PSVR 2 Firmware Update Points to Wired PC VR Support, Potentially Freeing Users From PlayStation 5

Sony announced last month it was bringing PC VR support to PSVR 2 sometime this year, although the company didn’t specify how or exactly when this would happen. While we’re no closer to knowing when, all signs now point to a direct wired connection—holding a few implications for Sony’s VR strategy.

According to the latest PS5 firmware update, PSVR 2 now works without needing Extended Display Identification Data (EDID) and DisplayPort Compression (DSC), two things which were baked into the headset’s firmware for use with PS5 consoles.

Here’s hardware analyst and YouTuber Brad Lynch’s (aka ‘SadlyItsBradley’) take on it:

PSVR2 got a firmware update with the latest PS5 update. It now works without bypassing EDID and DSC stuff that used to be necessary to get it to work on a PC

Based on that change, it looks like the PC support will be directly plugged in and not streamed

Is Sony washing hands?

— Brad Lynch (@SadlyItsBradley) March 21, 2024

As Lynch rightly asks, is Sony washing its hands of PSVR 2? It might be.

Supporting PC VR through a direct tether and not a console-based streaming solution completely frees PSVR 2 from the PS5 ecosystem, letting users ditch the console’s game ecosystem entirely, which admittedly locks users into a fairly lackluster game catalogue. While this sounds great for consumers in general, it may point to troubled waters for the company’s VR strategy moving forward.

Of course, Sony hasn’t tipped its hand just yet, although it’s clear that the company is looking at it from a cost-cutting perspective, as it recently laid off eight percent of Sony Interactive Entertainment, which shuttered its London Studio (Blood & Truth) and, among others, reduced headcount at Firesprite (Horizon Call of the Mountain).

Unlike Meta’s Quest platform, Sony ostensibly hasn’t subsidized PSVR 2 hardware in effort to recoup on costs with software sales though—putting the MSRP of the $550 headset likely at, or higher, than the cost of production. Granted, we haven’t seen the hardware cost breakdown, although it’s at least clear that from the outset that Sony wasn’t beholden to funding the sort of anchor content that it needed in order to convert a significant portion of ~50 million PS5 owners.

Provided Sony is really untangling PSVR 2 from PS5, the company may even see it as a way to wind down its VR efforts. If instead the company went with a PC VR streaming solution that required PS5, it would only really provide choice to existant PSVR 2 users, and not attract new users from helping to flush its backlog of unpurchased stock, as Sony has reportedly paused production on PSVR 2 due to low sales.

The post PSVR 2 Firmware Update Points to Wired PC VR Support, Potentially Freeing Users From PlayStation 5 appeared first on Road to VR.

Resources