Sony launched its PSVR headset earlier this week with much anticipation among PlayStation players for the PSVR launch titles, but it seems PSVR is capable of a bit more than playing VR games on PS4.
All Reddit user /u/Reddegeddon did was connect the HDMI cable from his PSVR to his Xbox One – and he was done. That is all it takes, to get the PSVR working on the Xbox One, albeit with no audio.
Now, here’s the thing: it does work with the Xbox, but it doesn’t quite work as a ‘VR’ headset. The PSVR can do tracking to some degree – but there is no spatial tracking, which is to be expected. Essentially, the PSVR’s tracking is equivalent of what’s possible with Gear VR or Google’s new Daydream VR.
Others have reported that the HDMI-input works with anything that can output an HDMI signal, which gives PSVR a unique advantage over headsets like Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
Besides the tracking, the actual VR isn’t spatial either – if you plug-in these non-PlayStation devices, the HDMI input shows up as a 2D screen a few feet in front of you, inside a VR environment. It’s like having a massive television, inside a virtual environment. You simply sit and watch.
Granted that’s not too bad – both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive have a similar Cinema Mode already, but it’s not VR as you would imagine it to be.
What this gives us then, is the ability to turn PSVR into a portable, personal television that can be carried anywhere we go. It is essentially a portable home theater – which, again, gives PSVR a unique advantage, considering it is the only mass-produced VR headset that supports generic HDMI input.
As for the audio – though it would be nice to have HDMI audio support, PSVR’s inbuilt headphone jack can handle the audio from any source as well, so it’s not that big of a deal.
The lack of HDMI audio support, however, tells us that this “feature” isn’t quite an intended use case – so Sony might just end up locking it. Hopefully, it won’t come to that, but it remains a possibility unless Sony clears the air.