PSVR 2 backward compatibility explained

PSVR 2 backward compatibility explained | A photo of PSVR 2 headset and the controllers
Credit: Sony

PSVR 2 backward compatibility explained | A photo of PSVR 2 headset and the controllers
Credit: Sony

With Sony's latest VR headset scheduled to debut on February 23, 2023, people are wondering about PSVR 2's backward compatibility support.

Hideaki Nishino, senior vice president of platform experience at PlayStation, shed some light on the topic in an interview with the Official PlayStation Podcast in September.

So, let's find out what he said and what it means to the backward compatibility of the PSVR 2 headset.

Is PSVR 2 backward compatible?

Let's cut to the chase. PSVR 2 isn't backward compatible. That means VR content or games made for the original PSVR will not work on PSVR 2.

The news is a bit disappointing for those people who have a huge library of PSVR titles and have been hoping to play them on PSVR 2.

It sucks but it makes sense. Sony wants to deliver a truly next-generation experience with PSVR 2 and this sacrifice seems necessary to make that happen.

Why does PSVR 2 lack backward compatibility?

PSVR games are not compatible with PSVR 2 because PSVR 2 has different hardware and tech than PSVR. For example, PSVR 1 required the PS4 camera for tracking whereas PSVR 2 has onboard cameras for ‘inside-out’ tracking.

There would be technical hurdles to getting the old games to run on the new hardware since the PSVR 2 uses entirely different tracking technology.

Another big improvement to PSVR 2 is the new ‘Sense’ controllers. PSVR 1 relied on outdated PS Move controllers that lacked thumbsticks. The new PSVR 2 controllers have thumbsticks and two face buttons, similar to that of Oculus Rift, Quest, Valve Index, and more.

It would be an engineering nightmare to translate the PSVR input to the PSVR 2. Moreover, developing games for PSVR 2 requires a whole different approach than the original PSVR. That's why Sony decided to focus on developing games specifically for PSVR 2, instead of porting the old-gen versions.

Is it possible to port PSVR games to PSVR 2?

Technically speaking, it is possible to port PSVR games with dev patches or updates but it would be a very expensive and time-consuming process to make this happen. Nevertheless, some developers are releasing free updates for select games.

Here are a list of original PSVR games that are getting free PSVR 2 upgrades. Additionally, Sony has announced a handful of games for its PSVR 2 headset and says there are more in development.

We're getting Horizon Call of the Mountain, Resident Evil Village, Resident Evil 4, Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge, Demeo, The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners Chapter 2, Firewall Ultra, No Man’s Sky, and many more.

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