Oculus Quest 2
Meta is taken the gaming world by storm with the Quest 2, a powerful standalone VR headset that's quickly become the go-to VR console of choice for over 10 million gamers. It may not have the big-name IPs of the PlayStation brand, but many bespoke indie-built experiences have already made a name for themselves, and the system is both inexpensive and incredibly easy to use anywhere you want.
Oculus Quest 2
The best in wireless
Sony aims to deliver the best VR experience by taking advantage of the PS5's power and well-known brand-name games. Cutting-edge specs and new consumer features like eye-tracking and headset haptics should allow Sony to make some mind-blowing experiences that aren't possible anywhere else. It's just a shame that it still needs a single cable to connect to a PS5.
The future of VR
The Quest 2 is designed for true freedom of movement, giving gamers the ability to play VR anywhere, whether that's a different room in the house or an entirely new location. The PS VR2, meanwhile, is being designed to create cutting-edge experiences — both visually and interactively — with Sony's unique blend of visual prowess in the PS5 and features that other consumer VR devices have never seen.
But when weighing the Quest 2 vs. PS VR2, which system is truly right for you? We may not know what the PS VR2 headset looks like just yet, but we know a ton about the rest of the experience. So if you're in the market for a new VR system in 2022, we've got the answer for you.
Console vs. console-required
The Quest 2 and PS VR2 couldn't be any more different if they tried. Sure, they're both VR headsets and have plenty of overlapping features — like having four cameras on each headset that track the controllers and the player's location in the room — but Meta has two huge advantages from the get-go: price and ease of use.
|Quest 2||PS VR2|
|Resolution||1832x1920 per eye||2000x2040 per eye|
|Refresh rate||72–120 Hz||90–120 Hz|
|Field of view||90 degrees||110 degrees|
|IPD adjustment||Manual with 3 presets||Manual|
|Sensors||Six-axis motion sensing system, IR Proximity sensor||Six-axis motion sensing system, IR Proximity sensor|
|Cameras||Four cameras for headset/controller tracking||Four cameras for headset/controller tracking, two IR cameras for eye tracking (integrated)|
|Audio||Integrated mic, headphone jack||Integrated mic, headphone jack|
|Connection||USB-C (for PC VR connection)||USB-C|
|Controllers||Oculus Touch 3rd gen||PS VR2 Sense controllers|
|Compatibility||Quest, PC VR||PS5|
The Quest 2 is designed to be a completely standalone VR console. It doesn't need a PC or console to power the experience and, because of that, it ends up being a far simpler experience than most other VR headsets. To play games on a Quest 2, you just put it on your head and turn it on.
There are no wires to deal with and no annoying configuration changes or tweaks to make to get going. It just works. But you'll need to decide between the Quest 2 128GB vs. 256GB since all of the games are stored on the headset.
Meanwhile, the PS VR2 requires a PS5 to work — a console that's been notoriously impossible to buy for many gamers — which adds extra cost to the equation and at least one extra step to get started. That extra step, of course, is the USB Type-C cable you'll need to plug into the front of the PS5 to power the PS VR2.
Sony hasn't revealed the price of the PS VR2 just yet, but we expect it to cost at least $300 on its own. Add that to the price of buying a PS5 — which starts at $399 — and you'll quickly see that the PS VR2 likely costs about double compared to the Quest 2.
The Quest 2 starts at $299, the same price as a Nintendo Switch or an Xbox Series S, making it a three-way tie for the least expensive console in this generation.
That wire, though
Since the Quest 2 is a standalone console, you won't ever need to wire it up. Yes, that even includes times when you might want to play PC VR games, and there are plenty of ways to play SteamVR on Quest 2 wirelessly.
It also means that the Quest 2 can have a significantly larger library of games than the PS VR2 will likely ever have. With the ability to play both standalone games built specifically for the Quest 2 and PC VR titles from SteamVR and the Oculus Rift store, the Quest 2 is an incredibly versatile headset in every way.
But most gamers will only play games made for the Quest 2, meaning they won't experience titles with cutting-edge visuals and physics modeling like Half-Life: Alyx.
Being completely wireless means the Quest 2 has to run on a processor capable of sipping power from a battery while remaining cool enough to stay inside of a standalone VR headset. That's no easy task and, because of it, the Quest 2's visuals are more on the level of a PlayStation 2 or, at best, early Xbox 360 games.
Meanwhile, the PS VR2 is powered by the PS5, a powerhouse of a console that'll deliver breathtaking games like Horizon Call of the Mountain that are simply impossible to deliver on a mobile chipset. The PS VR2 has an OLED display — which will provide much better black levels when compared to the Quest 2's LCD — and it's higher-resolution, to boot.
Sony is also widening the field of view (FoV) to 110-degrees — up from 100 on the original PSVR — so your peripheral vision in VR is significantly expanded. Meanwhile, the Quest 2 uses a relatively narrow 90-degree FoV that some say feels claustrophobic.
In addition to that, Sony is outfitting the PS VR2 with a bevy of new features we have yet to see on any consumer-grade VR system. For example, eye-tracking will enable a more realistic social presence by letting you make actual eye contact with other players.
Eye-tracking also doubles as a way to get better graphics out of the PS5 by enabling foveated rendering, a trick that only renders the center of your vision in the highest resolution. That means Sony can pack better visuals in every game since most of the display will render at a lower resolution.
Sony is also adding impressive haptic feedback into the controller and the headset itself. Not only will the PS VR2 Sense controllers feature a brand new design and advanced haptic motors inside for realistic rumble, but the triggers are the same adaptive triggers found on the PS5's Dual Sense controller. That'll make grabbing virtual objects feel more real than ever.
Additionally, the PS VR2 headset has a haptic motor inside, letting you feel every punch and shot you take in a game.
But there's no denying how unfortunate it is that Sony isn't offering a wireless PS VR2 at launch. Having a cable attached to the PS5 means that Sony can make a smaller and lighter headset — since batteries and other processing components won't need to be inside — but it also means that you're still physically tethered to the PS5 by a cable.
Cables aren't the end of the world, but they certainly can be experience-breaking when they get tangled up.
Even giving gamers the ability to buy an extra add-on would have made the difference, but this could very well happen in the future. Until we what the headset looks like and how this cable attaches, however, there's little point in speculation.
Thankfully, both the PS VR2 and Quest 2 use what's called inside-out tracking, which means that four cameras on the headset can track player movement in the room. That means that players can move naturally in virtual spaces, making them feel more real. Both systems also use these cameras to track the controller movements.
The big names (and the big games)
Since the Quest 2 debuted near the end of 2020, Meta has been acquiring small studios and making big partnerships with VR publishers. We've seen big-name remakes like Resident Evil 4 VR launch exclusively on Quest 2 and we know that several other big-name remakes are on the way, including GTA: San Andreas.
But many of those big-name games are titles that gamers, especially seasoned ones, have already played in years past. Sure, VR puts a new perspective on these games — and in the case of Resident Evil 4, makes a classic even better than before — but there's nothing quite like a brand new experience in a world you're familiar with or with characters you love.
That's where Sony's strengths come in. The PS VR2 has the might of PlayStation Studios behind it — a massive conglomeration of developers working toward one goal: to make as many award-winning PlayStation-exclusive games as possible.
This past year has delivered quite a bit of growth to PlayStation Studios, the least of which is certainly not the acquisition of several proven VR developers. In fact, Horizon Call of the Mountain — the first known PlayStation VR2 exclusive title — was developed in partnership with one of the studios Sony acquired in 2021. It'll put players literally in the shoes of Aloy, giving them the ability to explore the mechanized world of Horizon like never before.
But Meta could be playing catch-up in a way that no one would have expected just a year or two ago. They made a deal with Ubisoft to create a Quest-exclusive release of Splinter Cell and Assassin's Creed, which could spawn several other partnerships with companies as they look to spread their wings onto a popular VR platform.
There's also something to be said about truly original content. Since Oculus Studios is made up of independent development studios, original IPs made specifically for VR might prove better experiences in the end.
And with 10 million Quest 2's and growing, Meta has the most extensive VR user base of any company on the market. Sony isn't too far behind with 6 million original PSVR units, but the PS VR2 is destined to cost so much more than the Quest 2 likely means that Meta will continue to dominate VR-exclusive deals thanks to that large user base.
Reach for what's now
The PS VR2 might be amazing a year or two from now — assuming it goes on sale sometime in 2022 — but the Quest 2 is the headset to beat for a long time to come. It's been out for well over a full year now and has gotten exponentially better.
While the Quest 2 still requires a Facebook account to use for now — easily the biggest downside for some people — this requirement is disappearing sometime this year.
If you don't like the idea of using your Facebook account on your Quest 2, waiting until this requirement changes might be worthwhile. Even still, if the idea of using a Meta-owned headset with Facebook ties is a big negative, Sony's PS VR2 is the best way to go once it comes out.
For everyone else, the wireless freedom, ease of use, and low entry cost of the Quest 2 make it incredibly easy to recommend. It's the best way to experience VR, no matter what console you prefer or even if you are a PC gamer. You'll get an amazing library of games and content that work on the Quest 2 by itself, plus the ability to play PC VR games if you've got a VR-ready gaming PC.
Meanwhile, the PS VR2 will only ever work on the PS5 since it's not designed to be a standalone headset. That's not a problem if you're a PS5 gamer but, given the extra cost and the difficulty acquiring a PS5 has been since launch, the Quest 2's lower price, versatility, and ability to actually buy the thing make it a no-brainer choice right now.
The reigning champ
Oculus Quest 2
No wires, no mess
It's a totally wireless VR console, and it's much less expensive than the PS5. So see what all the fuss is about!
A new fighter has appeared
The PS VR2 promises to be the most cutting-edge consumer-grade VR headset ever created when it eventually comes out, and it's all powered by the PS5.
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