How to Play Non-VR Games on PSVR 2 (and Why You Should)

Key Takeaways

  • The PlayStation VR 2 can be used to play non-VR games and apps by launching them and using a DualSense controller.
  • The “cinematic” mode in PSVR 2 allows you to play games on a large virtual TV, which is perfect for small spaces and offers privacy.
  • While there are limitations, such as the resolution being 1080p and the inability to have both HDR and 120Hz at the same time, using the PSVR 2 for non-VR gaming can still be a worthwhile experience.

The PlayStation VR 2 (PSVR 2) is known for its excellent hardware and affordable entry point into the world of AAA VR gaming. But did you know that it’s an awesome piece of kit for non-VR games and apps too?

How to Play Regular Games on PSVR 2

If you can play VR games using your PSVR 2, then you also already know how to play non-VR games and apps with it. The only difference is that instead of launching a VR game, you simply launch a non-VR game. You’ll also need to use a DualSense controller instead of the PSVR 2 controllers, but other than that it’s exactly the same process.

Once you’ve launched the game or app, you’ll see it appear on a large virtual TV in VR, floating in darkness. This is known as “cinematic” mode and you can think of it as having a personal theater. The screen size is adjustable by pressing the PlayStation button on the DualSense controller to bring up the PSVR Quick Settings.

PSVR 2 Quick Settings Card

In the quick settings, select the option to resize the screen with the X button, and then use the directional buttons to increase or decrease the size of the virtual display.

The PSVR 2 Quick Menu showing virtual screen adjustment options

The Many Reasons Why This Is Awesome

So you’re playing a game in VR on a virtual TV, so what? Here are a couple of compelling reasons why this is actually a great alternative to playing on a TV:

  • It takes up far less space than a large TV, so it’s perfect for bedrooms, dorms, or other small living spaces.
  • It’s private, as long as the TV is turned off no one can see what you’re watching or playing.
  • The OLED screen in the PSVR 2 is top-notch in terms of color, brightness, and overall image quality.
  • The PSVR supports a refresh rate of 120Hz.
  • The virtual TV size can be far larger than what most people can afford or have space for.

At the time of writing, you can’t set up a PSVR 2 on a PS5 without having the PS5 attached to a regular HDMI display. This is a once-off requirement, so if you’re thinking of using your PSVR 2 instead of a TV, you only need to borrow a TV or monitor for a few minutes to complete the setup. Any HDMI display will do.

The Limitations of Flat PS5 Games in VR

While there are clearly lots of great reasons to use your PSVR 2 for flat games as well as VR games, there are also some limitations you should know about.

First, the resolution of the game on your virtual TV is only 1080p. This is due to the fact that the PSVR 2 doesn’t have enough pixels to emulate 4K quality in VR. However, this isn’t as big a deal as you may think.

First of all, most people sit so far from their 4K TVs that the effective resolution is reduced to 1080p anyway. Secondly, few PS5 games actually render at 4K. Instead, they render at lower resolutions, particularly if you prefer using performance mode to improve the frame rate.

The other major limitation of cinematic mode, is that you can play in high dynamic range (HDR) or set the refresh rate to 120Hz, but not both at the same time. So choose carefully based on the game in question.

Apart from this, you may not like the experience or how the image presents regardless of how you tweak it, but if you already own a PSVR 2 you have nothing to lose by trying games in cinematic mode. Who knows? It might be the right solution for you.


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