Sony: PSVR2 is ‘truly next-gen’, so it can’t play PSVR1 games

Sony: PSVR2 is ‘truly next-gen’, so it can’t play PSVR1 games

It may look empty, but the original PlayStation Vr ecosystem contained many games that will never move on.
Magnify / It may look empty, but the original PlayStation Vr ecosystem contained many games that will never move on.

Kyle Orlando

A Sony executive confirmed on Friday that the PlayStation VR 2 will not be backwards compatible with games developed for the original PlayStation VR.

Sid Shuman, senior director of content communications at Sony Interactive, asked Hideaki Nishino, senior vice president of platform experience at Sony, whether games for the original PSVR could be played on a PSVR2 set on the Official PlayStation Podcast, episode 439 (his answer starts at 29:12 ).

“PSVR games are not compatible with PSVR2 because PSVR2 is designed to deliver a truly next-generation VR experience,” Nishino said. Nishino listed several “much more advanced features” in VR2, including new controllers with haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, advanced eye tracking and 3D audio. “That means developing games for PSVR2 requires a completely different approach than the original PSVR.”

While the answer was emphatic—”not compatible”—and shut down any hope fans might have had, Nishino’s checklist of new VR2 features didn’t clearly explain why the system wouldn’t be able to run less advanced VR1 games.

Consider the Oculus Rift S, which featured a completely different eye-tracking system than its predecessor, the original Oculus Rift. The Rift S maintained compatibility with games built for all Rift systems (along with some games for other headsets). It was a seamless transition for those who upgraded their Rift or bought into VR at a later date.

It’s also a disappointing result for some great games that were only available on PlayStation VR. These include the original Mario caliber Astro Botbrain-twisting puzzles StaticsVR mode for Resident Evil 7 which was never released on any other system, exclusive to first-party VR Blood and truthand a VR mode for WipEout which can only benefit from a VR2 headset.

The lack of compatibility could possibly involve the PSVR2’s far more focused control system, centered around the Sense VR controllers. PSVR players can switch between a DualShock 4 (and even use that gamepad’s motion-sensitive features), PlayStation Move sticks, and even the PSVR Aim Gun. While the PSVR2’s gamepads follow the typical VR design, they feature more refined rumbles and “impulse” triggers, taken from the PS5’s Dualsense.

Slated for early 2023, PSVR2 got a more formal introduction to the world earlier this week when Sony offered hands-on details of the PS5 addition at the 2022 Tokyo Games Show. VR2 offers several quality-of-life upgrades from its predecessor, including a single cable connection, an accurate interpupillary distance (IPD) calibration tool and an improved space tracking system. This followed earlier disclosures of the system’s base specifications.

Sony offers a camera adapter to play PSVR games on the PlayStation 5, which helps keep the system viable. But that’s not much consolation for the notable games stranded on the island of previous-generation VR experiences.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.