I'm returning my Playstation VR 2 - here's why
My excitement for PlayStation VR 2 was huge. The disappointment was even greater. Read why I returned my PSVR 2, but still have high hopes for the VR headset.
It was February 23rd, 2023. Excited as a child on Christmas Eve, I got up extra early because an important shipment was on its way to me: the Playstation VR 2. Yes, I had booked a first-class ticket on the hype train.
When my trusted UPS driver pulled up at nine in the morning, I stormed downstairs, opened the front door and accepted a soft envelope. Odd packaging for a VR headset, I thought. I looked at the driver expectantly, but nothing came.
Instead of a brand new PSVR 2, he handed me a pair of yoga pants. My wife was thrilled, and I went back to the office disappointed. Delivery delay. My PSVR 2 was stuck at the customs broker, I found out shortly afterwards. It finally showed up a few days later, and I jumped at the package.
There's still something magical about unpacking and smelling new hardware for me. But after a good three-quarters of an hour with the VR headset on my head, the magic was gone. Today my PSVR 2 is at the returns center. It did not survive the 30-day return period.
The (almost) perfect VR headset
The VR headset is mostly praised by the critics. In his review of the PSVR 2 on MIXED, Ben speaks of the almost perfect gaming VR headset. However, he is one of the few to emphasize an important criterion for the success of a VR headset: wearing comfort.
The perfection of the PSVR 2 is marred by a major problem that depends on the shape of the user's head, Ben writes. I have this problem.
Tomislav explains in a recent comment why he's still not a fan of the halo straps used on the PSVR 2. The ring-shaped mount is supposed to distribute the weight of the VR headset evenly on the head and reduce the pressure of the visor on the face. However, the rigid plastic housing is not suitable for all head shapes.
The PSVR 2’s design is a disaster
For me, the halo strap presses so hard on my temples, the back of my head, and my forehead that I have to take the VR headset off after half an hour of playing, exhausted. The pressure causes pain and even nausea. It takes me almost half an hour to recover after each session. The plastic on the temples offers almost no cushioning. Probably so as not to weaken the rumble effect on the forehead. I wonder if it was worth it.
In addition, I have to move the visor so close to my face for optimal vision that the sharp-edged lens frame constantly presses against the bridge of my nose. Since the included in-ear headphones won't hold, I use Sony's 3D Pulse headset.
But the original PS5 accessory won't fit on my ear cups because the halo strap gets in the way. So I have to push the PSVR 2 further up, which makes it increasingly uncomfortable to wear. Who designs something like this?
My review of What the Bat, which offers little more than three hours of gameplay, became an ordeal for me and took up an entire workday. Swordsman VR and No Man's Sky VR – unplayable. I couldn't enjoy the extensive Horizon Call of the Mountain at all.
PSVR 2: An ordeal for me, a VR hit for others
Despite all the inconveniences, my brief liaison with the PSVR 2 made me realize one thing: Ben is right – the VR headset has huge potential for great VR gaming experiences. With the power of the PS5 behind them, developers can create beautiful VR worlds.
The built-in eye tracking allows for new game mechanics – see Before Your Eyes or Switchback VR – and Sony has some very compelling in-house brands. Imagine meeting Kratos or Joel and Ellie in virtual reality.
But after almost a month with PSVR 2, I'm disillusioned and disappointed that Sony is releasing a device that excludes people based on their anatomy. It's a shame because Sony's design has always been at the forefront of accessibility.
I sincerely hope that a revised model will be released, similar to the previous model, which fit me perfectly. This time with a much more comfortable halo strip, or even better, modular and customizable, as is the case with Meta Quest 2, for example.
In any case, I would get up again at five in the morning and lie in wait for the UPS driver at the kitchen window – and don't you dare let him hand me just one piece of clothing again.