While early impressions of the PSVR2 praise a wide variety of features, as well as the overall quality of the experience, one feature that won’t be making it to Sony’s new PS5-exclusive headset is backwards compatibility. The company’s VR titles from the last generation will be staying there.
In the most recent episode of the Official PlayStation podcast, Hideaki Nishino, senior vice president of platform experience at PlayStation, talked about the standout features and development saga of designing and building the new VR headset for the PS5. Asked directly about whether last-gen VR titles would be playable on the new headset, Nishino stated that “PSVR games are not compatible with PSVR2 because PSVR2 is designed to deliver a truly next generation VR experience.”
Nishino highlighted the advanced feature set of the PSVR2 as the apparent reason for this, specifically the haptic-feedback-ready controllers, with adaptive triggers, as well as inside-out tracking, and eye tracking, among others. “Developing games for PSVR2,” Nishino said, “requires a whole different approach than the original PSVR.”
To be honest, I’d struggle to name even half-a-dozen memorable titles on the original PSVR. But there’s no denying that this is kind of a bummer, especially when these games are likely to be known for having only appeared for a limited time on such specific hardware. While it seems like the bigger titles, such as Resident Evil 7, will get full PSVR2 support, games like Robinson: The Journey or Golem risk getting lost to time if they don’t appear on other VR platforms.
If you’ve been following along with the saga of backwards compatibility on PlayStation platforms, something which Xbox has very thoroughly delivered on, maybe this won’t surprise you. Hopefully those forgotten PSVR classics, whatever they actually are, find a way off the island of misfit Sony experiments.