Are there really no (good) games on Playstation VR 2?
A well-known IGN editor regrets buying PSVR 2 because "there are no games". Is he right?
A tweet by games journalist Ryan McCaffrey last week made waves in the VR community and beyond. The tweet has been viewed about 1.8 million times.
I massively regret the $597 (including tax) that I spent on the PSVR2.
I love great VR game experiences & I was so excited that Sony was doubling down w/a truly powerful second-gen headset, but they burned me. There are no games. It already feels dead. Look at the layer of dust! pic.twitter.com/TxfHF9TVCk
— Ryan McCaffrey (@DMC_Ryan) August 8, 2023
Some pointed out that the Playstation Store has just under 70 PSVR 2 games listed.
Others that Sony has done too little for the platform so far. Horizon Call of the Mountain is the only first-party title for Playstation VR 2, and so far, no others of that caliber have been announced. You can count on your hands the number of third-party PSVR 2 exclusives like Switchback VR, Synapse, and Firewall Ultra (due out next week). Most titles are ports or already available on other VR platforms.
Yes, there are good PSVR 2 games...
But all that doesn't mean there aren't good VR games for Playstation VR 2. Titles like Red Matter 2, Synapse, or The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners (to name a few) are quality games. Period.
When McCaffrey talks about "games," he's probably referring to AAA titles with big names, like those found in the console gaming world. But as Digital Foundry editor John Linneman argued in a recent video, there are good PSVR 2 titles that don't rely on big names and are still fun to play.
To say that there are no (good) games for PSVR 2 shows nothing but ignorance. The fact that McCaffrey hasn't even bothered to try any new titles, as evidenced by his image of a dusty headset, confirms this.
Now, McCaffrey is not just anyone on the internet. His opinion carries weight, and his dismissive message could have a negative impact on the industry, and for the wrong reasons. It will certainly confirm the opinion of those gamers who are already skeptical about VR.
The case reminds me of a controversial IGN opinion video on Baldur's Gate 3, which was seemingly more concerned with stirring the pot than providing context and delving deeper into an important topic.
...but they come with a steep entry price
That Sony isn't doing more for Playstation VR 2 shouldn't surprise anyone: First-party titles with huge budgets aren't in the cards because the development costs could never be recouped. The install base is simply too small for that.
Would a series of high-profile VR games help Playstation VR 2 break through and sell millions of units at this point in time? I doubt it. Half-Life: Alyx didn't bring a huge influx of players to PC VR and neither will any VR game from Sony to PSVR 2 at the current price point and sophistication of the technology.
Virtual reality has to grow organically and can't be pushed into the mainstream with huge investments alone. The language of virtual reality has to further evolve as much as the VR studios, the hardware, and the consumers who have to get used to the technology. This will take many years with gradual adoption. There are no shortcuts, and Sony understands this.
Playstation VR 2 isn't dead, and it's far too early to draw any conclusions. More than 100 titles have been announced and more will follow. Sony must and will do more.
But if you're hoping for PSVR 2-exclusives like The Last of Us or God of War: Ragnarök, you might be disappointed like McCaffrey.
Virtual reality is often expensive and cumbersome compared to other forms of entertainment. Ultimately, you're paying for a special kind of gaming experience that you can't get with flat gaming.
Whether there are (good) games for PSVR 2 ultimately depends on whether you value the added immersion enough to justify the price and friction, not on the number or quality of VR games available.