PSVR 2 vs HTC Vive XR Elite – which VR headset should you go for?

PSVR 2 vs HTC Vive XR Elite – which VR headset should you go for?
Romilly Cotta Updated on by

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If you’re wondering what the differences are between PSVR 2 vs HTC XR Vive Elite, then you’ve come to the right place.

Sony’s PSVR 2 headset was released in February, ushering in the next generation of VR gaming headsets. It comes as the successor to the PSVR, and if you’re wondering whether the PSVR 2 is worth the upgrade, we’ve compared them both to help you decide. We think it probably is, though you should read our review to be sure.

And what about HTC Vive XR Elite? Our alternative VR headset is estimated to ship in mid March and looks to be a formidable piece of kit. HTX has garnered a strong reputation for releasing premium VR headsets over the years. As a standalone, versatile headset, we’re interested to see if it will challenge PSVR 2 which has more of a gaming focus.

You may be weighing up which VR headset to go for, and how it matches what you want out of your VR experience. Whether you’re interested in 3D art, VR gaming, or looking for a real cinematic experience at home, there’s no shortage of reasons to buy a VR headset.

With these uses in mind, we’re going to make things a little easier for you. We’ll be comparing the key features of PSVR 2 and HTC Vive XR Pro. We’ll consider specs, design, performance, and overall value for money so you can make an informed choice.

So, let’s jump to it! Here are the differences and similarities between PSVR 2 and HTC Vive XR Elite.

PSVR 2 vs HTC Vive XR Elite – Specs

SpecsPSVR 2 HTC Vive XR Elite
ProcessorCustom 7nm AMD Zen 2 CPU (shared with PS5)Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2
ScreenHDR OLED panelsLCD panels
Resolution4000 x 2040 max resolution
(2000 x 2040 per eye)
3840 x 1920 max resolution
(1920 x 1920 per eye)
TrackingFour external cameras for Inside/Out Tracking6 degrees of Freedom inside-out tracking, 4 tracking cameras
Refresh Rate90Hz / 120Hz90Hz
Field of View110 degrees110 degrees
IPD AdjustmentAdjustable lens separationAccommodates 54-73mm
BatteryPowered by cableUp to 15 hours of battery life, rechargeable
RAM
512MB DDR4 RAM (Shared with PS5)
12GB
Storage826GB (Shared with PS5) 128GB
Eye and Face TrackingOnly eye tracking No
Color Passthrough camera No16MP RGB passthrough camera

As you can see from the table above, there are a number of key differences between these two headsets which we’ll discuss.

Let’s start with screen panels and display. Sony has opted for HDR panels, manufactured by Samsung that enable a rich VR experience. With a 4K resolution featuring a VR and Cinematic mode, users will enjoy a pretty unbeatable vivid image thanks to the high pixel count and density. PSVR 2 boasts a slightly higher max resolution than HTC Vive XR Elite, though we’re still pretty impressed with HTC’s LCD panels. While PSVR 2 is clearly the winner on paper here, HTC is not far behind.

Read More: Best graphics card for VR gaming – our top picks

The area where PSVR 2 seriously pulls ahead is its higher refresh rate which can reach up to 120Hz. This means you can expect a cleaner and smoother image by opting for Sony’s headset. We’ll be going into a little more depth here when we compare their gaming abilities, though for now, PSVR 2 comes out on top.

You’ll notice both headsets share the same field of view of 110 degrees. A higher FOV, like 100 degrees is great for immersing yourself in VR, and is especially useful for gaming as you’re more like to spot opponents.

Read More: PSVR 2 vs Meta Quest Pro – which one should you go for?

The headsets also differ when it comes to battery. PSVR 2 sports a wired connection, more specifically a USB Type-C cable that will plug into your PS5. HTC Vive XR Elite, in contrast, uses rechargeable batteries that can last up to 15 hours. Some users might prefer the increased comfort and mobility associated with a wireless device.

PSVR 2 vs HTC Vive XR Elite – touch controllers

Though Sony has opted for a wired connection for their headset, the PSVR 2 controllers use Bluetooth, boasting a high quality, ergonomic design. They feature chargeable batteries with a USB Type-C cable, combined with variable resistance triggers and haptic feedback.

Read More: DualSense Edge review – how is Sony’s first Pro Controller?

HTC Vive XR Elite meanwhile, uses the same controllers as the Vive Focus 3, meaning users will receive plenty of support for a wide range of motions and controls, while also being tracked by the headset.

For now, neither controller comes out on top. Both feature a premium design, and users will find minimal qualms with whichever headset they opt for.

PSVR 2 vs HTC Vive XR Elite – gaming

PSVR 2 feels like a huge leap for VR gaming. Expect titles like Horizon: Call of the Mountain, No Man’s Sky and Resident Evil. With a refresh rate capable of reaching 120Hz, combined with Samsung’s 4K OLED screen, we’re seriously impressed with PSVR 2’s performance.

Unfortunately, Sony has decided to exclude any backward compatibility for the PSVR 2. You won’t be able to play any of the games that you could on PSVR as PlayStation is aiming to isolate the new PSVR 2 from the newer games that are designed for next generation VR gaming. This is an important consideration to make if buying the PSVR 2 headset is already costing you an arm and a leg.

Read More: Best GPU for Hogwarts Legacy – our top picks

HTC meanwhile has opted for a more versatile headset without such a strong gaming focus. That being said, Vive XR enjoys Android app streaming, meaning you can interact with Android apps and games on a virtual cinema. Users also have the option of linking their phones via Bluetooth if they’re into mobile gaming.

In terms of gaming titles available via HTC, expect to see Demeo, Hubris, Yuki, Maestro, Les Mills Body Combat, FigminXR, Unplugged, Finger Gun, and more. Users will also have access to Steam’s extensive VR gaming library.

Overall, PSVR 2 potentially has the edge with its strong gaming focus, although the HTC Vive XR Elite still manages to impress.

PSVR 2 vs HTC Vive XR Elite – features

HTC Vive XR Elite stands out here by offering a full 16MP RGB passthrough, meaning you can see the real world in glorious color should you need to interrupt your VR session. While PSVR 2 still has passthrough, it’s only in black and white.

Read More: Best monitor for Flight Simulator 2020 – our top picks

We’re super impressed by PSVR 2 though, in particular, its eye tracking feature. Eye tracking basically enables ‘foveated rendering’, meaning only the elements of the environment that are looked at are rendered.

This means PSVR 2 delivers a more immersive VR experience since virtual avatars can read more than just body language. It opens up the possibilities of truly terrifying gaming experiences, especially when you combine them with haptic feedback.

PSVR 2 vs HTC Vive XR Elite – price

There are a number of caveats to consider when it comes to exploring the buying options for both PSVR 2 and HTC Vive XR Elite.

If you haven’t already realized, you need to own a PS5 to use PSVR 2, since it connects directly to the console to share its CPU, RAM, and storage. This means that if you don’t already have a PS5, you’ll be paying a large startup cost of around $500. This will come as a blow to some, though if you already own a PS5, the blow is slightly less.

Read More: Do you need a TV for PSVR 2?

We’ve covered where you can buy PSVR 2 and can report that it will cost $549.99 / €599.99 / £529.99 / ¥74,980.

We’ve got you covered for the HTC Vive XR Elite prices and release updates, reporting that the headset and controllers will cost $1,099 / £1,299 / €1,449 or your regional equivalent.

Final word

Overall, your final decision is dependent on what you want to get out of your VR headset.

With PSVR 2, Sony has opted for a strong gaming focus. If next-gen VR gaming is what you’re most interested in, then we’re putting our eggs in Sony’s basket. PlayStation has a well deserved gaming reputation earned through the years. The HTC Vive XR Elite unfortunately does not compare with PSVR 2’s eye tracking and haptic feedback, all of which work to create a truly immersive VR experience.

Read More: PSVR 2 vs Pico 4 – which VR headset should you go for?

However, unless you already own a PS5, you’ll be spending upwards of a grand to use PSVR 2. There are also additional add-ons, like paying for exclusive VR titles that you’ll need to factor in. While this is around the same asking price for the HTC Vive XR Elite, buying and setting up an entire console is considerably more effort than picking up a single VR headset.

Ultimately, we recommend waiting for the independent reviews on the HTC Vive XR Elite if you’re still on the fence. That way, you can make your decision with confidence.