Sony's PlayStation VR does work on PC and Xbox One, but it's a crippled experience

The PSVR headset is only compatible with the Sony PS4 and later consoles and there’s no way to get the device running on a PC or Xbox. Or is there?

Sony’s PlayStation VR headset is the cheapest VR headset around today. While the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive will set you back a whopping $799 each (with controllers), the PSVR will set you back by $550 (with all accessories). But there’s a catch.

Unfortunately, the PSVR headset is only compatible with Sony PlayStation 4 and later consoles and there’s no way to get the device running on a PC or laptop or other such device. Or is there?

Various reports have surfaced on Reddit indicating that the headset is indeed compatible with more than just the console. Apparently, you can simply plug your PSVR into any HDMI ready device, including an Xbox One, PC or even Nintendo Wii, and enjoy your game in a virtual 2D theatre of sorts on the PSVR.

 

There are theories as to why this works of course. The PSVR connects to the PS4 via HDMI, but not directly. There’s a processor unit in play, and it’s function isn’t entirely clear. Sony says that it handles virtual reality audio processing, but it also seems to determine if the headset is connected to a PS4 or not. Lacking such confirmation, the headset seems to be adapting all 2D video streams (that you’d see on a TV or monitor, to some kind of theatre experience. ArsTechnica gave the system a spin on the Xbox One and reported that the tracking capabilities don’t work. The virtual screen stays static. There is currently no way to get head-tracking or the controllers to work on the Xbox or PC.  

ArsTechnica also points out that the Rift and Vive already have such modes, but those modes support tracking capabilities.

If the PSVR actually ends up working on PC—via a third-party hack or official support—it’s pricing alone might be enough to let Sony steal a march on HTC and Oculus.

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