PSVR 1 vs PSVR 2: What are the differences, similarities, and which is better?

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Wondering whether to go for a PSVR 1 or a PSVR 2? Trying to figure out the pros and cons of the Sony virtual reality headsets? Well, you've come to the right place.

We've already compared the PSVR 2 to the Oculus Quest here. But how does the PSVR 2 stack up against its predecessor, the PSVR 1? We'll take a look at the similarities, the differences, and which one will be the better option for you.

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READ MORE: PSVR 2 announced by Sony: Specs, Features, Games and more!

Everything you need to know is right this way.

PSVR 1

The original PSVR launched way back in 2016, and had sold 5 million units by the end of 2019. Designed to play games on PS4, the current PSVR is also compatible with the PS5. Backwards compatibility is available through the PS5, with some games being enhanced for the new console.

PSVR 2

The PSVR 2 meanwhile, was officially confirmed in February 2021. In a blog post, Sony confirmed that they are hoping to release the new PSVR with a host of new features, including an improved controller. They also set expectations that we won't be seeing the new VR system until at least 2022. The original PSVR didn't come out until 3 years after the PS4. The PSVR 2 will run exclusively with the PS5, so you'll need to make sure you've managed to get your hands on one before you can start enjoying this, when it is finally released.

So let's compare the two, and see how they stack up, based on what we currently know.

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READ MORE: PSVR 2 vs Oculus Quest 2: Which is better?

Specs and graphics

The PSVR 1 has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 with 386 ppi on a 5.7 inch screen. It can run at up to 120hz for a smooth experience. As we noted here, a company part-owned by Sony has announced a VR display that would allow for a 2160 x 2432 display, also running at 120hz, with 1001 ppi. So while not guaranteed, this is certainly a possible option for the PSVR 2.

In terms of its power, the PSVR 2 will connect to the PS5 via a single cord, so will be taking full advantage of the processing power of the PlayStation console. 16GB of GDDR6 RAM on a custom AMD Zen 2 GPU means the PSVR 2 will almost certainly be a match for any VR headset on the market, when it is released.

Update: Further announcements from Sony in relation to PSVR 2 have shed a little more light on what it has to offer. In terms of display, the new VR headset will offer a resolution of 2000 x 2040 per eye. This will be on an OLED display capable of 4K HDR. It offers a panel refresh rate of 90Hz and 120Hz, as well as a field of view of around 110 degrees.

PSVR 1 vs PSVR 2 Features

The PSVR 1 is a well-established headset, now almost 5 years old. It has 3D audio, and a built-in mic. You can also use the PS Move motion controller in compatible games, for a more immersive experience. Otherwise PSVR 1 is compatible with the PS4 DualShock controller. PSVR 1 utilises a camera array for tracking the movements of the player.

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The PSVR 2 introduces an all-new controller system, promising to incorporate many of the features of the DualSense controller. Adaptive triggers, haptic feedback and finger-touch detection are all expected. This would represent a huge leap forward in terms of the controllers. And they are pictured in black. So that's nice.

The headset itself has also been given haptics. A single motor is built-in, allowing for additional sensory input when playing. Examples provided by Sony include the sensation of an elevated heart-rate, or the rush of objects passing close by your character's head. Eye-tracking by the PSVR 2 also means that there is a potential additional input for the game character to respond to.

In their latest blog post, Sony finally gave us our first proper look at the PSVR 2 headset. Said to be "inspired by the look of the PS5 family of products" Sony's stated goal is to create a headset that makes you "immersed in your game world, to the point where you almost forget you are using a headset or controller".

They have confirmed an adjustable headband and scope, as well as adding a lens adjustment dial to help match the lens distance between their eyes. They've made the design slimmer and lighter, as well as adding vents to improve airflow and reduce lens fogging. We'd expect this to be a lot more comfortable than the original headset.

READ MORE: PS5 Black Version: Will Sony release an official black PlayStation 5 console in 2021?

PSVR 1 vs PSVR 2 Games

Given the PSVR 2 has yet to be released, it obviously doesn't have any games to play just yet. But the backwards compatibility of the PS5 will hopefully mean that the PSVR 2 will also be able to play all the VR games that are currently available. It is likely that Sony will release some new games exclusively for the PSVR 2 over the course of time. One game specifically for the PSVR 2 is already in the works. Horizon Call of the Mountainfrom Guerilla and Firesprite will give players an even more immersive way to experience the world of Horizon. It's certainly an enticing prospect.

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PSVR 1 in comparison, has a library of over 500 games that are available at the moment. It also offers videos, streaming services, movies, simulators and music experiences. While we can expect Sony to make these available on the 2, it remains unconfirmed.

PSVR 1 vs PSVR 2 Price

PSVR 1 cost around $399 on release. We can only hope that Sony will try to make the PSVR 2 available at a similar price point, and include any essential accessories, like the camera, if it needs one. Given you need a PS5 for PSVR 2, you are potentially looking at a combined outlay of close to $1000. If you already have a PS5 then obviously that cost is already covered. There is always the possibility that the new VR headset will come with a premium price because of new features. And the PSVR 1 may get further discounted once the PSVR 2 comes out.

Read more: The best PlayStation games we want on PSVR 2

Which is better?

Obviously, we are comparing something that exists with something that doesn't. We fully expect PSVR 2 to come loaded with new features, and we know it represents a significant upgrade over the existing hardware. But how much better, and what sort of value it represents, only time will tell. For now though, the PSVR 1 is your best (and only) Sony virtual reality option.

Sony has yet to confirm the price of the PSVR 2. But that will go a long way to determining what sort of value it represents. If you just want something to introduce you to VR, with a strong back catalogue of games at a lower price point, PSVR 1 may be the right choice for you. On the other hand, if you are looking for the latest hardware, with the potential to make full use of the power of the PS5, there's only one winner.