A reader is convinced that the PSVR2 will be dead on arrival when it’s released next months and urges Sony to change its plans.
I don’t need to tell anyone that spending £530 on a VR headset, that needs a £480 console to work, is not going to be many people’s priority during the worst financial crisis in a decade. The PlayStation VR2 is out next month and I don’t think it’s too outrageous to suggest that it is not going to be a success. It almost literally can’t be, given the amount of money involved and the situation most people find themselves in at the moment.
Obviously, the timing is not Sony’s fault but I don’t feel they’ve done anything to try and compensate for it. The line-up of games might be big but most of them are just ports or VR versions of existing games, with Horizon: Call Of The Mountain being the only big name first party game. I don’t feel that’s nearly enough to tempt anyone that wasn’t already a hardcore VR fan and had the money already put aside.
But there are other problems too. Like most recent Sony titles, there’s been very little hype or marketing, especially for something that’s out in just a few weeks. I don’t think most normal people will have any idea it exists, let alone that it’s out so soon, all of which seems to point to it being a major flop.
Even if it weren’t for the cost of living crisis, releasing the headset this early in the PlayStation 5’s life still seems a very strange priority. Again, Sony couldn’t have known about the pandemic and how that would slow down new game development but now they don’t have any normal games with a release date anymore and yet the PlayStation VR2 and all its games are still coming out in February.
I really think this is a mistake. If I was Jim Ryan I would’ve postponed the whole thing a long time ago and put the developers involved to work on normal games. When the first PlayStation VR came out it was long after the PlayStation 4 had been well established and it made sense to release an interesting new peripheral, since the cost of the console itself was long enough ago.
That’s not how things are now though. It’s just impossible to imagine a worse time to be doing all this. You can’t even say they’re only aiming it at a hardcore crowd, which would’ve made some kind of sense given the price, because Sony says it’s planning to make 2 million of them by launch. That’s a lot more than the original.
You’ve also got the problem that VR is difficult to demonstrate unless you have a go yourself and I just don’t believe it’s going to be that much better than the original or the Oculus Quest 2. I’m sure it will be, technically, but it’s still going to be tethered to your console, so you won’t have real freedom from it, and I’ve heard nothing to suggest that headaches and nausea won’t still be a problem.
I bought the first PlayStation VR, when it was in a Black Friday deal, and I did enjoy it, but it was a very difficult thing to use, locking yourself off from the real world, putting up with the motion sickness, and playing a lot of games that, to be honest, were pretty gimmicky.
At least the PlayStation VR 2 will solve the problems with long load times, and maybe the higher resolution will improve the nausea problems, but at the end of the day you’re still standing around with a large helmet on your head, attached by a cable to a console.
It’s probably too late for Sony to change their plans but I really think they’ve misjudged this. Maybe I’ll pick up the PlayStation VR2 anyway though, in another Black Friday deal in a couple of years…
By reader Creature
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