We've predicted pretty much every year of the last decade will be the year that VR finally hits the mainstream, but it seems like it's finally happening. Not only did sales of the Oculus (sorry, Meta) Quest 2 soar last Christmas, but Sony's PlayStation VR2 (or PS VR2) headset for the PS5 is also set to drop next year. And the latter is looking pretty wild.
Sony has just revealed an early look at some new features as well as the UX for PS VR2, including an impressive 'see-through view' and a customisable play area. But the feature I'm most intrigued by is Broadcast Mode. (Feeling lucky? Check out the latest PS5 restock news.)
In a new blog post, Sony says Broadcast Mode will allow you to film yourself while playing, by connecting a PS5 HD Camera to the console. "It’s a great way to show your movements and reactions during a boss battle and share your reactions with your fellow gamers as it happens!"
Now, streaming yourself playing a standard video game is one thing. But as anyone who has ever given VR a try will attest, it isn't always easy to remain aware of your surroundings, especially if you're new to it. It's no surprise that insurance claims for VR-related damage (smashed TVs, that kind of thing) have rocketed recently. Plus, streamers are known to, shall we say, ham up their reactions for the camera – could encouraging gamers to film themselves playing wearing a VR headset be a recipe for disaster?
Of course, the more gamers get used to VR gameplay, the more graceful it's going to look. But I have a feeling we might be treated to a few You've Been Framed-style accident videos when PS VR2 finally arrives. At least it's evidence for the insurance claim, I guess.
Still, some of the other newly announced features might mitigate some of the risk. Customised Play Area lets users receive a warning if they get too close to a physical boundary of their choosing. (Hopefully it'll let you know you're about to punch the TV before it's too late.)
Meanwhile, See-Through View (above) uses cameras inside PS VR2 for "when you want to easily check where the PS VR2 Sense controllers are in your room without taking the headset off." So if you're mid-way through a particularly expressive streaming session, you can press the function button on the headset to make sure you're not about to trip over the coffee table. Result!
From specs to controller design, Sony's upcoming headset does sound pretty exciting – check out everything we know about PS VR2 so far (spoiler alert: we don't know the price yet). And if you want to get into the VR game right now, your best bet is the recently rebranded Meta Quest 2. Take a look at today's best deals below, and be sure to check out our main roundup of Meta Quest deals.