Sony confirmed PSVR games won’t be playable on the PSVR2.
Sony has a really strange history with backward compatibility when it comes to its gaming tech, stemming from the company’s push for bigger profits — which also caught the attention of the UK consumers’ rights groups. Most of Sony’s gaming consoles have had an on-off relationship with previous iterations, and now the company has officially confirmed that their PSVR2 — Sony’s VR headset — won’t be compatible with games that were made for the original PSVR.
According to IGN, SVP of Platform Experience, Hideaki Nishino, has confirmed that Sony PSVR2 won’t have backward compatibility with the original PSVR because the newest iteration is designed to deliver a truly immersive next-gen VR experience. The biggest issues apparently stem from hardware and input differences between the titles, which implies that the Sony PSVR2 games took an entirely different developmental approach from those made for the original VR headset. However, the company now offers a PSVR adapter that connects the original VR set with Sony’s latest console.
The company has revealed the release date for Sony PSVR2 and boasted its hardware specifications which could make porting of original PSVR or third-party VR headset titles onto the Sony PSVR2 much easier. But porting doesn’t mean backward compatibility. Luckily, the VR gaming scene is experiencing an expansion, and there are more VR titles being developed now than ever. In fact, the current list of Sony PSVR2 titles that are currently in development is quite hefty, and it includes the Resident Evil 4 remake, as well as Resident Evil Village.
Now, allow us to elaborate on our opening statement about Sony’s strange history with backward compatibility. The world’s best-selling console, the 2000s PlayStation 2, had complete backward compatibility with its predecessor without the use of any add-ons whatsoever, and that feature has extended to 2006’s PlayStation 3. The latter was backward compatible with nearly all gaming releases featured on previous iterations of gaming hardware, but that feature was later omitted in several revisions of the console.
However, with the rise of subscription-based gaming services, Sony decided to pull the plug on hardware-based backward compatibility for its 2013’s PlayStation 4. Instead, the company has opted the deliver emulated versions of select PS2 titles available for purchase through the PlayStation Store and several PS3 gaming titles available for cloud gaming via PlayStation Plus Premium — all of which are paid services. Sony found a way to neutralize the previously bought physical copies of the game and resell their PS4-compatible versions to fans through subscription.
In the meantime, in 2016, Sony launched Sony PSVR for its PlayStation 4 system, which was a massive improvement in the VR gaming market since the hardware only required a PS4, while its competitors’ products required high-end gaming PCs — most of which can cost up to 6 times launch worth. Needless to say, the predecessor of the Sony PSVR2 was massively successful. Backward compatibility-wise, things hadn’t changed with PlayStation 5 when it was released in 2020.
Due to similar architecture with PlayStation 4, PS5 consoles were backward compatible with 99% of PS4 games, but there wasn’t any compatibility with PlayStation 3 games. Following the disruption in the supply chain, which caused the ongoing console shortages, and Microsoft’s ever-improving subscription offer, Sony reconsidered its position on backward compatibility and started offering select titles dating back to the original console on its redesigned subscription service. Now the same thing is about to happen with Sony PSVR2.
Though the company has stated that Sony PSVR2 won’t be compatible with PSVR games, they did make the Sony PSVR hardware compatible with their latest console — though it requires the use of an adapter. This actually aligns with the company’s current treatment of other gaming titles on their digital platform, so while you won’t be able to play your favorite games with Sony PSVR2, plugging in your old Sony PSVR will do just fine. Until the Resident Evil 4 remake comes out — we can already see another round of store fights over the new Sony PSVR2.