Sony just convinced me to buy a PSVR 2 at CES 2023
I've been waiting for these two titles to be announced before I dove into virtual reality on PS5
Sometimes all it takes is a couple of games to convince you to buy a piece of hardware. In PSVR 2’s case, I’ve been waiting for two games in particular before I hit that pre-order button: Gran Turismo 7 and Beat Saber.
Sony announced that both games are coming to PlayStation VR2 during its CES 2023 conference, and in Gran Turismo 7’s case, it’s a free upgrade for existing owners and will be available during the headset’s launch on February 22.
That’s a surprising act of generosity from Sony. The Japanese company has often demanded a small upgrade fee this generation or even charged full price in the guise of a re-release.
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But not this time. Gran Turismo 7 is easily one of the best PS5 games and one of my personal picks for the best games of 2022. The addition of VR has the potential to take the driving sim to a whole new level and I can’t wait to experience the game’s glorious visuals and meticulously recreated tracks in virtual reality.
The game’s first-person cockpit view is a natural fit for virtual reality, and the brief clip Sony showed off expands the view to where you can see your driver’s legs operating the pedals. Pretty cool.
Questions remain over the scope of GT7’s PSVR 2 upgrade, though. GT Sport got the VR treatment on the original PSVR but was limited to a few specific modes: head-to-head races and time trials. If Gran Turismo 7 follows suit and only ties PSVR 2 to a few gimmicky experiences, then that’ll firmly slam the brakes on my enthusiasm.
I want the full GT7 experience – online races included – in VR please, Sony.
I also hope the game’s pin-sharp 4K visuals don’t suffer too much when transitioning to PlayStation VR2. While I understand there may be some graphical compromises, GT7’s near photo-realistic visuals are part of its appeal. The PSVR 2’s high-resolution OLED display should ensure everything looks crisp, but hitting the 90Hz and 120Hz refresh rates means some cutbacks could occur.
Another title that’s become a must-have for any VR device is Beat Saber. I’m yet to experience the arm-swinging antics of the popular rhythm game, but it immediately topped my most-wanted list when Sony started drip-feeding its PSVR 2 games list. There are now more than 30 games confirmed for launch, and something like Beat Saber has instant appeal to the masses.
Beat Saber will also be a good test of the PSVR 2’s discreet air vent, which is supposed to keep you cool during those particularly sweaty gaming sessions. My cardiovascular fitness has taken quite the hit during the pandemic, so I’m sure my forehead will start to glisten after a few fast-paced songs.
Two games might not be enough to justify the PSVR 2’s eye-watering price tag of $549 for some, but GT7 alone was my most-played game on PS5 last year and continues to receive post-launch updates that add more tracks and cars to collect. I’m by no means finished with Polyphony Digital’s racer, and PSVR 2 integration will only reignite my motivation to get behind the wheel.
Another title that ensures PSVR 2 owners will have plenty to play at a launch is the free Resident Evil Village VR upgrade. Capcom’s excellent horror game promises to deliver a chilling virtual reality experience, and I can’t wait to witness Lady Dimitrescu’s nine-foot majesty in person.
It may have taken a while, but suddenly there’s a strong case to buy into Sony’s second stab at VR. Of course, you’ll need to find a PS5 restock first if you’ve yet to nab a PlayStation 5 but stock levels have improved significantly since launch.