PlayStation VR Works With Your PC And Other Consoles

Image: Kotaku

Sony isn't marketing their venture into virtual reality as a productivity device. But that doesn't mean the PSVR doesn't work for other situations.

We saw reports online this morning of the PSVR working with anything that wasn't Sony's console, and seeing as we had a headset in the office we figured — why not? The PSVR runs off a mixture of HDMI and USB cords, and given that the breakout box more or less is just a splitter there's no reason it wouldn't function as a second monitor.

And guess what? It does.

Image: Kotaku

This is what you'll get when you plug in the various HDMI cables, power for the PSVR's processing unit/splitter, and the headset. My computer picked it up as a 1080p-capable monitor, which I could then move around as much as I'd like.

The one caveat was that while it was detected as a monitor by my computer, I couldn't get an image on the headset unless the USB was plugged into the USB port of the PlayStation 4. The PS4 has to be turned on, as well — it won't work if the PS4 is in rest mode. That's probably a HDCP issue more than anything else; the NVIDIA Control Panel tells me that a "repeater is connected" when I check the PSVR's HDCP status.

So, it's not the most perfect solution. Especially when it comes to focusing. The PC treats PSVR as a virtual desktop, moving the screen around as you move your head. That tracking still worked whether the game was being played in a windowed dragged onto the VR screen (as was the case with The Talos Principle), or games that would select the PSVR as an exclusive fullscreen monitor (like DOOM and F1 2016).

The trick is that the centre of your view is always locked to wherever you're currently looking, which means any HUD elements or items in the corners of the virtual screen will always be out of focus. Some coders and modders might find a way to work around that later on, and I don't have a copy of Virtual Desktop to see what the experience is like there.

There's no sound either, probably because the PSVR is using a proprietary format that was designed for the 3D positioning. From my understanding, the audio is sent in multiple streams and then encoded on the fly by the processing unit so the audio sounds like it is coming from the right place.

So that doesn't work either. But on the flipside, you don't need a PlayStation camera, a DS4 controller, or the Move controllers to get this going. It doesAnd it doesn't just work with the PC, but other consoles too:

There's also a Reddit thread about a user who got Forza Horizon 3 going on their Xbox One. Like the PC, the PSVR reverts to "cinematic mode" when used with other consoles. That's more or less just a virtual screen that moves around.

So it's not perfect. But hey! It's nice to know that the PSVR isn't just limited to your console. I'm not sure how many games you'd really want to play on other platforms when you can't move around and keep everything in focus, but the fact that it works is pretty cool.


Comments

    Ah, some games I'd actually want to play!

    This is great news.

    Kinda.

    Wait, I'm confused. So it does do tracking? Or it doesn't?

    I figure it must just be like using the Rift DK1, with how that just worked as an extra monitor basically.

    Last edited 14/10/16 12:59 pm

      More closely related to one of Sony's other HMD's where it's basically just a cinema screen in front of your face, no tracking or anything it's always in the same spot. Works pretty well, not sure you'd want to do it all the time but for a second screen it's not a bad deal.

        Oh so it actually correctly doubles the images so you only see the one via binocular vision? That's pretty cool.

          Yep bang on, it's pretty nice. Not perfect, but nice.

          I think what it could be great for is watching 3D movies, it's not supported as yet (even through the PS4) but having used other HMD's bigscreen 3d headset is definitely the best home 3d experience you can have.

    Seen a few modders getting this working fairly well with some software tweaks, same people who also did the samsung gear VR on PC as a proof of concept thing.

    GG on giving it a go, this sorta stuff is outside most peoples comfort zone

    good....! allow this sony... hackers to the blox! get software support this is only a good thing

    shouts from the rooftops

    I really hope Sony sees this as a fantastic opportunity to start moving it towards being the first universal headset. The financial incentive to have a headset that can be used with anything is huge so really I guess it comes down to how feasible it is.

      Is there a financial incentive though? They are likely breaking even or losing money on the headset, and making money from the software, so what is their business model for making it universal? Fees to the software devs on other platforms?

        Ideally I think we'd all love to see this so they can corner the market. But the reality is they'll likely release a firmware update to lock it to the PS instead. Forcing you to buy PS games only, since this is where they really make money. ....bit like HP's fail on the printer firmware they recently did.

        Not that it's going to stop modders from tweaking the heck out of this and making it a standalone headset without the need for a PS.

        In some interview Shu confirmed that they were making money on the headset.

    If you have a spare webcam, download Opentrack, print out a few qr codes and
    stick them on your PSVR. Calibrate the tracking to your usual look movements and
    voila, instant (not too perfect but it works) head tracking

    the headset and splitter box works fine without the ps4, you don't even need it, ha ha ha lol

    simply take the splitter and the power cord for it and plug it in.
    then plug the hdmi into the "hdmi ps4" port.
    plug in the headset into the splitter box and turn it on.
    once the blue lights have lit up on the headset plug the other end of the hdmi into the 3rd party device.
    put headphones into the headset jack and your good to go.
    motion tracking works and everything. " im positive it has the same motion tracking as the ps3 controllers"
    ;P

    This is like when people found out you could use wii comtrollers for your pc
    Hell drgaons dogma supported wii controllers on its pc version AND THAT IS CRAZY TO ME THAT I CAN USE MY WII REMOTE TO PLAY DRAGONS DOGMA ON MY PC

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