Playstation VR 2 offers cross-buy and free PSVR1 upgrades
Playstation VR 2 is not backward compatible. However, those who have purchased games for Playstation VR 1 can get free PSVR2 versions in some cases.
In mid-September, Sony confirmed that PSVR 2 will not be backward compatible with PSVR 1. The reason Sony gave was that the two VR systems are too different technically and that Playstation VR 2 is meant to offer a "true next-generation experience."
It remained unclear whether there will be PSVR2 versions of PSVR1 games that buyers could get for free if they purchase the latter. The well-connected YouTube channel "PSVR Without Parole" at least stated that "heaps of development teams" are working on PSVR2 versions of their PSVR1 games.
With yesterday's announcement of 11 new titles for PSVR2, Sony confirmed that there will be both free PSVR1 upgrades and cross-buy. What does that mean exactly?
Cross-buy is a decision made by the studios
Cross-buy means that when you buy a VR game, you get the same game for multiple VR systems, in this case PSVR1 and PSVR2. Cross-buy is confirmed for the VR games The Light Brigade and Hello Neighbor: Search and Rescue, which will be released in 2023.
Those who buy these titles for PSVR1 will get them for free for PSVR2 and vice versa. This should please all those who still want to wait with a purchase of the PSVR2.
Meta introduced cross-buy for VR games in 2019 with the launch of Meta Quest. The same applies here in certain cases: Those who bought the Quest version of a VR game will get the PC VR-based Rift version for free, and vice versa.
Whether a VR game supports cross-buy is usually decided by the studios, not the platform owners Sony and Meta. Accordingly, not all titles support cross-buy.
Free PSVR1 upgrades only for select titles
Six of the VR games announced yesterday will only be released for PSVR2. For these, the question of cross-buy is moot:
- Cities: VR - Enhanced Edition
- Cosmonious High
- Crossfire: Sierra Squad
- Jurassic World Aftermath Collection
- The Dark Pictures: Switchback VR
Three other titles already appeared for Playstation VR and will get a PSVR2 version:
- Pistol Whip VR
- Zenith: The Last City
- After The Fall
Those who have already purchased Pistol Whip and Zenith: The Last City for PSVR1 will receive the PSVR2 version as a free upgrade. The studios confirmed this on the Playstation Blog. It is still unclear what the situation will be with After The Fall.
Sony has announced a number of Playstation VR 2 games, and more are likely to be added before the launch in February 2023.
Over the coming months, a clearer picture will emerge on the following questions: how many PSVR1 games will receive PSVR2 versions, and how many will be offered as free upgrades? For some PSVR1 owners, the answer may determine whether they buy a PSVR2.
It's not a given that studios will offer PSVR2 versions of their games for free: After all, ports cost time and money and may bring better graphics as well as new content and features.