A prototype of the PlayStation VR headset released at the GDC’15 featured an OLED 1920×1080 display with an RGB subpixel matrix, and was capable of displaying content at 120fps. It also featured a high FOV, 6DOF head- tracking, stereoscopic 3D, and unwarped output to a TV, either for others to view what the headset wearer sees, or a separate display to compete against the headset user using a standard PS4 controller.
Consequently, Sony has announced more specs improvement to the PlayStation VR. But one thing has always been shrouded in secrecy — the capabilities of the PlayStation VR’s processing unit. The tech giant has kept mum on just how much processing juice the PlayStation VR can offer. Now its talk time;
As we may know already, the PlayStation VR headset doesn’t plug directly into the PlayStation 4. Rather, it plugs into a processing box, which is in turn plugged into the PlayStation 4. This allows people to use the TV and PS4 to interact with or watch the action going on in the VR game. The “processing box” as Sony preferentially calls it, looks slightly smaller than a Wii and is responsible for processing the VR graphics and sorting out the second-screen social experience on the television. It is about the size of four CD jewel cases stacked together. But what does the processing box really do?
“All the major headsets do this…., but we’ve added our own special sauce,” Chris Norden Senior Engineer Staff at Sony hinted.
“You can hear elevation easily. Players can actually point where you think a sound is coming from.” He added.
Borden explained with the aid of a slide that the box handles processing of object- based 3D audio. According to him, the device comes packed with all the intelligence to feed directional sound to players in real time. Developers don’t necessarily need to account for where the player is looking; all the need do is place an audio source in the virtual space and the processing unit takes care of attuning those sources on the fly.
The box also handles outputting the VR action on the “social screen”. Social screen is Sony’s term for the second screen that you may use with PlayStation VR. The box enables the PS4 to simultaneously output images to the player’s headset and a social screen which may be a television or a PC.
The social screen can function basically in two modes. First, in a “mirror mode,” in which second screen is fed an “undistorted, cropped and scaled image of the right eye of the display,” which allows those with close proximity, but outside of VR, to share in the experience. The second, “separate mode” outputs different audio and video stream to the social screen that runs in 720p at 30 frames per second.
The Asian tech giant has done quite an impressive work with PlayStation VR which might actually compel a lot of die hard gamers to spend a fortune on a consumer version.