If you’re wondering why I’m so hardcore with the setting, just look back to October, when Facebook changed its name to Meta (which was done comically wrong, as you can see below).
Facebook’s decision to try to bypass the Facebook brand for the parent company in general (the social network retains the name) came during the storm of Facebook’s papers. The timing still seems too obvious to ignore, as the Meta mark was revealed while Facebook documents posted by whistleblower Frances Haugen revealed that many of our worst suspicions about the company were correct.
Instagram Facebook’s Facebook Post analysis found that Facebook values user engagement over user safety; that the company failed to effectively moderate content around the world; and that Facebook had proof that Instagram was harmful to adolescent girls’ mental health.
Knowing all that, I don’t use any Facebook product without at least a hint of guilt, and it gives me a serious reason to avoid diving with headphones first into an ecosystem completely under their control.
Sony? I have no such qualms about entrusting them with another piece of hardware in my house. Maybe someday they’ll prove me wrong, but they’re not screwing things up as badly as Meta/Facebook.
PSVR 2 looks like it will support my other need
When the news of PSVR 2 broke, I was digging through all the articles I could in search of a specific detail: Can I use it despite my poor vision? I’m not blind, mind you, but I need some kind of corrective glasses, whether it’s contact lenses or glasses. I’m also not like my friend Hunter, who got LASIK for the purpose of using a virtual reality headset. I’m okay with wearing glasses and I think I’d rather miss a gaming experience than have corrective surgery.
First of all, the precedent is here because the original PSVR had adapters for prescription lens support. Heck, it was even designed so that you could wear glasses while wearing the headphones (although the double layers seem a bit excessive), as the FAQ page for the headset noted that users can “telescope the lens closer and further away from their face to get the optimal fit”.
On top of that, there is a 2019 Sony patent (as reported by UploadVR) that gives me more reason to be optimistic. While patents are not proof of anything you can bet on, this showed that Sony was looking for a pair of prescription glasses that would work with a new version of PSVR, which included eye tracking. And then Sony’s announcement of PSVR 2 included the news that the glasses would support, you guessed it, eye tracking.
So bring on the PSVR 2 games and experiences!
While I want to support any company that competes with Facebook, that alone will not be enough. Fortunately, Sony seems to be betting on quality.
I’m excited to see the little glimpse of Horizon Call of the Mountain provided in the video above, which will probably make me feel like I’m using a bow and arrow. And I bet it will probably be just the first of many exciting experiences for the PSVR 2.
I can’t wait for Sony to announce the next one. I just hope the PSVR 2 won’t cost as much as a PS5 (which is likely) and will be easier to find in stock (which is less likely).