PlayStation VR 2 isn’t here quite yet, but this year Sony revealed the first detailed specs for the headset. Comparing PSVR vs. PSVR 2 specs side-by-side shows us how much has changed since Sony’s first consumer headset released in 2016.

Update (March 8th, 2022): We’ve updated this article and the PSVR 2 spec sheet with the latest info and images now that Sony revealed the final design of PlayStation VR 2.

Among the major players in the VR space, Sony has bided its time on a follow-up to the original headset. Assuming the company’s next-gen VR headset is released this year, around the same time of year as the original, it will be six years between PSVR and PSVR 2.

The original PSVR was released about six months after the first major consumer VR headsets—HTC Vive and Oculus Rift—hit the market back in 2016. However, HTC, Oculus, and others have released many new headsets in the interim. To its credit, PSVR managed to feel competitive for many years after its release, but eventually began to feel dated as the rest of the pack charged ahead into VR’s ‘gen-2’ epoch.

Now here we are in 2022 with PSVR 2 on PS5 set to bring new life to Sony’s VR ambitions. Let’s take a look at how PSVR and PSVR 2 specs compare:

PSVR vs. PSVR 2 Specs

PSVR 2 PSVR
Resolution 2,000 × 2,040 (4.1MP) per-eye, OLED, HDR 960 × 1,080 (1.0MP) per-eye, RGB OLED
Refresh Rate 90Hz, 120Hz 90Hz, 120Hz
Lenses Fresnel Single element non-Fresnel
Field-of-view (claimed) 110° (diagonal presumed) 100° (diagonal presumed)
Optical Adjustments IPD, eye-relief Eye-relief
Connectors USB-C (no breakout box) USB, HDMI (breakout box)
Cable Length unknown 4.4m
Tracking Inside-out (no external beacons) Outside-in (external camera)
On-board cameras 4x IR (external), 2x IR (internal) None
Input PSVR 2 Sense controllers (rechargable), eye-tracking DualShock 4 (rechargeable), PS Move (rechargeable), PS Aim (rechargeable), voice
Audio 3.5mm aux output 3.5mm aux output
Microphone Yes Yes
Haptics Controllers, headset Controllers
Weight < 600g 600g
Release Date Expected late 2022 or early 2023 2016
Console Compatibility PS5 (backwards compatibility not expected) PS4, PS4 Pro, PS5

PSVR 2 Specs – Beyond the Numbers

It’s easy to get lost in the numbers so let’s really break down the major changes between the headsets.

Resolution, Field-of-view, & HDR

For one, PSVR 2 has about four times the pixel count of PSVR. All things being equal, that means images inside the headset would look about four times sharper, which is a substantial improvement.

However, we know that all things won’t be equal. Sony quotes the field-of-view of PSVR 2 at 110° compared to 100° for PSVR 1. That means that while PSVR 2 has many more pixels, they’ll be stretched over a slightly wider area. Overall the sharpness of the headset should still be substantially better, but not quite as much as the sheer increase in pixels would suggest.

As for the field-of-view itself, 100° to 110° isn’t a huge leap, but you’d surely notice it if you compared the headsets side-by-side.

Unless a surprise headset beats it to the punch, PSVR 2 will be the first commercially available VR headset to launch with an HDR (high-dynamic range) display. That means it’s capable of a much wider range of brightness than a typical headset. Functionally this means the headset will be able to produce scenes with more life-like brightness which could improve immersive considerably.

Personally I’ve never seen an HDR display in a headset… nor do I know anyone who has (that’s allowed to talk about it). I’ve seen plenty of HDR TVs and phones, but because of the unique way that VR displays typically work (with things like low-persistence), it’s tough to know if HDR on PSVR 2 will be directly comparable. So at this point it’s unclear if HDR will be a ‘nice to have’ feature, or something that defines the headset compared to its contemporaries.

Lenses & IPD

PSVR 1 lens | Photo courtesy iFixit (BY-NC-SA)

The original PSVR is famously the only headsets on the market in its class that doesn’t use Fresnel lenses, which are known to cause glare (in exchange for other benefits). PSVR 2, on the other hand, will be following the rest of the industry as it moves to Fresnel lenses.

The lenses in the original PSVR had a large enough eye-box that Sony didn’t feel the need to include an IPD adjustment (which adjusts the lenses to match the distance between your eyes). However, PSVR 2 does have an IPD adjustment which is a good idea for many reasons, so we’re glad to see this addition.

Ease-of-use & Tracking

Even though this reads minimally on a spec sheet, this is a huge deal for PSVR 2—no more breakout box and no more external camera.

PSVR 1 setup diagram | image courtesy Sony

PSVR 1 ships with a large breakout box that accepts two plugs from the headset that run along a thick cable. The breakout box has to be connected to the host console by a USB cable and an HDMI cable (and also has to be plugged into the TV). And don’t forget that it needs its own power supply. That’s six… yes, six, individual plugs running into and out of the box.

Needless to say, the breakout box was a bit of a pain. Not only did it complicate the user’s A/V set up, in some cases it even created resolution and HDR issues for certain TVs; this was partly fixed with a later revision to the PSVR hardware, but even so the breakout box was a hindrance to the overall experience.

Oh and don’t forget about the camera. PSVR 1 required the PS4 camera for tracking, which meant having another peripheral plugged into your console. Not only that, but the camera was never made for VR in the first place and it suffered from poor tracking accuracy and limited coverage.

PS4 Camera | Image courtesy Sony

Sony has identified and eliminated these issues for PSVR 2. The breakout box is completely gone; the company says the headset will plug into the PS5 with a single USB-C cable through the USB-C port conveniently placed right on the front of the PS5. That’s great news but I surely hope that little connector can hold the cable in tightly enough to not get yanked out if the cord gets tugged during intense VR sessions.

And the PS4 camera is gone too. Instead of using ‘outside-in’ tracking with a camera that sits on your TV, PSVR 2 has on-board cameras for ‘inside-out’ tracking. That means the cameras on the headset itself are used to track the player’s head movements. This eliminates another extra peripheral compared to PSVR 1.

But there’s a risk in Sony’s move to inside-out tracking. The quality of inside-out tracking varies greatly between headset makers. While the inside-out tracking on Quest 2, for instance, is very good, the inside-out tracking on Windows VR headsets leaves much to be desired. Only a handful of companies in the world have shown that they can deliver top-tier inside-out tracking for VR.

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Granted, the bar is pretty low in this case. Tracking on PSVR 1 was arguably the worst among major headsets on the market, but it still sold very well regardless. Even if PSVR 2 has just ‘ok’ inside-out tracking, it could still be an improvement over the poor tracking of the original.

All that said, Sony tends to be pretty serious about VR, and I expect they’ll have a decent solution for inside-out tracking, if not a very good one.

Continue on Page 2: Eye-tracking, Controllers, Audio, & Headset Haptics »

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  • Great comparison. I think that PSVR 2 is a very solid headset, I can’t wait toread the first hands-on reviews!

  • JB1968

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  • VRFriend

    Announce something which will be released for sale in 10 months? Crazy. Should be immediately, next day or week or month, not at the end of year.

    • Duckman

      lol

      • taret

        Needed to be more lightweight not just a bit

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Well, they haven’t announced anything officially yet.

    • ApocalypseShadow

      They announced PS5 name at CES and released in November. How many months was that?

      What hot item most people want but can’t get for a console? PS5.

      It’s not unheard of. I would love immediate release. But that’s not always the case because they are still planning strategy and dealing with production in this current climate.

  • KLEEBAN KLIBAN

    One thing I havent seen mentioned in articles is that exclusive PSVR2 games will be built ground up for PS5’s fast SSD. Im not sure when it will become common for PC VR games to require SSD, and for now they are limited by HDD compatibility. Though SSD’s are not yet tapped into to the extent I expect they will be, so that may not be a major edge right from the start. I imagine the SSD goes a long way for eye tracking and foreated rendering at the very least, allowing a ton of detail to be added and removed as the player looks to and from different areas. The SSD may be part of the reason Sony can beat the market to this feature in the first place.

    Would love to see what people with much more knowledge than me think about the SSD potential. I think the SSD will be one reason PSVR2 games will hold up well against PC VR even after the next PC HMD’s launch.. at least the PS exclusives. Would love to see Naughty Dog contribute something to VR this gen. Im sure the game they made would look amazing!

    • Lucidfeuer

      A dev who fiddled with a PS5 dev kit explained to me that the faster SSD just saves work on asset streaming, but there’s no seamless and streamlined tool to take advantage of it for now (maybe nanite when it’s eventually optimized for full games), rather it just allows to save on micro-management of memory loads and therefor is more of cop-out for production that a tool being used for now. It’s gonna take some years before you can see it being used to either augment the details of the world streaming or just save on loading times.

  • Charles

    “quality of the tracking will be improved to.”

    Typo in the article.

    • benz145

      Thanks : )

  • FrankB

    I wonder if there will be PC compatibility, given the interesting spec sheet it could well end up being a top class PC headset.

    • shadow9d9

      There is zero incentive for them to do that, especially with the truly abysmal pcvr game sales numbers.

      • Tommy

        Sony will have nothing to do with it. It took modders about 6 months to get PSVR1 working on PC. It should be MUCH quicker seeing as tge PSVR2 is closer to a PCVR headset than it was to the PSVR1.

  • xyzs

    If the lenses are not Fresnel, they really got everything right !
    (except the cable need and the just ok FOV)

  • ApocalypseShadow

    Onboard audio? Why? Leave it to choice.

    PSVR 1 needed the breakout box to process the 3D audio. PSVR 2 does not because of a dedicated sound chip called Tempest built into PS5. Sony gave PSVR 1 gamers a choice on how they wanted to hear be it ear buds or headphones.

    The same great audio that makes Returnal sound the way it does is going to be in VR as well. And that’s just a taste. The same 3.5 audio jack on the Dual Sense where you can use ear buds or headsets to hear that audio is being left up to your choosing again. Different gamers have different preferences on how they listen to sound. Sony is giving gamers that choice on what they want to wear. But PSVR 2 may still have included ear buds in the package just like the first headset if you don’t have any.

    Anyway, PSVR 2 is going to potentially be so far beyond PSVR 1, it’s scary. The graphics, sound and haptics along with analog sticks and 360 movement is going to be on another level. It’s like a gamer jumping from PS2 directly to PS4 Pro or better. Just insane.

    • Arno van Wingerde

      But leaving a cable between head set and console and having the need to insert buds or put up a headset in addition to putting up the headset is an extra hassle compared to Quest more straightforward: “put on headset, switch on and start killing zombies”. I would prefer build-in sound + 3.5 mm for people who want something better. But let’s see how Sony implements this…

      • ApocalypseShadow

        It’s not an extra hassle. It’s only made up to be as if an extra 5 seconds to hook up headphones or earbuds is complicated to those spoiled by that cellphone in a headset. PS VR2 is not wireless or a stand alone headset. So, it doesn’t matter if headphones need to be hooked up.

        The breakout box PSVR had with all the wires is not going to be there for this one. No outside camera to hook up which was another wire. The only wire is the one that attaches to the console.

        If a wire is standing in your way for VR or for listening to sound, I’d suggest sticking with Quest or waiting for Facebook’s next headset. All in one is cool as well as wireless. But, if you want higher quality or a choice in how you want to hear sound, then a wire is a necessary thing until console or PC level quality can be packed into an all in one headset. And with PS VR2’s specs, a lot of gamers are going to forget a wire, headphones or earbuds real quick when they see the games. With a lot of them being exclusive to a wired headset. It’s not even an issue.

        • NL_VR

          Decide not to have onboard audio is a bad thing and probably only to keep cost down.
          earbuds are crap and now if my headphones dont fit over i must get new one.

  • Nepenthe

    Why wouldn’t we expect backward compatibility? I figured that would be a given at least for some stuff even if a per-game patch were required. Don’t most PS4 games play on the PS5? Sure, something that required the PS4 gamepad (like the precursor to Astro-Bot) wouldn’t work, but the PSVR1 has a decent library held back by the HMD and Move.

    • benz145

      Games like Astro Bot are designed for 6DOF input from the controller which isn’t supported by PS5 controllers. My guess is that we’ll see many PSVR games updated for PSVR 2, but there won’t be direct backwards compatibility.

      • Jason Redmon

        As long as they update No Man’s Sky and Elite Dangerous, I’m good

    • The Privileged

      I better be able to play Wipeout, my favorite vr game yet.

  • TechnoHunter

    Sony needs to create a standalone VR Headset in my opinion, and then have the cables provided to hook it up to a PlayStation console, if they want to compete with Quest 2 which I think all VR headset hardware platforms should be doing or moving towards! :D

    • Cless

      Let’s not pollute the market with more shitty ARM mobile CPUs, please. They are in no need to compete with the Quest 2, since they will outsell them easily. As long as they don’t price it ridiculously high that is.

  • The only potential downgrade is the Fresnel lenses, which might introduce some God rays–I really hope not–but everything else looks to be either on par or a huge step up.

    • NL_VR

      God rays is only a problem white on black etc, in games and graphics it not problem at all on todays headsets.

      • Arno van Wingerde

        I disagree, particularly for an HDR set with major contrast ratios between dark and light areas. On the Quest, with a downright pathetic contrast ratio it is already an issue, for a better set I would definitely expect trouble.

        • NL_VR

          i have not experience any problems with godrays when gaming.
          Maybe you talk about something else, like watching pictures or movies i dunno.

      • Andrew Jakobs

        Uhm, I guess you only play bright colored sunny games or something, as godrays are still quite a problem. But the PSVR2 apearantly has a coating on the edges of the ribs which will reduce the effect even further as whats on the market.

        • NL_VR

          No i dont i play many different games.
          Give examples of games that have problems with godrays i look them up.

        • NL_VR

          you dont have any example of games?

      • Not as big a problem, but it’s still an issue. I mean, if I’m trying to watch a movie in some virtual cinema on Quest 2 then the God rays are still a real pain in the ass. So it can definitely still be improved.

        • NL_VR

          yes it can be improved but its not that big of a problem when gaming at least.
          of course there are situations were it can be a problem but i feel like many make the problem bigger than what it really is.

          • Yeah, I mean you are right; in games it’s very rare an issue outside of maybe the starting screen or whatever.

  • Very interesting comparison, always up to date!

  • Jonathan Winters III

    Nice but I believe the PSVR2 in the header image is disproportionately larger than it actually is.

  • Daniel Gallo

    i think my question im gonna ask is answered when it said inbetween the lines of inside out tracking..but im still not as Bright as most of you guys out there :) just an advid gamer.

    but if someone can make it Crystal clear for me. will psvr2 be full standing room scale VR via the cameras like quest 2? or is it still sitdown vr like psvr1? thx in advance!