Sony introduced its first virtual reality PlayStation headset way back in 2016. It was the Before Times, a simpler, pandemic-less age of 1080p graphics and only a hint of real-world apocalypse on the horizon. It’s probably safe to say that these days people are more eager to escape into virtual worlds.

To that end, Sony will soon be releasing a wholly new VR headset for the PlayStation 5. It’s faster, prettier, and more capable than the previous one. Last week, the company offered some journalists (myself included) a hands-on look at PlayStation VR2. The demo took place at Sony Interactive Entertainment’s headquarters in San Mateo, California.

I can’t tell you exactly when PSVR2 will go on sale, what it will cost, how much battery life it gets, or even how much it weighs. Sony is still keeping all of those things under wraps. But the company has said the system will be out sometime in 2023. PlayStation’s first VR headset launched for $399 and now sells for $99, so infer from those numbers what you will about the new one’s price. The first PSVR headset weighs just over 1.3 pounds; I’d say the new PSVR2 feels right around there as well, but of course that’s just a guess.

PlayStation’s iconic four-button array is split, with two buttons on each controller.

Photograph: Sony

There are some immediately obvious upgrades on this new headset. First, there’s no external interface or processor box needed to connect the headset to the console. Just plug the goggles into a USB-C port on the PS5 and it’s ready to go. Inside the headset are dual OLED screens; each eyeball gets a 2,000- by 2,040-pixel display.

The bad news? The PSVR2 works only with the PlayStation 5 (and hey, good luck finding one of those). There’s one color option: white with black
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