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It’s difficult to remain enthusiastic about the PlayStation VR2

It’s challenging to stay enthusiastic about the PlayStation VR2 when even Astro Bot isn’t utilizing it.

By now, I should have learned not to get my hopes up, but as a huge fan of Sony’s PSVR2, it’s hard not to get excited when a State of Play featuring new PSVR2 games is announced. While I’m realistic enough to know that Half-Life: Alyx is unlikely to come to the headset (despite desperately wanting it), I can’t help but hope for Astro Bot Rescue Mission 2 for the PSVR2. After all, Astro Bot Rescue Mission on PSVR1 is one of my favorite VR games. At this point, I’d even settle for backward compatibility for the original Astro Bot Rescue Mission!

That’s why yesterday’s announcement of a new Astro Bot game was so bittersweet for me. Like everyone, I’m thrilled about a new Astro Bot game—these games are joyful, heart-warming, and uplifting. Plus, this new one looks like a blend of StarFox and Mario. “How can that not be a Game of the Year contender?” I thought as I watched the reveal. But as the trailer passed the one-minute mark without showing any VR gameplay, my excitement began to wane. My disappointment was complete when, at the end of the trailer, the words “COMING TO PS5” appeared. No PSVR2 support at all? For a character that gained prominence through Astro Bot Rescue Mission on PSVR1? What’s going on?

To add insult to injury, as I scrutinized the trailer for potential PSVR2 clues, I noticed a segment in the casino world section where Astro Bot is wearing a VR headset—it’s a PSVR1! How can Sony and PlayStation expect their fan base to stay excited about the PSVR2 when their main mascot isn’t even using it?

I’m not one of those people who believes the PSVR2 has no games. It has plenty, and many of them are excellent. However, off the top of my head, I can only recall two first-party PSVR2 releases from Sony since the headset launched last year: Horizon: Call of the Mountain and Gran Turismo 7. Meanwhile, Sony-published Firewall Ultra, which launched in a less-than-ideal state, led to the shutdown of its developers, First Contact Entertainment, citing a lack of VR support. Sony even closed its London Studios earlier this month, crushing any hope for Blood and Truth 2.

I don’t like to complain, honestly. I’m a big fan of the PSVR2. It just feels like there’s so much wasted potential here, and that frustrates me. I’ll never know what goes on in Sony’s boardrooms or their decision-making processes regarding the headset and first-party game development. Maybe there’s a valid reason for putting the PSVR2 on the back burner compared to other products. I’m guessing it’s a financial decision.

Whatever the reason, it’s hard to stay excited about the PSVR2 or recommend it to new VR adopters when things like this happen. As a VR enthusiast, that genuinely hurts to admit. If anyone at Sony is reading this and wants my advice, I don’t think it’s too late to save the PSVR2. Sure, some big first-party games would be great, but with the rise of flat-screen to VR mods keeping PC VR gaming alive, I urge you to consider my idea.

To spoil the surprise, the idea is simple: Sony has a wealth of back-catalog flat-screen games that could be adapted wonderfully to VR, as PC VR modders have shown. If Sony isn’t keen on developing new PSVR2 games, the least they could do is breathe new life into their older flat-screen titles. They’ve already created great hardware—the PSVR2 is fantastic—it just needs its creator’s support.

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