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PlayStation VR2 vs VR1 (2023): Is It Worth the Upgrade?

The PlayStation VR1 or PSVR 1 has been a popular virtual reality headset among gamers since it launched in 2016. However, with the recent announcement of the PlayStation VR2 or PSVR 2, it’s time to compare the latest iteration with its predecessor.

The PSVR 2 offers numerous upgrades, including better tracking, updated controllers and new features such as eye tracking and headset vibration. While the original PSVR was a groundbreaking device in its own right, Sony’s new VR headset is capable of taking virtual reality gaming to a whole new level, providing a more immersive and interactive experience.

PlayStation VR2 vs VR1 Comparison Chart

ModelPlayStation VR2PlayStation VR1
 PlayStation VR2 vs VR1PlayStation VR2 vs VR1
PriceCheck Price at PlayStation.comCheck Price at PlayStation.com
Display and Resolution2000 x 2040 per eye, OLED960 x 1080 per eye, OLED
Refresh Rate90Hz to 120Hz90Hz to 120Hz
Field of View110 degrees100 degrees
Eye TrackingYesNo
Headset HapticsYesNo
Headset CamerasYes, integratedNo
CompatibilityPS5PS4, PS5 (requires adapter; only works with PS4 VR games)

Display, Resolution and Field of View

Compared to the PSVR 1, the PSVR 2 offers a sharper display.

PlayStation VR2 vs VR1 Display, Resolution and Field of View
A look at the inside of the PSVR 2 (in photo).

The PSVR 2 features an OLED display with a resolution of 2000 x 2040 pixels per eye, significantly building on the PSVR 1’s 960 x 1080 pixels per eye. This increased resolution results in a much clearer and more defined image, making it easier to see the small details in games and enhancing their overall immersiveness. 

Both headsets have the option of running at 90Hz to 120Hz, but the higher resolution of the PSVR 2 creates better fluidity and responsiveness. It goes without saying that these are essential factors to prevent motion sickness while also making for a more engaging experience in general.

One of the most notable upgrades of the PSVR 2 is its wider field of view (FOV). The new headset has a 110-degree FOV, as opposed to the 100-degree FOV of the PSVR 1. However, it’s worth mentioning that the original headset’s FOV wasn’t exactly a huge issue for most folks. At any rate, the additional 10 degrees of the newer model is still a welcome improvement nonetheless.

Ease of Use, Cables and Tracking

Although it may not seem like much on the surface, the elimination of the breakout box and external camera is a major milestone for the PSVR 2. 

The original PSVR came with a large breakout box that was a pain to deal with, as it had to be connected to the console and TV through multiple cables and even required its own power supply. On top of that, it relied on the PS4 camera for tracking. Needless to say, that added yet another peripheral to the mix.

As mentioned, the PSVR 2 no longer requires the notorious box and an external camera to work. It only uses a single USB-C cable that connects directly to the PS5 and integrated cameras for tracking.

Usage and Controllers

The PSVR 2’s Sense controllers are a huge improvement over the PSVR 1’s Move.

PlayStation VR2 vs VR1 Usage and Controllers
Here are the PSVR 2 Sense (left) and the PS Move (right) side by side.

One of the biggest differences between the PSVR 1 and PSVR 2 is their controllers. Particularly, the PS Move is being replaced by the PSVR 2 Sense. Among the notable upgrades of these new controllers is finger touch detection that allows them to know where your fingers are positioned. Also, they use analog sticks, which the original controllers lacked. These are a huge plus since they can potentially pave the way for easier movement in games, as opposed to awkward mechanics such as pointing and clicking to move.

In addition, the PSVR 2 Sense is even equipped with advanced haptics instead of the relatively basic rumble on the PS Move and adaptive triggers similar to the PlayStation 5 Dual Sense. Lastly, it’s designed for a more natural grip, making it more comfortable to use for long periods.

Other Features

Unlike the PSVR 1, the PSVR 2 features eye tracking, and while that may not seem much considering head tracking is already in the picture, it does bring a significant benefit to the table: foveated tracking.

Put simply, it imitates the way the human eye works. In other words, elements in the direction you’re looking at will appear sharp and clear, and the rest in the peripheral is less detailed. Put technically, the PSVR 2 determines what and where you’re focusing on and increases the graphics quality. At the same time, it’s going to decrease the rendering quality for the rest, saving resources in “unnoticeable areas” that are better spent in improving the fidelity of what the user is seeing instead.

As for audio output, the PSVR 2 sports a 3.5mm headphone jack, like the original PSVR headset. There’s no built-in audio on it, unfortunately. On a positive note, it does have an integrated motor that allows it to vibrate, enhancing the overall experience.

Verdict

The PSVR 2 is an upgrade over the PSVR 1 in every sense of the word.

All in all, the PlayStation VR2 is a significant step-up over the original PSVR headset. With features like improved resolution, a more comfortable design and more advanced controllers, it can offer a more immersive VR experience. The PlayStation VR1 was an exceptional VR headset in its time, and now the PSVR 2 builds on the strong foundation it laid out, offering a more sophisticated and refined virtual reality experience.

FAQs

📌 Is the PSVR 2 better than the PSVR 1?

Yes, the PlayStation VR2 builds on the PSVR 1 in more ways than one, including higher resolution, better controllers, eye tracking support, integrated haptics and improved ease of use, to name a few.

📌 Will PSVR 2 games work on PSVR 1?

No, PSVR 2 games aren’t compatible with the PSVR 1 and vice-versa.

📌 Does PSVR 2 need an external camera?

No, the PSVR 2 uses inside-out tracking with its cameras built into the headset itself.

📌 Is PSVR 2 only for the PS5?

Yes, the PSVR 2 only works with the PS5, meaning it isn’t compatible with the PS4 or older generations of the console.

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Vincent Lanaria

Senior Editor, researcher and writer passionate about running, cooking, and how technology mixes with the two.