Meta is the undisputed champion when it comes to VR and AR headsets, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have rivals.
Launched in 2023, PlayStation VR 2 dares to challenge the Meta Quest headset as the most popular VR platform
But there are a number of key differences between PlayStation VR 2 and the new Meta Quest 3 that you should be aware of before committing to a purchase. We’ve reviewed both headsets and have therefore created this guide to help you decide which is the best VR headset for you.
The main difference between Meta Quest 3 and PlayStation VR 2 is the fact that the former is an all-in-one headset, meaning it doesn’t need to be connected to an external device to work.
This means that you simply need to turn on the Quest 3, slide it over your head and then you can play a range of games straight away. And if you want to play more demanding games that the internal chip can’t handle (like Asgard’s Wrath), you’ll need to plug it into a PC.
The PlayStation lacks this flexibility and must be connected to the PS5 via a USB-C cable to run any game. This can be very restrictive, not only because you need to be close to the PS5 console, but also because the cord coming out of the headset can be a tripping hazard.
The Meta Quest 3 is also smaller and lighter, tipping the scales at just 515g. The PlayStation VR 2 isn’t that much heavier at 560g, but the pressure on our head started to feel uncomfortable after an hour or so of playtime.
The PSVR 2 arguably has a more secure fit on your head, with a halo design that tightens around your head as you adjust the physical dial. The Quest 3 has a Velcro strap instead, although you can upgrade to the Elite strap for an extra cost.
The Meta Quest 3 controls are extremely simple, with buttons on the front and triggers on the back where your fingers rest naturally. We found them to reliably track your hands and were comfortable to use.
The PlayStation VR Sense controllers are very similar in design, although they have large circular tracking rings that can get in the way. Sony has also packed them with such impressive technology, with immersive haptic feedback and adaptive triggers giving the controllers an edge over the Quests.
If you run out of battery, you’ll be able to charge the Sense controllers via the USB-C charging cable, with each controller lasting around 4.5 hours of playtime. The Quest controllers have much better endurance, but require AA batteries which can be wasteful.
Features and performance
When it comes to features, the first thing to note is that the Meta Quest 3 is much more versatile than the PlayStation VR 2. Not only can it be used as a VR headset, but it’s also capable of mixed reality, mixing digital creations with your real life environment. For example, in Lego BRICKtales we could build virtual Lego sets on our table top.
The PlayStation VR 2 lacks this functionality, with passthrough cameras that can only really help you find your controls while wearing the headset. It’s only worth buying the PSVR 2 for gaming, while the Quest has many lifestyle and productivity applications.
However, there is little that separates the two headsets in terms of screen quality. Quest 3 has a resolution of 2064 x 2208 pixels per eye, 110-degree field of view and up to a refresh rate of 120Hz. In comparison, the PlayStation VR 2 has a resolution of 2000 x 2040 per eye and exactly the same field of view and maximum refresh rate. However, the PSVR 2’s OLED screen technology makes the screen look a little more vibrant and colorful.
The PlayStation VR 2 also has a slight advantage in that it supports eye tracking, which has been cleverly implemented in select games and used for foveated rendering to boost gaming performance. The Quest 3 misses out on this feature, but we don’t think it’s an omission that will make much of a difference.
As PSVR 2 harnesses the power of PS5, it performs extremely well as expected. That said, we were incredibly impressed with the performance and visual fidelity of Meta Quest 3 despite using an integrated processor.
Games and software
Just like a game console, a VR headset lives and dies by its game catalog and Meta Quest 3 and PlayStation VR 2 excel in this area.
Meta has been busy building a huge library of games and applications for its Quest headsets, and it’s great to see that Quest 3 is backwards compatible with all the software you previously purchased for older headsets.
Some of the most popular Quest games include Superhot VR, Beat Saber and Resident Evil 4. Plugging the headset into your PC will expand the library even further, giving you access to Steam VR to play the likes of Half-Life Alyx.
PlayStation VR 2 is unfortunately not backwards compatible, so you’ll have to start building your game library from scratch. There are already some great games on the headset like Gran Turismo 7, Resident Evil Village, Horizon Call of the Mountain and Beat Sabre.
The PlayStation VR 2 cannot connect to a PC to access additional games, which is a major setback. As a result, Meta Quest 3 has a much larger game library and also has access to lifestyle and entertainment apps on top.
Meta Quest 3 and PlayStation VR 2 are very different headsets. Quest 3’s biggest strength is its all-in-one design, so you can start using it without being connected to a console or computer. It also has a great library of games and apps, while the mixed reality feature gives more room for growth in the future.
The PlayStation VR 2 is more of a one-trick pony, limited to use in conjunction with a PS5 console. At least that means you’ll get access to PlayStation exclusives like Gran Turismo 7 and Horizon Call of the Mountain, although more games like this are needed to make the PlayStation VR 2 a more compelling purchase.
The price of the PSVR 2 can’t be ignored either, costing £529.99/$549.99 while requiring ownership of a PS5. With a starting price of £479.99/$499.99, Meta Quest 3 undercuts its rival without having to buy a PC or console. As a result, we recommend that most people opt for Meta Quest 3 for now, although PlayStation fans may well be swayed if greater game support comes for PSVR 2 in the future.
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