The justification is that PSVR2 is ‘designed to deliver a truly next-generation experience’
We finally have an answer about whether the PlayStation VR2 will be able to play games from the original PlayStation VR: no. As Twitter user Nibel spotted, the Official PlayStation Podcast asked Hideaki Nishino, a vice president of platform experience at Sony, whether the games from its last-gen virtual reality headset would run on its new one. His response? “PSVR games are not compatible with PSVR2, because PSVR2 is designed to deliver a truly next-gen VR experience.”
He continued: “PSVR2 has much more advanced features like all-new controllers with haptics feedback and adaptive triggers.” He also referenced the headset’s inside-out and eye tracking as well as 3D audio. “This means developing games for PSVR2 requires a whole different approach than the original PSVR. These features actually enable developers to create worlds that feel more vivid and alive, and bring players closer to the gameplay experience than ever.”
To me, that all sounds like a great explanation for why PSVR2 games won’t be allowed on the original headset, but that’s not what Nishino was trying to justify. To be fair, porting games from the old system to the new one likely wouldn’t be as simple as allowing PS4 games to run on the PS5. Some original PSVR games made heavy use of the PlayStation Move wands, which are almost nothing like PSVR2’s controllers. Developers could probably find a way around that, but it would take some work. There’s also been some speculation that there would even be technical hurdles to getting the old games to run on the new hardware since the PSVR2 uses an entirely different tracking technology.
But those aren’t the explanations Nishino gave, and gamers eying the PSVR2 would almost certainly have appreciated Sony putting in the work to solve those problems. Currently, Sony has announced a handful of games for its next-gen headset and says there are “more than 20” in development. There’s Horizon Call of the Mountain, an original title in the same universe as Zero Dawn and Forbidden West, as well as VR versions of Resident Evil 8, Resident Evil 4, and No Man’s Sky. We’re also getting Star Wars and The Walking Dead games as well. While that’s not a bad start, it’s easy to imagine some buyers wanting greater variety, especially if they’re not interested in a few of those flagship titles. That’s something that the catalog of around 500 PSVR games could’ve provided.