The PlayStation VR 2 isn’t wireless, and that’s a good thing


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The PlayStation VR 2 headset uses a single USB-C cable to connect the PlayStation 5. Some fans have been baffled by the cable, especially in the wireless Quest 2 world, but Sony made the right choice.

The Quest 2 is not “wireless”

There seems to be some confusion when comparing the current VR market leader to the PlayStation VR 2. These are fundamentally two different categories of VR headsets. The Quest 2 is a completely self-contained VR system. All the hardware needed to run VR is in the Quest 2.

In other words, the Quest 2 is not a “wireless” headset. It is a “standalone” headset.

Oculus Quest 2 256GB

The Quest 2 is the only VR headset to rule them all, at least for now. While some headsets outperform in specific areas, none are quite as versatile or affordable.

These two headsets have different usage scenarios and design goals. The PlayStation VR 2 is an accessory for a powerful console, the device that does all the actual work.

If you want VR with the same quality that a PS5 can produce on a Quest 2, you’ll need to connect it to a PC with a cable and the Oculus Link feature. You also have the option of connecting to a PC wirelessly, but that’s currently not the best way to experience PC VR on a Quest.

Wireless VR is not ready

To be clear, wireless VR solutions exist. In the case of the Quest 2, you can use “Air Link”, but the feature is still in the experimental stage. You need to carefully consider your network configuration for it to work properly. It seems that the best solution is to connect your PC to a 5Ghz Wi-Fi router via Ethernet. It’s even better if that router is dedicated to VR and VR only. Even then, Wi-Fi isn’t nearly as reliable as a USB-C cable and doesn’t have the same kind of bandwidth in real life situations.

A better solution is to use a dedicated wireless system like WiGig. This is exactly what has been done with the HTC Vive. the Vive wireless package has a module for the headset, a battery and a PCIe WiGig card to let the PC talk to the headset. It should be noted that the Vive Wireless adapter package costs more than an entire Quest 2 headset. So while this 60Ghz wireless technology works, it’s still out of the realm of affordability. For the Quest 2 or the PlayStation VR2.

Weight matters in VR

Virtuality Historic Website

VR headsets are in a perpetual battle when it comes to total weight and how that weight is distributed over a user’s head. Early headsets, such as those from virtuality in the 90s, testing the limits of the human neck!

To go wireless, you need to add a battery and the necessary electronics to make wireless VR work. Unless these are made of unknown, gravity-defying exotic matter, they will make the headset heavier.

That could mean other features of the PlayStation VR 2 wouldn’t make it, such as the haptic actuators, eye-tracking hardware or high-end screen.

Costs must be controlled

The extra hardware to make a wireless PlayStation VR 2 would not only add weight, but also cost. Console hardware has a famously thin profit margin or can even be sold at a loss, relying on the software’s “attachment speed” to blackmail the business.

At the time of writing, we don’t know how much the PlayStation VR 2 will retail for, but it goes up against the $300 Quest 2, which doesn’t require a $500 console to work. The PSVR that came earlier also sold for $399, albeit without motion controllers.

Either way, there’s little doubt that every cent of the PlayStation VR 2’s final cost on the shelf matters, and a wireless connectivity solution would drive that number too far in the wrong direction.

USB-C opens many doors

Continuing with a cheap and open standard like USB-C will leave many doors open for Sony to go ahead with their new headset. We’ve already talked about how this makes PC VR a technical possibility, but Sony could also use it to upgrade the PlayStation VR 2 at a later date.

It is conceivable that a wireless module (via belt clip or headset mount) could be connected to the headset, providing the battery power and wireless hardware that is currently missing. So don’t complain about the lack of wireless connectivity in Sony’s next-generation headset. When the technology is ready, there is still a way to make it a reality.

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