Sony’s PlayStation VR headset is now officially out in the wild, offering PlayStation 4 owners a way to experience the burgeoning majesty that is virtual reality. However, while the PSVR is obviously meant to work in tandem with the PlayStation 4 console, it turns out the headset also provides limited functionality on other gaming platforms as well.
The reason why the PSVR is so universally usable is the fact that it connects to the PlayStation 4 using an HDMI input, much like how the PlayStation 4 connects to more typical displays like modern television sets or computer monitors. However, as any savvy gamer of today likely knows, gaming platforms like the Xbox One, Wii U, and newer PC’s have HDMI inputs as well. This naturally led some to wonder what would happen if you plug the PSVR into another HDMI-friendly device?
As it turns out, the PSVR does have limited functionality when used in tandem with other HDMI devices. While it obviously can’t utilize a full virtual reality display, it can at least display things like the Xbox One’s home menu or your PC’s desktop. Users have reported via sources like Reddit that the PSVR can be used to browse menus, watch streaming services like Netflix, and even play non-VR games, all from a more enclosed “cinematic” viewpoint. The only caveat is that there’s no inherent audio support, but that can be fixed by plugging a pair of headphones into your gaming platform’s native audio outlet (such as the controller on your Xbox One).
We’ve reached out to Sony to see if it has any plans to negate this unintentional benefit for other platform users (a firmware update could make the PSVR completely incompatible with other platforms but it would cost time and money to make) and we’ll update if we hear back.