For newcomers to VR, there are two headsets that you’re most likely to have heard about — Oculus Quest 2 and PSVR.
There’s no doubt that Quest 2 and PSVR are the most mainstream and recognizable headsets for those with just a passing interest or limited knowledge of VR. However, it can be hard to figure out which would be best for you and what the differences are between the two.
Here’s our breakdown of how these headsets differ and why you would pick one over the other.
The Big Picture
Oculus Quest 2: Overview
The Quest 2 is one of the most versatile headsets available on the market. It’s Facebook’s most recent headset, released in late 2020, and features hardware that is modern, up-to-date, and (for the most part) industry-leading.
The real benefit of the Quest 2 is that for $299 you get a full standalone headset that works straight out of the box — no other equipment is required — making it fully wireless and standalone. It also has a selection of some of the best experiences and games on any platform. However, the big trade-off is that you need to log in to a Facebook account to use the headset; there’s no way around that.
If you’re OK with that though, then the Quest 2 has some huge benefits. You can take it anywhere, use it anywhere, and let anyone else try the headset in a matter of seconds. The Quest 2 provides the least friction of any headset available at the moment.
Provided you’re not bothered by the required Facebook login, then the Quest 2 is our recommended headset for any newcomer to VR. One $299 purchase and you have everything you need to get into wireless, state-of-the-art VR. There are even some amazing free Quest games to try immediately.
It’s also worth mentioning that if you have a gaming PC that is powerful enough to support a VR headset, you can also plug the Quest 2 into your PC to experience even more VR games. Many of the best VR games are only on PC and not on Quest 2 itself, so this is a great way to expand the library. Quest can even play PC VR games wirelessly. We’ve got a guide on how to play PC VR games on Quest right here.
PlayStation VR: Overview
The PlayStation VR headset is an accessory for recent PlayStation consoles. Without a console, the headset cannot play anything or do anything at all. This means that you need to separately purchase (or already own) a PS4 or PS5 to use the headset. PSVR uses a wired connection to a processor box that then plugs into the console, so it needs to be plugged in the entire time you’re using it. It also requires the PS Camera to function.
PlayStation VR is not recent or modern technology relatively speaking since it released in 2016, so the headset’s hardware is now quite out of date compared to other recent headsets like Quest 2. Everything from the tracking to the screen resolution to the controllers is all significantly worse on PSVR than other headsets, simply because many technological advancements have been made since its released nearly 5 years ago. That being said, it’s quite comfortable with its innovative (at the time) halo strap design and has a nice field of view.
Many PlayStation VR bundles only come with the headset and the PSVR camera that connects to your console. Some PSVR games also require (or improve with) PlayStation Move controllers or the PS Aim controller, which are usually sold separately but occasionally included with the headset in a bundle. This means that you’ll need a PlayStation console, the headset and the controllers, all of which you might have to buy separately.
PSVR does have some great exclusive games that aren’t available on other headsets, but almost all of its non-exclusive games library is available on Quest 2 (where it will likely perform better).
Sony confirmed that a next-generation VR headset for PS5 is on the way. It’s not a matter of if anymore, but when. UploadVR even exclusively revealed the specs of the new headset in May, confirming an increase in resolution, inside-out tracking and much more.
So while we don’t have a release date for Sony’s next headset (except that it won’t arrive in 2021), we do know it exists and will release in the future.
In 2021, the only reason to buy a PSVR headset over a Quest 2 would be if you already own a PS4 or PS5 console and you’re vehemently opposed to logging in with Facebook. The PSVR exclusive games are excellent though, so if those experiences look appealing then there is some great value here. When you factor in the price of the console, controllers and headset for PSVR, the Quest 2 comes out as much cheaper overall though.
The PlayStation VR Iron Man bundle is available for $349 on Amazon, which includes the PSVR headset, PlayStation camera, two Move controllers, and a copy of Iron Man VR. It does not include a PlayStation console of course, which is also required.
The Oculus Quest 2 is wireless and requires nothing except what comes in the box. PlayStation VR is tethered by a wired connection at all times, and requires multiple pieces of hardware that are usually all sold separately. Quest 2 released recently and features modern hardware, whereas PSVR is noticeably older and more out of date in almost every aspect of its hardware. Plus, Sony has confirmed that they are working a next-generation PSVR headset for PS5.
Quest 2 has a great library of VR games, but is missing some of the exclusives available in the PSVR ecosystem. When you factor in the cost of the headset, controllers, and console needed for PSVR, the Quest 2 remains a significantly cheaper option overall that we recommend.
That being said, logging in and connecting your Facebook account is required for Quest 2, which may be a no-go for some people and would make PSVR a more appealing option.
Oculus Quest 2 and PSVR are not the only options for someone looking to get into VR — to learn more about PC VR and other options available, read our beginner’s guide to VR and check out our guide to the best headsets available as of late 2020.
Looking for more guides like this one? Check out the New to VR? section of our site.
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This article was first published in January 2021 and updated and republished in October 2021.