PSVR 2’s room scanning could be a pretty neat feature
The Playstation VR 2 could offer something that Meta Quest 2 sorely lacks: an automatic setup of the gaming area.
In order for consumers to reach for the VR headset instead of the smartphone, TV remote or game console, the switch to virtual reality has to be as quick and easy as possible.
Meta Quest 2 has cleared the biggest hurdle: The VR headset does not have to be started or set up with an external device first and is ready for use in a few seconds thanks to standby mode. At least in theory.
In reality, another step is usually necessary: You have to confirm or redraw the gaming area, which always takes a few seconds or forces you to get up from the couch.
Actually, the VR headset should remember the room, but since the arrangement of the furniture in the living room changes frequently, the recognition algorithm can fail.
Cumbersome VR entry with Quest 2
I regularly have to fight with the Guardian system. If I don’t want to go through the tedious procedure (stand up, touch the ground, draw borders, confirm), I use the stationary mode. But even that can be annoying because of the lack of flexibility: if I change my position in space just slightly, a blue circle appears or the game world disappears, so I have to reset Guardian.
The Guardian system still needs a lot of improvement and is currently an insufficient solution that unnecessarily complicates VR use. Playstation VR 2 could take an important step forward technologically by having the VR headset scan the room and automatically detect where you are: on a free gaming surface, on the couch or a chair.
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Will Sony solve the problem with Playstation VR 2?
Sony previewed upcoming PSVR2 features a few weeks ago, including room scanning. How it works and what it includes was not explained in detail. But Sony included a video that shows the feature in action.
You can see how the integrated cameras scan the room and create a rough 3D model of the environment. The game area can then be expanded or customized using the Sense controllers, according to the Playstation blog.
The Meta Quest 2 also has a simple 3D understanding of the room and surrounding objects, but that is apparently not enough for a permanent and reliable memory of the environment.
The hosts of the Youtube show PSVR Without Parole claim to have learned from their sources that the Playstation VR 2 is excellent at mapping the gaming area automatically. The hope is that Sony’s system will work better than Meta’s Guardian and allow players to switch between couch, chair, and play area without having to redraw the space each time. That would be a big plus for user comfort.
Whether this is actually the case remains to be seen. Sony has a fundamental advantage over Meta here. Playstation VR 2 is tied to the PS5, unlike Meta Quest 2. The place of VR use will thus mostly remain the same, which will not challenge the recognition algorithms as much.