Throughout the lifespan of the Quest 2, we’ve been regularly blown away by what the hardware can achieve. It’s powered by the Snapdragon XR2 which was based on the chipset that powered early 2020 smartphones – this should have significantly limited the types of games we’ve seen released on the platform.
But, because the Oculus Quest 2 (opens in a new tab) sold so well that the developers – to completely quote Jurassic Park’s Dr. Ian Malcolm – found a way. The last of the awesome ports is definitely Iron Man VR (opens in a new tab)which pushes the graphical limits of Quest 2 hardware just as we’ve seen games like Red Matter 2 (opens in a new tab)The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners and Resident Evil 4 VR before it.
But, no matter how hard the developers push the Quest 2 hardware, it will never look as good as the original PSVR which launched in 2016. So imagine how big the gap will be when developers are allowed to target the mighty PS5 hardware when the PS VR2 (opens in a new tab) comes out early next year. This will absolutely blow up the quest and it won’t even be close.
What a yarn can do
Apart from the astronomical price (opens in a new tab), the PS VR2’s biggest weakness is the cable you have to connect to the USB Type-C port right on the front of the PS5. There are really no big words here. Connected virtual reality sucks and I’m not looking forward to going back to it at all. Having a cable attached to the headphones is like going back to watching black and white TV.
But, with those caveats in mind, Sony’s requirement to use a cable means we’re going to be getting the highest quality VR experience possible. It’s not just because a cable will (effectively) deliver uncompressed video and audio quality to the PS VR2 headset, but because it means you have having PS5-level hardware connected to the headset just to play.
To save things momentarily, let’s take a look at a quick graphical comparison between the original PSVR version of Iron Man VR and the new Quest version of the game.
Right from the start of the game, you can see how much higher quality the assets in the PSVR version of the game are. Lighting is better. Textures are higher resolution. The environment has a lot more detail, including small bits of foliage and boulders strewn all over Malibu’s rocky landscape. Even effects like the flames coming out of Iron Man’s palm-mounted rocket boosters look completely different and much better on PSVR.
Now the only thing that doesn’t look better on the PSVR is the resolution. The Quest 2 and Quest Pro both feature much higher resolution screens than the PSVR headset and as such the PSVR version looks soft and muddy compared to those systems. But, other than that, the PSVR version is a more technically beautiful product.
With this in mind, consider the fact that everything PSVR games are designed to run on PS4 hardware, a console that was released in November 2013. In effect, this means the Quest 2 is still more than a generation behind when it comes to graphics, as it can render game-like visuals. PS3 era in most cases.
While quest 3 (opens in a new tab) is due out towards the end of next year and is said to be twice as powerful as the Quest 2, which will only put the headset on PS4-era visuals under the best of circumstances.
Meanwhile, PS VR2 launch games like Horizon: Call of the Mountain look like what you see above and still even blow the Quest 3 games out of the water visually. There’s really no way to make a mobile chipset compete against a console as big and powerful as a PS5 – due to thermal and power limitations – and that’s great news for anyone considering buying a PS. VR2 when it is released next year.
I have no doubt that developers will continue to target Quest hardware due to its popularity – after all, 9 of the 11 new PS VR2 games (opens in a new tab) announced yesterday are either already on Quest or are also being released for it – but all of these developers are including substantial graphical improvements for each game and, in some cases, also expanding gameplay to accommodate the PS5’s more powerful hardware.
Want to get the best of virtual reality? Make sure you’re ready by picking up a PS5 now so you can enjoy PS VR2 when it’s released in February 2023!
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