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What The Critics Are Saying About PSVR 2: Is It Worth The Upgrade?

The PlayStation VR 2 finally arrives next week after months of hype. The new system comes with a fresh lineup of games — including brand new VR experiences like "Horizon Call of the Mountain" and "Dark Pictures: Switchback" — as well as some slick new features that outpace the capabilities of the last-gen PlayStation VR. Although fans have a few reasons to worry about PSVR 2, there are just as many reasons to be excited for the future of virtual reality at home!

Critics have gotten their hands on a few review kits for Sony's latest VR system, and the reviews have been quite promising thus far. The new advancements have reviewers calling the PSVR 2 a huge leap from the previous model, with CNET's Scott Stein remarking, "[T]he PSVR 2 shows glimpses of how good the future could be. Playing games on the PSVR 2 doesn't just feel like VR — it often feels like a PS5 game has leapt out and surrounded me."

Here's what the pros have to say about PSVR 2.

The PSVR 2 headset offers near-complete immersion

First of all, the new headset appears to be a revelation in a crowded market. The headset is a bit roomier than some others on the market, to the point where it can easily accommodate gamers with glasses. Critics have been especially impressed with the headset's OLED HDR display, which delivers impressive visuals that make players feel like they're right inside the action. Less impressive, apparently, are the pack-in headphones, which may not deliver the punch that audiophiles are looking for. Even so, the headset provides plenty of feedback in the form of a rumble that syncs nicely with the PSVR 2's Sense controllers.

Speaking of which, the PSVR 2's controllers have received a good amount of early praise. While Eurogamer noted that the controllers are quite similar to the ones that ship with the Oculus Touch, the haptic feedback is on the level of the PS5's DualSense controller, which serves to further immerse players in their games.

Critics seem to be most impressed with the headset's eye-tracking capabilities, which are used to great effect in a number of the titles being released for the new system. For instance, "Horizon Call of the Mountain" players can aim at enemies using just their line of sight, while "Dark Pictures Switchback" will actually up the scares each time you dare to blink.

Polygon's Mike Mahardy was impressed by the system's innovations, writing, "I've spent the better part of two weeks with PlayStation VR 2, and it's been permeated by ... cumulative instances where everything just works, seamlessly and comfortably, making the hours melt away."

The headset has one lengthy drawback

One the recurring frustrations critics have with the PSVR 2's design is the 14.5-inch cord that protrudes from the headset itself. The Verge's review noted, "Each of us has gotten wound up in that 14.7-foot (4.5-meter) cable multiple times over the past week, and ... you should know it doesn't have any kind of quick-detach feature." While nobody has gotten injured by tripping over the PSVR 2's cable (yet), the cord still poses a bit of a problem. Any significant snag runs the risk of either leaving the cord with a kink in it or, even worse, pulling a $500 PlayStation 5 console off of the shelf and onto the floor. The USB-C cable itself might be light, but a grown human body tethered to a console is not.

Ars Technica also had some grievances with the wire. Reviewer Kyle Orland reported, "whenever I found myself turning in place, walking around, or doing large swings with my left arm in VR, I would usually have to worry about jostling or getting tangling in that wire. That was just enough of an annoyance to temporarily take me out of the VR experience." Orland felt that this aspect of PSVR 2 put it behind wireless competitors such as the newer Meta Quest headsets. 

The headset's cable isn't a total dealbreaker, of course, but players may want to be aware of it before they get too hype during a game of "What the Bat?" And on the upside, the single cord coming from the headset is indicative of another huge positive with PSVR 2: It's very easy to set up and just dive into a whole new world.

PSVR 2 has potential -- but is that enough?

At the end of the day, critics are very happy with the new PlayStation VR 2. However, there are still a few reservations, even when putting the cumbersome cable issue aside. There's the lingering problem that the headset will set players back $549, for one thing, making the cost of entry daunting. When you add on a paltry lineup of launch titles onto the equation, it becomes more difficult to justify the purchase price. 

As GameSpot's Tamoor Hussain noted in his review, the main thing the new system has going for it at launch is the strength of the hardware and the potential of where it could go. It remains to be seen if Sony will give its new VR headset the push that it needs, but the company has definitely laid the groundwork for an exciting new frontier in virtual reality gaming.

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