I was thrilled when I learned that one of PS VR’s best games, Moss, was getting a sequel. Moss: Book 2 launched on March 31, continuing the adventures of the game’s adorable mouse hero. I was eager to dive in, but I was less excited by the hoops I’d need to go through to accomplish it. Namely, it would mean dusting off my PS VR.
After setting up my headset for the first time in well over a year — and making a mess of my entertainment center in the process — the PlayStation VR 2 can’t come soon enough. It feels like a waste to play great games on a headset that’s about to become obsolete.
A long, long setup
If you’ve never set up a PS VR before, you might be surprised by how complicated the process is. The headset, which launched in 2016, was already a bit of a mess to hook up at the time. The convoluted setup only sticks out more six years later, especially next to something as elegant as the Meta Quest 2.
The setup requires six different wires in total. That’s due to the fact that the headset comes with its own external processing unit, a black box that acts as a middleman between console and headset. A wire that splits into two connections links the headset to the processor. That black box needs to be plugged into an outlet for power, as well as connected to a PlayStation through a USB port. That’s all before getting to the HDMI setup, which requires the box to connect to both the TV and console separately. On top of that, the device needs a PlayStation camera to function, adding one last connection.
The PlayStation VR 2 will hook up to a PS5 with one single wire.
Speaking of the PS5, the current-gen console has only complicated setup further. Since the headset was built for the PS4, it doesn’t perfectly adapt to new hardware. For one, the camera won’t connect to the PS5 without a specific adapter that has to be specially ordered from Sony (thankfully, I had one on hand). As a final complication, the PS camera tracks movement using the lightbar on the back of the PS5’s DualShock 4 controller. That feature doesn’t exist on the DualSense, so I had to dust off a dead controller, charge it, and sync it to my console before I could play.
After a long, long buildup, I finally got into Moss: Book 2, only to be reminded of how dated the actual hardware is. For one, it’s very difficult to bring the picture clearly into focus. That’s one area that headsets have really improved upon over the years, as I’m able to strap on my Quest 2 and get a clear image with no fiddling. By comparison, I’m constantly tugging on the PS VR helmet and repositioning it just to get an image that feels acceptably blurry.
As I played Moss: Book 2, I started to wonder if I was doing the game a disservice by experiencing it this way. I couldn’t help but think about how much cleaner the game would look on Sony’s upcoming console, which will include a 4K HDR display. Most enticing of all, the headset will use inside-out tracking, which means that no external camera is required. As part of that change, the headset will use two Quest-like controllers instead of a gamepad, which should make it much easier to move boxes or grab enemy bugs in VR.
To the PS VR’s credit, it’s still a comfortable headset that I can wear much longer than a Quest 2. It’s also still a bargain price-wise, which was always the device’s main appeal. But it’s hard to find the motivation to use it when I know something much better is on the horizon. This isn’t like going from a PS4 to a PS5 and getting a tech boost on games that still play great cross-gen. On paper, it feels like Sony is going from the PS1 to the PS5 with its next headset.
I can’t wait for the PlayStation VR 2. I expect it to be a day one purchase for me. As I wait for an official release date, I think I’m going to hold on to games like Moss: Book 2 and return to them when I can get the most out of them. I’m sure my wire-strewn entertainment center will thank me.