Apple Vision Pro highlights PSVR 2's biggest flaw
Apple's new mixed reality headset is a step above PSVR 2 in several ways, but there's one feature that Sony could have done so much more with
The Apple Vision Pro promises to deliver a huge leap in the virtual reality and augmented reality space, and ushers in a new era that Apple is calling “spatial computing”.
And while many will balk at the Apple Vision Pro price of $3,499, seeing the headset in action highlights PSVR 2’s biggest flaw: the lackluster Cinematic Mode on Sony’s PS5 headset.
Even though Apple’s headset isn’t designed to deliver cutting-edge VR game experiences, one thing Apple has doubled down on is how the Vision Pro delivers entertainment experiences. And it looks amazing.
You’ll be able to watch your favorite streaming apps like Apple TV and Disney+ on massive, resizable floating, displays that blend seamlessly into your personal space, and you can even transform your surroundings to create a more immersive experience. What’s more, you can play hundreds of Apple Arcade games – ironically, with a PS5 controller – from day one.
The razor-sharp resolution of the Apple Vision Pro headset means content should look crystal clear, as you’re getting the equivalent of a 4K display for each eye. The micro OLED panel should also provide vibrant colors and perfect black levels, which is always superior to what an LCD panel can provide, and the Vision Pro’s audio promises to deliver convincing spatial sound without the need for earbuds or overear headphones.
Compare that to the PSVR 2’s Cinematic Mode, and it’s hard not to be envious. Sony’s headset maxes out at 1080p resolution in Cinematic Mode, and although you can adjust the screen size an arbitrary amount, the clarity of the display leaves a lot to be desired. You’re also completely shut off from your surroundings, and can’t freely position the screen in your virtual space which sits in a void of darkness.
To make matters worse, viewing a flat image tends to look blurry on PSVR 2 due to Sony opting to use Fresnel lenses. Unless you’re looking at an area directly, your peripheral vision can often look blurry and out of focus. The PSVR 2 has a notoriously finicky sweet spot, and while it’s possible to overlook fringing, haloing, and blurriness when playing an engaging VR game, it’s hard to ignore and downright distracting when you’re staring at a flat image. Try playing one of the best PS5 games on PSVR 2 in Cinematic Mode, and it’s extremely noticeable.
Seeing Apple demo how games will look on the Vision Pro only makes Sony’s decision to skimp on the PSVR 2’s Cinematic Mode all the more frustrating. And yes, even though Apple Arcade games are far more simplistic in nature compared to the best PSVR 2 games, it’s still disappointing that I can’t enjoy playing PS5 and PS4 games using PlayStation VR2’s Cinematic Mode without massive compromises. I’m also sure Apple will expand upon how gaming works on Vision Pro in the future.
We also know that PSVR 2 can’t play 3D movies, which seems like another easy win for Sony to bring more entertainment options to its PS5 headset. Curiously, the original PSVR could play 3D Blu-Ray movies, and when the PSVR 2 price is $549 (excluding the fact you need a PS5 for it to work), it’s a confusing omission. We already know the Apple Vision Pro supports 3D movies, just like the Meta Quest 2 and the upcoming Meta Quest 3.
Comparing Apple’s mixed reality headset to PSVR 2 may seem unfair – after all, it costs more than six times the price of a PlayStation VR2, more than three times when you include the cost of a PS5. But the truth of the matter is that Sony could have done more with its Cinematic Mode and, judging by the PSVR 2’s sales, it can only help make the headset more appealing. It might also make it easier to answer the question: Is PSVR 2 worth it?
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